A New Skin Game

Not so much an invention but a product with possibility of  real benefits to healing.  Imagine if we had skin banks like we do blood banks, you could donate skin grafts and in the event of injury you had a ready supply of your own skin to help in recovery.

Products by two Hampton Roads organizations are on the cutting edge of wound care.

The nonprofit LifeNet Health in Virginia Beach offers TheraSkin, a graft made of real skin that stimulates your body to heal itself. Soluble Systems of Newport News sells TheraGauze, a covering that regulates the moisture within a wound.

Source: Two Hampton Roads organizations offer advanced wound care, faster healing

When TheraGauze is used to cover TheraSkin, the two products work together to speed healing of diabetic foot ulcers and other wounds that have trouble healing, said Bud Brame, vice president of tissue services for LifeNet.

“You get accelerated healing rates when the two products work together,” Brame said.

TheraSkin is a skin graft made from donated human skin. It resembles a chain-link fence, a pattern that enables the wound to breathe. TheraSkin compels the body to close the wound and heal itself, Brame said.

TheraGauze is made up of a white fabric that’s moistened with a polymer mixture. Instead of keeping the wound dry, this bandage keeps it moist. As a result, TheraGauze bandages don’t need to be changed as often, lasting two to three days.

“We are the only product on the market that takes moisture out of the wound as needed and puts moisture back into the wound, as needed,” said T. Kerry McCarter, Soluble Systems chief executive officer.

Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News has been using TheraGauze since it came out in 2007. It has recently started using TheraSkin, said Cindy Dowd, a registered nurse and manager of the hospital’s wound care center.

“TheraSkin and TheraGauze — they’re like a package deal, having this tissue seal into place more quickly by creating this nice, warm, moist area to have the body accept the tissue quicker,” she said.

The wound care center is using TheraSkin on “everyone we can put it on,” Dowd said.

“We’re using it on surgical wounds, diabetic wounds, vascular wounds. We’re having tremendous success with it,” she said. “A wound that has been open for two to three years, I can have closed in less than 12 weeks. Eight to 12 weeks is our average.”

The two products are gaining recognition. Soluble this year announced it had received federal funding for a clinical study investigating TheraGauze as a new battlefield wound dressing and antimicrobial release platform, and American Podiatric Medical Association has awarded its Seal of Approval for TheraSkin.