In Fortaleza city of Brazil, a patient suffering with burns. His skin was bandaged with Tilapia fish skin. Scientists have confirmed that it can be used for 2nd and 3rd degree burns.         

Tilapia Fish Bandage – Watch the video to know about the latest innovation with regards to Tilapia skin-

Text from Video –

  • Doctor wrapped his arm in an unusual bandage - Sterilized fish skin
  • Patient: Josue Bezerra – I thought it was weird, Man I look like Mutant. Even though I thought it was weird, the fact that he said it would take less time [to heal] and with less pain, I said, I’m up for anything, use whatever you want.
  • Doctor – We’re putting it on. Does it hurt?
  • Patient – No.
  • Doctor ( Dr Edmar Maciel)– The tilapia skin adheres to the wound and creates what we call a buffer effect. It blocks outside contamination, it prevents the loss of moisture and proteins from the wound, and it stays bonded to the bed of the wound until it heals over. It’s the first aquatic animal skin in the world to be tested in burn patients.
  • The treatment is now in clinical trials. So far we have 52 patients in the study, and none have presented complications. Traditionally bandaging needs to be changed daily, often causing pain and discomfort for patients.
  • In superficial second-degree burns, we apply the skin and it stays there until the end of treatment, which takes 9 to 11 days on average.
  • The big advantage is you don’t have to take it off every day.
  • Tests are taking place in northeast Brazil, a region without a working skin bank.
  • The first night with Tilapia patient -- it was as if my body wouldn’t accept it. My arm started burning like it was on fire. They said it was normal. But afterwards it was fine. I didn’t take any antibiotic or pain medication. At 13 days, it was already scarring over. The [tilapia] skin dried and started to come off. They removed the first pieces.
  • Tilapia skin in plentiful in Brazil. Fish farms normally throw them away. But making them into a sterile, odourless medical dressing takes multiple steps. It’s sterilized in chlorhexidine, which is antiseptic, then in glycerol in various concentrations. Afterwards it is sent to Sau Paulo for complementary radio-sterilization, which is only way to ensure the skin is sterilized against viruses.
  • Patient – The first thing I did was smell it, and it didn’t smell.
  • Researchers say the skins are cost-effective and environment beneficial. They hope that treatment will enter the national health system after more testing.
  • Patient – If I got burned again, God forbid, I’d say, please, give me tilapia skin!

Innovation has no limits. This has been proved in Fortaleza city of northeast Brazil. Almost 52 patients, have been treated by using skin of Tilapia fish. It can be used for second and third degree burns.  Tilapia skin works like a burn cream and it has silver in it which prevents skin from infection.

Conclusion – Tilapia skin can be used as a treatment for 2nd and 3rd degree burns. But, it should be done under supervision and guidance of doctors. The Tilapia skin cannot be used directly. It needs to be sterilized and made odourless. Not only that, it should also undergo radio sterilization process.

About The Author

Chetan Sharma is an Indian fact-checker and news writer, writing news for Ayupp since 2014.

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