We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Skin Grafting?

By Kerrie Main
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many people with serious tissue wounds need to have some type of medical grafting. Skin grafting is when one patch of skin, or tissue layer, is surgically removed from one part of the body and transplanted to another area. The actual tissue being transplanted is referred to as the skin graft. It is often used when other methods of skin reconstruction, such as primary closure or local skin flaps, are not viable options to the reconstructive surgeon. Skin grafting is quite common as a treatment done for burns, extensive skin wounds and skin loss from infection.

There are two major types of skin grafts: full-thickness skin grafts (FTSGs) and split-thickness skin grafts (STSGs). Both forms typically require the removal of the damaged skin first, which is sometimes called excision of the skin. STSGs generally are used when aesethics are not of concern, for coverage of chronic unhealing areas and for coverage of burn areas to promote faster healing time. FTSGs are typically done when the damaged area tissue is scarce or immobile, or the surrounding skin has malignant lesions. This type of skin grafting is commonly done on areas such as the nasal tip, forehead and eyelids.

STSGs are similar to peeling the skin off a vegetable and commonly utilize a specialized surgical tool called a dermatome, which cuts the epidermis and a small portion of the dermis. FTSGs require cutting into the skin tissue more deeply. FTSGs usually are more risky procedures and leave a scar comparable to one created by a Cesarean section. They do heal more quickly than an STSG, and some say they are the least painful type of skin grafting.

After the tissue is removed from the donor area or separate donor person, the graft is spread on the damaged skin area and secured in place with small stitches or staples. Typically, the skin graft then begins the plasmatic imbibitions process, which is when it absorbs the plasma from the damaged area. For many people, new blood vessels begin growing within 36 hours. This period usually is referred to as capillary inosculation.

As with all major surgeries, there are risks involved with skin grafting treatments. Some common risks include infection, bleeding, nerve damage and loss of the skin graft. Skin graft rejection sometimes occurs as well. If the skin graft doesn’t heal, repeated skin grafting usually is necessary. Even when the treatment and healing is going well, patients must avoid exercise or stretching the affected areas and must maintain clean dressings on the wound.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.