A chronic wound is a frustrating ordeal that, on average, affects 4 million people in the United States yearly. Chronic wounds are different from the typical wound because, as the name suggests, they fail to close and are persistent, leading to many additional problems like infection, inflammation, decreased mobility and frequent trips to the hospital for pain relief. Chronic wounds, in short, can drastically reduce quality of life for those who suffer from them.
Over 90 percent of chronic wound cases are the result of diabetic ulcers and venous stasis ulcers that develop on the feet or legs. In addition to the physical pain they cause, these conditions can take a toll on your mental health and overall well-being. Fortunately, there are options available to close wounds that don’t want to heal — and improve your life in general.
TheraSkin is a skin allograft that harnesses the power of mother nature. With the use of human biological components, TheraSkin can drastically improve your chronic wound and help stave off infection, inflammation and trips to the hospital. If you suffer from chronic diabetic ulcers or venous stasis ulcers, don’t hesitate to contact Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan at (212) 204-6501. We want to help.
What Is TheraSkin?
TheraSkin is an advanced biological wound dressing with an epidermis and dermis layer that utilizes tissues from cryopreserved human skin. The skin allograft consists of living cells, various growth factors and native extracellular matrix (ECM), which provides structural support to surrounding cells. TheraSkin is a unique skin allograft because it can be used on chronic wounds where there’s exposed bone, tendon and muscle. These qualities make it suitable for treating a variety of chronic wounds, including diabetic ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, traumatic burns and surgical wounds.
TheraSkin is among the first FDA-approved skin healing systems that uses real skin from screened donors instead of animal by-products or synthetic materials. Because of this, TheraSkin has the power to help damaged skin repair itself more rapidly and cleanly.
How Does TheraSkin Work?
For a wound to heal, it must go through four different steps: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and remodeling. A chronic wound is usually unable to get past the inflammation stage and remains in a constant state of fighting off infection. When a wound reaches the proliferation stage, it begins to build new tissues. Lastly, in the remodeling phase, the new tissue increases in flexibility and strength.
TheraSkin contains all the necessary biological components to close off a chronic wound or damaged skin. TheraSkin’s components include cytokines, fibroblasts, keratinocytes and various collagen types. Fibroblasts and keratinocytes are proliferating cells, and when they’re introduced to a chronic wound, they help form collagen and the neo-dermis, which is critical for major connective tissues. Growth factors and cytokines in TheraSkin then help control inflammation in the wound and trigger the development of blood vessels and cells.
TheraSkin ultimately helps mimic the two steps, proliferation and remodeling, that a chronic wound is unable to go through naturally, ensuring a healthy recovery.
Who Is TheraSkin for?
TheraSkin is suitable for men and women who have a chronic wound on any part of their body. While the skin allograft is commonly used by those who have ulcers caused by diabetes or venous issues, it can also be used to treat problems related to amputation, complications from infection or a severe wound.
During your initial consultation at Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan, Dr. Lev will assess the state of your chronic wound to ensure you are a good candidate for TheraSkin. He will also inquire about your past medical history and current health. TheraSkin is not recommended for patients who have an infection in or around the chronic wound until the infection is resolved.
Benefits of TheraSkin
A chronic wound can have a devastating impact on your life. TheraSkin can help by:
- Closing off the wound
- Relieving pain
- Lowering risk from infection
- Reducing the number of visits to the doctor or hospital
- Improving the appearance of the treated area
- Allowing you to confidently wear clothing that exposes the treated area
TheraSkin presents the opportunity to regain your confidence and zest for life by closing your wound effectively, efficiently and affordably.
The TheraSkin Process
Before applying the TheraSkin skin allograft, Dr. Lev will remove any old or dead skin tissue, blood residuals and cytotoxins. He will then examine your wound to ensure it isn’t infected. A bit of discomfort may be experienced at this point in the process, but keep in mind it’s done to ensure the procedure is a success. TheraSkin requires a safe, clean area prior to application.
The skin allograft comes frozen. Dr. Lev will use a sterile solution two times over two-minute periods to make sure that it’s thawed and ready to be applied to the wound. Once the wound is sterilized and the TheraSkin is prepared, Dr. Lev will apply the dermis side of the allograft to the wound bed. He will place it carefully to minimize the chance of doubling the layer of TheraSkin and make it even with the surrounding skin.
If necessary, Dr. Lev will remove excess TheraSkin once it’s in place to create minimal overlap between it and the preexisting skin. A five to ten millimeter overlap is typical and hardly noticeable once the wound has healed. He will then suture the TheraSkin into place. For patients who need multiple skin allografts in one area, Dr. Lev may place a suture in the middle of the wound to make sure the TheraSkin stays in contact with the wound bed.
After the TheraSkin is put in place, a nonadherent bandage will be placed on to the treated area. A secondary wound application may be applied, depending on the severity of the chronic wound.
TheraSkin Results and Recovery
Five to seven days after the application of TheraSkin, you will return for a follow-up visit so Dr. Lev can remove the bandages to observe the wound and evaluate how it’s recovering. The pace of healing varies from case to case, depending on the severity and characteristics of the wound. For some patients, the TheraSkin may appear yellowish or blackish, almost as though it’s a large scab. For others, the nonhealing wound may still appear fleshy, indicating more TheraSkin allografts are needed.
After inspecting the wound, Dr. Lev will gently cleanse the area if necessary, then reapply the nonadherent bandage and secondary application. Subsequent reapplications of wound dressings may be scheduled every three to seven days. The total number of follow-up visits needed will be dependent on Dr. Lev’s discretion. Most patients begin to see improvements and healing in a matter of weeks after TheraSkin is first applied.
Patients should be advised that they may need more than one TheraSkin allograft. As mentioned, in some cases, specifically for more severe chronic wounds, the initial TheraSkin application may still appear fleshy, even after a follow-up appointment. If this is the case, Dr. Lev will recommend additional TheraSkin allografts to achieve optimal results.
TheraSkin is a powerful treatment option for patients with diabetic ulcers, venous stasis ulcers and other chronic wounds. Studies show it is effective in treating even the most stubborn chronic wounds, and we are excited to make it available to our Manhattan patients.
How Does TheraSkin Differ From Apligraf?
TheraSkin and Apligraf are both viable treatments for chronic wounds caused by diabetic ulcers or venous stasis ulcers. Both are also similar in their components, as they are made of healthy skin tissues that consist of living cells, growth factors and collagen, among other things. However, TheraSkin can have an advantage over Apligraf in some circumstances because of its unique ability to work on areas where bone, muscle and tendons are exposed. Additionally, a study performed in 2016 found that TheraSkin may have a quicker closure rate than Apligraf. On average, TheraSkin closed a chronic wound by week five, while Apligraf did so after six weeks.
During your consultation, Dr. Lev will review both skin allograft options to ensure you choose the one that will benefit you most.
Learn More About TheraSkin at Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan
A chronic wound is a terrible thing to deal with. It can affect your health by causing infections and inflammation, resulting in frequent trips to the hospital. A chronic wound can also be an eyesore, affecting what you wear, your relationships with loved ones and how you perceive yourself.
Dr. Ronald Lev of Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan is an expert in venous and lymphatic medicine, and understands the stress a chronic wound can create. Having spent numerous years in the field, he’s come across many patients who have developed chronic wounds due to varicose veins and other issues. With his experience and skill, he can help you find the right treatment for your chronic wound so you can live a full life again.
If you’re interested in learning more about TheraSkin and how it can benefit you, please call Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan at (212) 204-6501 or visit our contact page to request a consultation.