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Evidence-Based Dermatology: Research Commentary
September 2007

Use of Antibiotic Ointment After Clean Cutaneous Surgery

Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(9):1180-1182. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.9.1180

Ointments are often applied to surgical wounds after clean cutaneous surgery in the belief that they speed and improve wound healing. The effectiveness of this practice was tested in a large randomized control trial.

Question: Does application of no ointment, paraffin ointment, or mupirocin ointment lower complication rates or improve wound healing after clean cutaneous surgery when occlusive dressings are applied?

Design: A blinded randomized clinical trial was undertaken to evaluate the effect of applying mupirocin ointment to a wound before occlusive dressing, in comparison with no ointment or sterile paraffin.

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