Friday, June 02, 2017
Freaky Brazilian treatment for burns
But some Brazilian doctors are using the skin of tilapia fish to cover burns and help them heal.
Frozen pig skin and human tissue has been used for years, keeping the wound moist and transferring collagen, a protein that promotes healing. But sometimes this involves a gauze bandage, which can be agonizing when it's ripped off.
Brazil, apparently, does not have a big supply of pig skin, so scientists at the Federal University of Cesara found that the skin of the mild-tasting tilapia fish had many of the properties of human skin.
Collagen protein types 1 and 3, which are very important for scarring, are found in large numbers in the fish skin.
The tilapia treatment--which is a little disturbing-looking, at least to me--speeds healing by days and reduces the need for so much pain medication.
Will US doctors eventually turn some burn victims into mermaid-like creatures--at least for a short time? Research continues. Burns are terribly painful--I would rather look fishy if it would cut down the time and pain of healing, wouldn't you?