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This study compares the healing of uniform laser-induced wounds treated with three different topical wound care ointments commonly used in dermatology offices.
In this double-blind study, four uniform circular wounds penetrating to the dermis of the forearm were made using an erbium/CO2 laser. Each wound was treated three times daily with Aquaphor Healing Ointment, Neosporin, or Polysporin, with one wound left untreated (control). Efficacy and safety were assessed on Days 1, 4, 7, 11, 14, and 18 using clinical grading, transepidermal water loss, subjective ranking of wound appearance, and adverse event reporting. Statistical analyses used analysis of variance with Fisher's least significant difference.
Twenty participants completed the study. Significant improvements in erythema (Days 7-18), edema (Days 4 and 7), epithelial confluence (Days 7-18), and general wound appearance (Days 7-18) were observed with Aquaphor compared with Neosporin and Polysporin (p <= .007). No differences were observed between Neosporin and Polysporin for any clinical parameters. The average transepidermal water loss value on Day 4 was significantly less with Aquaphor compared with the other treatments (p = .0006). Participants ranked the treated sites as follows: Aquaphor (best), Polysporin, and Neosporin. No adverse events were reported.
Aquaphor demonstrated fast and effective improvements in several wound-healing parameters compared with antibiotic-containing treatments.
Aquaphor is a safe and effective treatment that exhibited faster and better healing of wounds than did antibiotic-based topical treatments, which can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Antibiotic ointments are not necessary and may be unwarranted for minor clinical wounds.
Rizer, R. L., Maas-Irslinger, R., Mills, O. H., Turner, M. B., & Kowcz, A. (2001). Treatment effects on wound healing and amelioration of scar formation. Poster presented at the American Academy of Dermatology 59th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.
Rizer, R. L., Mills, O. H., Campbell, M., et al. (2002). Non-invasive bioengineering techniques used in the assessment of wound healing. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 71(2), 13.
Smack, D. P., Harrington, A. C., Dunn, C., Howard, R. S., Szkutnik, A. J., Krivda, S. J., et al. (1996). Infection and allergy incidence in ambulatory surgery patients using white petrolatum vs bacitracin ointment. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 276(12), 972-977.
Spann, C. T., Taylor, S. C., & Weinberg, J. M. (2004). Topical antimicrobial agents in dermatology. Disease-a-Month, 50(7), 407-421.
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