MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Healing skin graft. View of a healing skin graft on a patient's leg. Skin grafts are performed when a wound is too large to be stitched shut or when severe scarring would occur if the wound was left to heal naturally. In a skin graft, a layer of skin is taken from elsewhere on the body and placed over the wound. This then grows to join the new skin to the surrounding tissue, protecting the wound from infection and speeding the healing process. The site from which the skin is taken is usually stitched shut. Skin grafts typically cause much less scarring than if the wound had healed naturally, although the colour and texture of the new skin may not exactly match its surroundings.
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