[LISTEN] Can human skin from a different race be used to treat burn victims?

Chair of Science at University of Cambridge Chris Smith says using a burn victim's own skin for skin grafting is beneficial because you minimise any infection risk, it is genetically compatible and has the best prospects of matching your normal skin in tone and colour.

While human skin from a different race could be used, one may end up with a patch of skin that does not match, but this may change over time.

Where possible we try to graft skin with a skin tone or colour which is equivalent to a person's skin colour in the area that you are grafting to but at the end of the day skin grafts save lives...

Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

It is not a given that if you were to put some foreign skin on to a part of a body that you would end up with that colour skin forever. You might end up with that bit coming off later anyway and being replaced with your own skin again. It depends on how deep the burn is and what sort of skin graft you do, so there is a range of different outcomes.

Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

Click on the link below to hear more from the Naked Scientist...


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