Synthetic Material Can Repair Burn Scar Damage

Integra system uses two layers to allow tissue to regenerate

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MONDAY, June 10, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- A substance already shown to be effective in treating severe burns has been approved for a new use: reducing the scar damage caused by those burns.

It's called the Integra Dermal Regeneration Template, made by Integra LifeSciences Corp. of Plainsboro, N.J. The Integra system has been used for years as a primary surgery method for severe burns.

But after they heal, many third-degree burns leave deep scars, especially noticeable on the face and hands. Scars have very little elasticity, and this can also prevent easy movement in the arms and legs.

The Integra substance comes in two layers -- a porous dermal layer designed as a lattice of collagen fibers, and a synthetic outer layer. The dermal layer acts as the catalyst to promote skin regeneration.

The procedure calls for the scar tissue to be removed and the Integra put over the wound. This allows for the formation of a new layer of blood vessels and skin cells. At the same time, the upper synthetic layer helps close the wound and prevent fluid loss. After two to three weeks, the top layer of Integra is replaced with a very thin graft of the patient's skin.

The FDA estimates about 75,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized each year for burn injuries.

Here is the FDA Talk Paper announcing the Integra approval. And this is the government safety summary for the system.

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