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What are biologic dressings?

Biological dressings are created using tissue derived from living organisms. These dressings serve to help close chronic wounds and thereby to reduce pain and prevent the loss of fluid, heat, protein and electrolytes. The end goal is to help a wound heal on its own or to prepare it for surgical permanent closure.

What to expect

Your plastic surgeon will decide which type of dressing is right for your unique case. There are many dressing types available, including:

  • Cultured neonatal fibroblasts and human keratinocytes
  • Dermal matrix from donated skin
  • Plant-derived biomolecules
  • Bovine collagen
  • Shark cartilage
  • Fetal foreskin


The complications are minimal and vary depending on the situation. Your doctor will discuss the specifics with you one on one.


The recovery process will depend on the material of the biological dressing. There is a big variability in terms of what you can take a shower with, participate in sports with and perform other daily activities with. Your age and any pre-existing medical conditions will also largely affect your recovery. Your doctor will discuss details with you and let you know if you need to take any precautions.

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