This woman had severe second-degree burns, and instead of opting for a standard treatment, she chose to have fish skin applied to her burns. Surprisingly, this alternative healing method had very positive results.
Today, Western medicine is commonplace, and unfortunately, natural and alternative methods are sometimes overlooked or even ridiculed. Contemporary people prefer pills rather than herbs and will think only to go to a doctor of Western medicine, as opposed to practitioners of other Eastern, Indian, herbal or alternative medicine. But there are open minded people that seek out alternative treatments, which can be less painful and are also very effective.
One such person is Maria Ines Candido da Silva from Russas, Brazil. A gas canister in her workplace exploded, inflicting severe burns to her arms, neck, and face. She said, “The explosion left me with horrific injuries. I was in absolute agony and desperate for anything to ease my suffering.”
Normally in such a case, doctors use sulfur sulphadiazine, which is a substance that heals wounds usually within 2 weeks. But there is a downside to this treatment, as the dressings and bandages must be changed daily to keep the wounds clean. Also, the patient has to take anesthetic showers using anti-bacterial soap in order to prevent the wounds from emitting a bad odor. Many burn victims who go for this treatment, take painkillers to cope with the whole procedure.
Initially, Maria went along with the standard hospital treatment for such burns cases. “Nurses used the creams when I first arrived. I was in excruciating pain already and the wounds on my hands were really deep. It was like I was being tortured and the touch of the water to shower it off caused so much pain,” she said.
But later, doctors suggested an alternative method of using fish skin to heal the wounds. “When doctors suggested putting fish skin on my wounds I found the idea really strange. But I jumped at the chance because they said it would be far less painful than the normal treatment and easier to manage,” she said.
Plastic surgeons Dr. Edmar Maciel at the Dr. José Frota Institute Burns Unit in Fortaleza and Dr. Marcelo Borges, at the São Marcos Hospital SOS Burns and Wounds Unit in Recife, Brazil are coordinators of the project of using fish skin to treat burns wounds. Dr. Maciel said, “We discovered the Tilapia fish skin performs significantly better in the healing process by soothing and curing severe wounds caused by burns.” Doctors claim that the application of fish skin heals wounds in roughly the same amount of time as a standard procedure used today would take, but this method is much less painful.
The main part of Maria’s treatment lasted for 11 days and it was a success. “It was a really bizarre experience. I felt like I was in a sci-fi movie when the Tilapia fish skin was being put on. At first, the fish skin felt really cold but within minutes of it being laid on, I didn’t feel any more pain and it felt cool and comforting. I was really surprised and grateful that it didn’t smell either,” said Maria.
The fish skin method has another advantage. “This new Tilapia dressing is cheap and easy to sustain unlike the expensive human skin banks that countries like ours have difficulty funding and maintaining,” Dr. Borges explained.
As we can see, modern medicine is not all about pills and chemicals. Many doctors are now adopting innovative methods that are inspired by nature, and which are closer to the alternative medical field. Those treatments are often cheaper, simpler and may even have a greater healing efficacy. Mother nature has been a source of inspiration for healers from ancient times, and modern medicine is also starting to realize its effectiveness.