Two technologies still look good for scarless donor sites
Epidermal grafting and technology based on fractional laser treatments continue to show promise for achieving a scarless donor site for patients who need grafting to promote wound healing, Dr. Kirsner said.
With epidermal grafting, dermatologists can apply a device to lift up on the epidermis from a donor site. The CelluTome Epidermal Harvesting System, for example, achieves this feat by applying both a little heat and some suction. “It creates little domes [of epidermis] in this Easy Bake oven looking device,” Dr. Kirsner said. Without any anesthetic, you place this device on the skin and you get these epidermal grafts in 30 minutes. Then you can transfer them to a sterile dressing and place them on the wound.”
As pointed out in ain Dermatology News, avoiding the need for donor site anesthesia is one advantage of the epidermal grafting technique. In addition, the procedure is generally bloodless because the device does not go deep enough to reach the blood vessels, Dr. Kirsner said. In addition, healing of the donor site can be seen on histology in as little as 2 days.
Transferring the epidermis can promote healing because it also transfers keratinocytes and melanocytes to the wound.
“This technique is also excellent to add skin or cells to someone with pyoderma gangrenosum,” Dr. Kirsner said. “Because of the simplicity and the lack of trauma, you don’t get the pathergy you normally see on someone with pyoderma gangrenosum.”
An Autologous Regeneration of Tissue or ART device that transfers columns of healthy skin to a wound to help regenerate tissue and promote healing is a second technology with a lot of potential, Dr. Kirsner said. “With a fractional laser, you create a hole, and that hole heals without scarring. Instead of making holes,, professor of dermatology at Harvard University, Boston, created a device that picks out the microcolumns of skin.” When these full skin thickness columns of skin are transferred to a wound, Dr. Kirsner noted, “in 3 weeks you can pretty much have no visible or a much improved cosmetic scar. Histologically you don’t see a scar either.”
Dr. Kirsner said he had no relevant financial disclosures.