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Fishy Treatment for Burns

February 05
16:27 2018

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Many years ago, the common treatment for burns was butter or some kind of grease. I once knew a lady who swore by bear grease, made from the rendered fat from black bears to treat burns. She said that the grease kept the burn moist, preventing it from cracking and kept it from getting infected from other germs. I got to smell her container of bear grease one day and it smelled so rancid that just opening the lid was enough to fill the entire room with the pungent odor.

Other home treatments for burns include using potato peels as they help keep the burn moist and the peel contain natural anti-bacterial properties. Some doctors have even used potato peel dressings for minor burns and report that they sometimes work better than conventional dressing.

Raw honey has been used on burns. It has antiseptic and healing properties. It found that burn victims in India healed faster with less scarring than those treated conventionally.

Compresses soaked in diluted vinegar lavender oil and Aloe Vera have also been used to treat burns. Others have used a paste made with equal portions of turmeric, barley and yogurt applied to the burn. Then there are those who have used colloidal silver or vitamins A, C or E. Zinc has also been reported to help burns heal.

Some Indians have used raw or processed cotton, burned it in a pot until it is ashes and then mixed the ashes with enough olive oil to make a paste and apply it to a burn.

However, please note that none of these treatments are FDA approved here in the United States, so its doubtful you’ll find a doctor who would recommend them.

Doctors in Brazil have found another unconventional way of treating burns and they are having pretty good results. The process is not approved by the FDA, but has been successfully used to treat the severely burned paws of two black bears and a mountain lion that were burned in the Thomas Fire that burned in California and became the largest forest fire in the state’s history. The process used on the bears and lion are pretty much the same as that being used on human burn victims in Brazil.

The three animals were trapped, sedated and then a homemade burn salve was smeared on the burns. Then they sutured sterilized tilapia skins onto the burns. For those of you who are not familiar with tilapia, they are an herbivorous fish, not only found in the wild, but also raised on farms for food for people.

It turns out the tilapia skins contain large amounts of collagen, a vital protein found in the skin of animals and humans. The abundance of collagen helps the burn heal quicker.

The Thomas Fire burned from December 4, 2017 to January 12, 2018. The recovery of their burned paws with the use of the tilapia skin worked so well that all three animals have already been released back into the wild.

A 2011 study suggested that the collagen rich tilapia skin may avoid the need for a skin graft to be used on burned areas.

Hopefully, further studies can be carried out and if found to be as effect as it has been reported in Brazil and on the three burned animals, then the FDA may in time approve the process to be used by doctors and hospitals. If proven to be a good remedy and help avoid skin grafts which can be painful in and of themselves, many burn victims in the future may find that they benefit from the fishy treatment.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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