But that action often results in scar tissue, since we're not really capable of regenerating skin cells to their previous condition. Doctors already use various imperfect solutions to try and minimise scarring, but now researchers have come up with a new substance that borrows its healing power from mussels.
When skin tissue is damaged by a deep cut, it repairs itself by quickly filling up the wound with collagen.
This protein is a key ingredient for normal skin tissue, but when it's growing to cover a wound, the collagen fibres form a scar because they don't arrange themselves in the same neat cross-weave pattern as they do in skin.
Doctors can do their best to minimise scar tissue from forming, but most of the time there's little they can do to prevent a scar altogether.
One option to help a wound heal better is to use an adhesive, based on chemicals similar to those found in Super Glue. But not all wounds can be glued shut, chemically-derived skin glue can cause irritation, and it often doesn't work when you need to keep the wound from drying out.