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When is a skin graft used for a skin injury?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Skin grafts may be used to cover larger surface area burns or open wounds. First, the recipient bed must be clean and healthy to accept the graft. Dressing changes are performed in a burn unit with silvadene, sulfamaylon, or other cleaning antibiotic solutions. Once the wound is clean, either a split-thickness or full-thickness skin graft can be placed to permanently close and cover the wound.

A skin graft is a procedure that is used to treat burned skin. Skin grafts are healthy samples of skin, and they come from three primary sources: another area of the body, a dead person, or an animal. Skin grafts are used primarily in two ways.

  1. Replacing burned skin-If burned skin will not heal, a doctor might replace it with a skin graft.
  2. Protecting healing skin-A skin graft can be used to protect healing skin from exposure.

If you have a skin injury that is not a burn, but rather a severe cut, stitches can be used to closed the wound in order to encourage healing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.