It looks like Tilapia is tipping the scale in the treatments of burn victims! For the first time anywhere in the medical world, Brazilian doctors have started to use the skin of tropical fish Tilapia to treat burn victims. This pioneering new therapy has significantly reduced the burn trauma and considerably speeds up the healing process.
Fish scales have been used for the first time as a band-aid to treat lesions, and according to the doctors, they cost half the price of burn medicines. The skin from Tilapia fish was used since it is found to be a disease-resistant species readily found in Brazilian rivers.
The fish skin is put through a rigorous process of removal of scale, muscle tissue, and toxins to eliminate any possibility of disease transfusion. It is also ensured that any fishy smell is removed before the medical use. The skin, which is closer to human skin and is flexible is then stretched and laminated around the wound. The skins can also be stored in refrigerated banks in Sao Paulo in pieces of 10cm by 20cm for up to two years without a hitch.
In an incident of cooker canister explosion, Maria Ines Candido da Silva suffered from second-degree burns on her arms, neck, and face. She was offered an alternative therapy to the conventional burn cream ones; her wounds were to be covered with the skin of a Tilapia fish.
Maria Ines, 36, who was a waitress in the Casa Velha restaurant in Russas, Brazil at the time of the accident said:
“The explosion left me with horrific injuries.
“I was in absolute agony and desperate for anything to ease my suffering.
“When doctors suggested putting fish skin on my wounds I found the idea really strange.
“But I jumped at the chance because they said it would be far less painful than the normal treatment and easier to manage.”
Tilapia’s skins were left on da Silva’s burn areas for 11 days and longer on her hands, before being removed since the wounds were deeper. The fish skin grafts were also replaced many times to restore the damaged tissue. When they were removed after 11 days using petroleum jelly, the wounds look incredible compared to the ones with traditional wrappings.