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J Wound Care. 2005 May;14(5):233-6.

Comparison of two peri-wound skin protectants in venous leg ulcers: a randomised controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK.



A randomised controlled trial was designed to determine whether or not early intervention with a suitable skin barrier preparation could prevent skin breakdown. This study was conducted to compare the efficacy and cost-effectivenss of two skin protectants, Cavilon No Sting Barrier Film (NSBF) (3M Health Care) and zinc paste compound, in the management of maceration and irritation of the peri-wound area of venous leg ulcers.


Thirty-five patients with venous leg ulcers and surrounding skin problems were randomised to receive either NSBF or zinc paste compound. The preparation was then applied at each dressing change for 12 weeks. All patients had been receiving compression bandaging before entering the study and continued wearing it throughout the 12-week study period.


The decrease in wound area was 5.11+/-8.39cm2 in the NSBF group and 4.59+/-5.83cm2 in the zinc paste group. The healing rate was 0.046cm per week with NSBF and 0.039cm per week with zinc paste. There was a significant difference in the time required to remove and re-apply the skin protectants: an average of 0.19 (+/-0.17) minutes in the NSBF group and 5.53 (+/-2.10) minutes in the zinc paste group (p<0.0001).


Both products were effective barrier preparations. However, NSBF was easy to apply and transparent. The zinc paste was messy to apply and difficult to remove, and thus took up considerably more nursing time than NSBF.


This study was supported by 3M Health Care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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