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


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.