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October 1992

A Double-blind Comparison of Adhesive Bandages With the Use of Uniform Suction Blister Wounds

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Stanford (Calif) University School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(10):1354-1357. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680200064008

• Background and Design.—  The assessment of cutaneous wound healing in humans has been hampered by the inability to evaluate multiple wounds with identical origins, treatment histories, and sizes. There have been no double-blind wound healing studies in humans that compared one wound dressing with another. The purpose of this study was to determine if identical suction blister wounds could serve as a model to evaluate and compare wound healing and overall cosmetic appearance of wounds treated with commercially available adhesive bandages. In a double-blind study, we compared superficial skin wounds of identical depth and diameter, created on the forearms of five human subjects by means of a suction blister device. The wounds were covered by two common, commercially available adhesive bandages or a copolymer of polyurethane membrane type of wound dressing. We compared the degree of reepithelialization, erythema, skin depression, and overall cosmetic appearance of wounds with respect to the specific adhesive bandages used.

Results.—  The wounds covered with the copolymer of polyurethane membrane were judged to have better overall appearance and advanced reepithelialization compared with identical wounds covered by the other wound dressings. With the use of ×5 magnification for viewing the wounds on the final day of evaluation (between days 18 and 22), the wounds treated with the copolymer of polyurethane membrane were judged to be the least depressed wounds in fields of identical wounds in the three subjects studied. Concordance between the evaluators' "blinded" assessments was uniform, and no discrepancy between the evaluators' assessments occurred at any of the time points.

Conclusion.—  Identical wounds created with a suction blistering device can be used reliably to detect differences between the performances of wound dressings in healing superficial wounds. Superficial cutaneous wounds covered with a copolymer of polyurethane dressing demonstrated a superior rate of reepithelialization, less depression, and a better overall cosmetic appearance than wounds covered with two commercially available adhesive bandages.(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:1354-1357)