Utility of semi-occlusive wound dressings

Utility of semi-occlusive wound dressings – Tips from Other Journals

The use of semi-occlusive dressings has been shown to improve the epithelialization of wounds. These dressings also act as bacterial barriers and are more convenient for the patient than conventional dressings. To determine whether use of semi-occlusive dressings also lowers the incidence of wound infection and causes less pain, Phillips and colleagues compared conventional dressings with semi-occlusive dressings in shave biopsies.

Thirty-eight patients with 50 biopsies were randomly assigned to receive either conventional treatment, which consisted of daily cleansing of the site with hydrogen peroxide followed by application of antibiotic ointment and an adhesive dressing, or cleansing of the site followed by application of a semi-occlusive dressing, which remained in place unless it became dislodged. Pain, epithelialization and infection were assessed at one week follow-up. A second evaluation was performed at two weeks if the wound was not healed.

Pain was noted frequently on removal of the conventional adhesive dressing but was absent on removal of the semi-occlusive dressing. Eighty-four percent of wounds treated with the semi-occlusive therapy were healed at one week, as were 88 percent of the conventionally treated wounds. No infection was noted in any of the wounds.

Although no significant differences in healing with semi-occlusive dressing were noted, the authors found that semi-occlusive dressings were more convenient for patients. This was especially true for elderly patients and if the biopsy site was in a difficult-to-reach spot. The authors also note that while semi-occlusive dressings are more expensive than conventional dressings, they can usually be cut to fit the wound; they also last longer and can therefore provide several applications if needed. (Archives of Dermatology, July 1993, vol. 129, p. 859.)

COPYRIGHT 1993 American Academy of Family Physicians

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group