Clinical Approaches to Skin Regeneration
Intact human skin is essential for normal body function. It is the largest organ of the body and its primary function is to act as a barrier, keeping environmental insults and invading organisms out, and body fluids in. It can be damaged by many diseases and traumatic processes, resulting in a break or discontinuity of its architecture and in particular, of the surface epithelial layer. Such wounds are then easily colonized by bacteria which can result in further skin damage and loss. The most common causes of skin loss are the result of burn injuries, trauma or surgical insult. The aim of the plastic surgeon is to restore the damaged skin to as near normal structure and function as possible. This chapter describes the structure and function of normal skin; the mechanisms of skin loss; the normal processes of wound healing, and the clinical approaches to skin regeneration available to today's surgeons.
Normal Skin Structure and Function
KeywordsHyaluronic Acid Wound Closure Sweat Gland Extra Cellular Matrix Dermal Layer
SEJ would like to thank the surgeons at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, UK for exposing this scientist to the world of surgery and opening up invaluable communications between scientists and surgeons. Special thanks to Nick Parkhouse; Phil Gilbert; Balj Dheansa; Tania Cubison; John Boorman; Sheraz Daya and Ken Lavery, all of whom have contributed directly or indirectly to this work.
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