Dermagraft Helps Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers
by Karen Schroeder Kassel, MS, RD, MEd
Dermagraft is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved skin substitute that helps heal diabetic foot ulcers. These ulcers are serious wounds that occur most often in the skin over the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe.
Helping to Grow New Skin
Dermagraft is a dissolvable mesh material that contains human connective tissue cells called fibroblasts. Dermagraft is placed directly on the ulcer, where the mesh and fibroblasts are gradually absorbed. Fibroblasts produce many of the same factors found in healthy skin. As the fibroblasts attach and grow in the wound, they help replace and rebuild the damaged parts in the foot.
Dermagraft can be used on the following types of ulcers:
When Not to Use Dermagraft
There are certain cases when Dermagraft should not be used, such as:
The Importance of Careful Foot Care
People with diabetes are more likely to develop foot problems such as:
These problems make people with diabetes more likely to get sores. If you have diabetes, inspect your feet every day. Seek care right away if you have a foot injury. Also, have your feet checked by your doctor at least once a year.
American Diabetes Association
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Diabetes Association
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
Diabetic foot ulcer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114270/Diabetic-foot-ulcer. Updated February 7, 2017. Accessed August 22, 2017.
Ehrenreich M, Ruszczak Z. Update on tissue-engineered biological dressings. Tissue Eng. 2006;12(9):2407-2424.
Marston WA. Dermagraft, a bioengineered human dermal equivalent for the treatment of chronic nonhealing diabetic foot ulcer. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2004;1(1):21-31.
Patient guide. Hannibal Regional Medical Group website. Available at: https://hannibalregionalmedicalgroup.org/Portals/0/dermagraft_patient_guide.pdf. Published October 2008. Accessed August 22, 2017.
Last reviewed August 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardMichael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 8/12/2015
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