The reason of a temporary wound covering is to encourage wound healing and avoid infection
while a permanent skin replacement is prepared. Two common instances when temporary wound covering applies are due to the burn survivor
needing time to regenerate enough donor skin for a graft, or when the individual is not healthy enough to undergo reconstructive surgery.
Temporary coverings are also used occasionally as 'test' grafts for questionable skin graft sites or for additional protective covering
on skin grafts that have been widely meshed and stretched for maximum coverage.
Types of Temporary Wound Covering
A Xenograft is the tissue that has been grafted from one species to another. This process has been available for years. The use of frogs, lizards, rabbits, roosters and pig skin to help heal severe wounds started hundreds of years ago. Pig skin is the most commonly used skin for xenograft. Pig skin has properties that are similar to human skin. It has been see to effectively close a wound while a permanent alternative is found. The
chief advantage of using Xenografts on burn injuries is the wide availability of animal skin. The disadvantages include its risks of rejection and also infection.
Allografts became a standard procedure in the 1950s. Today it still remains a popular option for temporary wound coverings. This process uses cadaver, or organ donor, skin to cover deep partial or full thickness burn wounds. The advantage of using allografts is its ability to enable blood supply to regenerate. The disadvantages to Allografts are the risk of disease and the limited supply of donor skin.
Synthetic Skin Coverings
Synthetic skin was created due to the fact that burns must have an outer barrier protection to prevent infections, dehydration, inner layer framework for blood supply and cell regeneration. Current innovations are now combining synthetic membranes that protect wounds from the outside environment with natural substance layers that encourage skin regeneration and minimize tissue rejection.