Treatment of large superficial burn injuries up to 49% TBSA with natural silk

Dr Jennifer Schiefer1, Prof Paul Fuchs1

1Clinic For Plastic Surgery, Burn Care Center, Hospital Cologne Merheim, University Of Witten/herdecke, Cologne, Germany



During the treatment of superficial burn injuries patients are often confronted with painful dressing changes. Therefor we often treat these wounds with very expensive materials like nylon mesh combined with animal collagen that can stay on the wound and slowly peel off during re-epithelialization.

Due to our good experiences with the treatment of small burn injuries with pure natural silk as cost-efficient material, we now also started treating large burn injuries for the first time with silk.


Altogether 25 patients with superficial burn injuries over 10% (10.5-49%) of the body surface area were treated with pure silk. Afterwards the wound healing, number of operations and the patient’s satisfaction were evaluated.

Results / Discussion:

In 23 of 25 cases all wounds healed unproblematically without dressing change, infection or further operations. In three cases, mostly chemical burns, initial burn depth assessment was not correct and skin grafting became necessary during wound healing. All patients were satisfied with the treatment, though stated a feeling of stiffness in dressings covering joints.


Altogether silk is an interesting, cost-efficient material for the treatment of superficial burns. During the treatment of larger areas a careful wound depth evaluation is very important to avoid infections and further operations during the wound healing.


Dr. Jennifer Schiefer is working as a Consultant in the clinic for plastic and reconstructive surgery, Handsurgery and Burn Care Center in Cologne Merheim. Since working as a doctor she has focussed on trying to minimize patients scarring and optimize burn wound treatment.

Different clinical studies have been published. Especially pure natural silk is an underestimated cheap product that can be used easily in the treatment of superficial burn injuries avoiding painful dressing changes.

Since not many burn centers use this material I wanted to present our experiances with this product.

Recent Comments