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March 1994

Comparing Dressings on Crusted Wounds Yields Flawed Information-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Boston University School of Medicine 609 Albany St, J-106 Boston, MA 02118

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(3):389-390. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690030125025

Our study reproduces that of Nemeth et al,1 which showed significant advantage in using hydrocolloid dressings on shave biopsy sites. Nemeth et al used Monsel's (ferric subsulfate) solution to achieve hemostasis, yet still found that occlusive therapy-treated sites were 3.8 times more likely to be healed than those treated with conventional therapy.

These results were consistent with the known fibrinolytic of some hydrocolloid dressings both clinically and in vitro.2 These dressings are useful in liquefying eschar and promoting granulation tissue and can indeed have a significant effect on the healing process when crusting is present, as Nemeth et al demonstrated.

The studies quoted by Epstein3,4 tested Monsel's solution and Drysol solution on deep punch biopsy wounds, not superficial shave biopsy sites. I would suggest that for superficial wounds the use of such agents does not significantly impair healing, as the majority of wounds in our study were

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