A new wound-healing treatment using a patient’s own skin cells, ReCell, has been developed to improve the speed and effectiveness of wound healing, ultimately reducing scarring.
The treatment is being used for people with burns, surgical procedure cuts, acne scars, and other wounds, as a cheaper and more effective method of regenerating normal skin. Results can vary considerably, however ReCell is a promising new technique to help skin regrow normally in some circumstances.
(Note: ENRICH doesn’t currently offer ReCell treatments.)
How does ReCell spray-on skin work?
ReCell contains skin cells that are similar in behaviour to those that appear at the edge of a wound to start the healing process, but they are spread evenly over the surface of the wound to signal healing across the whole wound, not just at the edges. The ‘spray-on skin’ can be produced and applied in clinic very quickly, using the patient’s own skin cells, reducing allergy and rejection issues.
The suspension contains all the skin cell types and wound-healing factors to restore the skin to its normal functionality and appearance. This treatment can be used in conjunction with traditional burns treatments and skin reconstructions.
ReCell has some distinct benefits, including reduced follow-on reconstructive surgeries, shorter hospital stays, and reduced scar management requirements. Regenerated skin looks much better than grafted skin, and the regenerated skin has normal collagen formation. Just a small sample of the patient’s skin is required.
A small postage-stamp-sized sample of normal skin is taken from an area on the patient’s body with local anaesthetic and specially prepared by your doctor with ReCell. This solution is then sprayed onto the area to be treated. A light dressing is then applied for a week or so. A thin layer of skin will have appeared, which over time thickens.
The nature of scarring
Normally collagen bundles appear in a neat crisscross pattern, with scars appearing flat and smooth, improving in colour over time. In some scars, however, the cells that produce collagen – fibroblasts – can overdo it, with the result being lumpy, red, raised scars.
Treating scars can be difficult, but options include cutting out the scar to force skin to create a new, more manageable scar, or using laser treatments to flatten raised scars and improve tone and texture. Chemical peels can also help.
ReCell is a new treatment adjunct for when wounds are first healing, but can also be used for remodelling established scars. This may involve other treatments to ‘open’ the scar so it can heal with normal skin instead of scar tissue. Laser is particularly useful here.
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