Cancer can develop in all different parts of the body, most commonly in the skin. Skin cancer is a change in your skin cells during which they grow abnormally and form a malignant tumor. Can skin cancer develop on the hands? The answer is yes.
We’re answering your questions about artificial skin.
My friend had a bad burn on her hand. She mentioned that the doctor used artificial skin on her hand. What is artificial skin anyway?
Artificial skin is a term used to describe a group of products used to treat burns and other wounds. Skin is the largest organ in our body. You can think of it as a fortress. Its chief purpose is to provide protection to the structures inside our bodies as well as to keep our body temperature regulated. A burn or a wound is a hole in that fortress that makes us susceptible to infections or loss of important fluids. Our skin has a remarkable ability to heal itself, but sometimes an injury may involve an area so large that the body cannot heal fast enough to prevent complications. Sometimes these wounds can be covered with skin grafts from elsewhere on the body. However, this can be painful, and, if the area is very large, a skin graft may not be possible. Artificial skin can be one way that these areas can be covered.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis in which the lining of the joint gets inflamed and swollen, causing the joint to become loose or crooked. Psoriatic arthritis is not the same as psoriasis, which is a skin condition that causes skin to become dry, red, and flaky on any part of the body. However, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, so there is a link between the two.
Psoriatic arthritis, which is common in the hands, may cause your bones to lose their shape due to the smooth ends of the bones wearing out. This condition affects men and women equally. Some symptoms may include:
- Red and swollen joints
- Joints that sometimes feel warm
- Decreased joint motion and stiff-feeling joints
- Pitting, ridging or crumbling fingernails
- Deformed end of finger
Burns are the result of the death of cells in the skin, when the skin comes in contact with something hot. The treatment and recovery time after a burn depend on the severity. Here are the four degrees of burns and how they may be treated:
- 1st Degree: This is a superficial burn that will turn your skin red but will not create blisters. It will heal in about a week. Treatment includes using local pain killers.
- 2nd Degree: This type of burn results in partial thickness skin damage. Blisters will be present with a 2nd degree burn. To treat this, you will wear a splint on your hand/forearm. Your doctor will clean the wound and apply a topical antibiotic (such as a cream). It will heal in 2-3 weeks.
- 3rd Degree: This type of burn results in full thickness skin damage. The skin will be white and leathery. You will need surgery if your burn is this severe. Surgery will include removing the dead skin and replacing it with skin grafts. It can take months to fully recover from such an injury.
- 4th Degree: This burn is the same as a third-degree burn, but it causes damage to tendons, joints and/or bones. You may need more than one surgery.
Serious burns may also need treatment with a hand therapist. Learn more about burns of the upper extremity as well as other injuries and conditions at www.HandCare.org.