Skin grafting is a type of medical grafting involving the transplantation of skin. The transplanted tissue is called a skin graft.
Skin grafting is often used to treat:
Extensive wounding or trauma
Areas of extensive skin loss due to infection such as necrotizing fasciitis or purpura fulminans
Specific surgeries that may require skin grafts for healing to occur – most commonly removal of skin cancers.
Skin grafts are often employed after serious injuries when some of the body’s skin is damaged. Surgical removal (excision or debridement) of the damaged skin is followed by skin grafting. The grafting serves two purposes: it can reduce the course of treatment needed (and time in the hospital), and it can improve the function and appearance of the area of the body which receives the skin graft.
There are two types of skin grafts, the more common type is where a thin layer is removed from a healthy part of the body (the donor section), like peeling a potato, or a full thickness skin graft, which involves pitching and cutting skin away from the donor section. A full thickness skin graft is more risky, in terms of the body accepting the skin, yet it leaves only a scar line on the donor section, similar to a Cesarean section scar. For full thickness skin grafts, the donor section will often heal much more quickly than the injury and is less painful than a partial thickness skin graft.