A Randomized Controlled Pragmatic Study to Evaluate the Use of Silicone Dressings for the Treatment of Skin Tears

Lead Presenter

Supporting Presenters

Kevin Y. Woo

Presented At


Skin tears (STs) are common affecting 10-54% of people residing in long term care settings.1 The primary purpose of the proposed study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a soft silicone dressings for the healing of STs.

In this prospective randomized controlled trial, 15 participants were randomized to soft silicone dressings and 34 participants to control using low-adherent dressings for the management of all skin tears. The primary outcome was changes in wound surface areas.

Surface areas improved in both groups after 1 week, from 1.6 cm2 (standard deviation or SD = 2.3) to 1.4 cm2 (SD=1.9) in the control group; 4.7 cm2 (SD = 7.3) to 0.3 cm2 (SD=0.5) in the silicone group. A t- test for independent samples revealed a significant difference in wound surface changes between groups (t= -3.3 df=46, p=0.002) in favor of silicone dressing. After one week of treatment, 87% (13/15) of STs were healed in the treatment group versus 12% in the control group (4/34). The log-rank test compared two Kaplan-Meier survival curves that represented the two study groups was significant (chi square =16.5, df=1, p<0.001).

Silicone-coated dressings are less likely to cause skin stripping and removal of stratum corneum than hydrocolloid, polyurethane, and acrylic adhesives.2 In this study, silicone dressing is superior to low-adherent dressing without silicone in healing skin tears.

[1] LeBlanc, K., et al. (2013). Prevalence of skin tears in a long-term care facility. JWOCN, 40(6), 580-584.
[2] Matsumura, H.. et al (2012). Removal of adhesive wound dressing and its effects on the stratum corneum of the skin: Comparison of eight different adhesive wound dressings. IWJ, 11(1), 50-54.