Doctors Use Tilapia Fish Skin to Help Heal Burn Victim

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In a fascinating video uploaded to Facebook by STAT, a man suffering from electrical burns finds that doctors in a city in northeast Brazil can use tilapia (yes, the fish) skin to patch up his wounds. After he allows them to use the experimental treatment, it looks as though he got an arm tattoo of fish scales! explains, “Animal skin has long been used in the treatment of burns in developed countries. But Brazil lacks the human skin, pig skin, and artificial alternatives that are widely available in the US.” The obvious solution was to look to the sea right next to their coastal town.

Instead of undergoing the painful process of changing bandages regularly on his burns, the patient will be able to leave the tilapia skin on to help block incoming infections, keep the area moisturized and soothe the discomfort of the burn.

In the video, the patient admits that it was alarming to see scales at first, but after he smelled it, he realized it wasn’t going to be so bad afterall. The smell of the fish was completely erased when the skin underwent a lengthy sterilization process. He says that if he’s unlucky enough to be burned again, he’s going to ask for the tilapia bandage ASAP!