Artificial skin for closure and healing of wounds created by skin cancer excisions

Dermatol Surg. 2001 Jul;27(7):648-53; discussion 653-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.2001.00340.x.


Background: A dermal regeneration template indicated for life-threatening third-degree burn injuries is a product with potential application to smaller wounds to aid in healing and closure of complex excision sites.

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of dermal regeneration template for closure of skin cancer excision sites that would have otherwise required complicated closures.

Methods: Five patients, 61-84 years old, with skin cancer surgery yielding a total of six wounds were treated with the dermal regeneration template to close and heal their wounds.

Results: Four of five patients had complete healing (five of six wounds) with cosmetically acceptable results. The one treatment failure was application of the dermal regeneration template over exposed skull where inadequate neodermis formed. Successful healing was observed in five complex skin cancer excision sites including two wounds in previously irradiated grafted skin, a large and deep temporal defect, a wide excision in the supraclavicular region, and an excision down to cartilage on the antihelix of the ear. No infections were noted, although in four of five patients prophylactic oral antibiotics (either erythromycin or cephalexin) were prescribed postoperatively for 1-2 weeks.

Conclusion: The product simplified wound care, subjectively appeared to decrease pain and postoperative bleeding, and yielded cosmetically acceptable wound repair. Autografting was not necessary; wounds healed in 2-4 months by epithelialization over neodermis after removal of the silicone layer. Furthermore, the product was a convenient long-term dressing and healing device for wounds where complex repairs, autografts, and/or flaps would otherwise be considered for closure.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dermis / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Care
  • Regeneration
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Skin, Artificial*
  • Wound Healing*