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Burns. 2014 Nov;40(7):1267-73. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2014.07.024. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

Topical petrolatum gel alone versus topical silver sulfadiazine with standard gauze dressings for the treatment of superficial partial thickness burns in adults: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines. Electronic address: gsgenuino@gmail.com.
2
Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines. Electronic address: rina_baluyut@yahoo.com.
3
Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines. Electronic address: dreespiritu@gmail.com.
4
Department of Surgery, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines. Electronic address: melalapitan@gmail.com.
5
Department of Surgery, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines; Division of Primary Care, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. Electronic address: briansbuckley@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-extensive superficial partial thickness burns constitute a major proportion of burns. Conventional treatment involves regular changing of absorptive dressings including the application of a topical antimicrobial, commonly silver sulfadiazine. A systematic review has found insufficient evidence to support or refute such antimicrobial prophylaxis. Another review compared silver sulfadiazine dressings with other occlusive and non-antimicrobial dressings and found insufficient evidence to guide practice. Other research has suggested that dressings with petrolatum gel are as effective as silver sulfadiazine.

METHODS:

Single-center, randomized, controlled parallel group trial comparing conventional silver sulfadiazine dressings with treatment with petrolatum gel alone. Consenting adults 18-45 years old with superficial partial thickness burns≤10% total body surface area seen within 24h of the injury were randomized to daily dressing either with petrolatum gel without top dressings or conventional silver sulfadiazine treatment with gauze dressings. Primary outcomes were blinded assessment of time to complete re-epithelialization, wound infection or allergic contact dermatitis. Secondary outcomes included assessment of ease, time and pain of dressing changes.

RESULTS:

26 patients were randomized to petrolatum and 24 to silver sulfadiazine dressings. Follow up data available for 19 in each group. Mean time to re-epithelialization was 6.2 days (SD 2.8) in the petrolatum group and 7.8 days (SD 2.1) in the silver sulfadiazine group (p=0.050). No wound infection or dermatitis was observed in either group. Scores for adherence to wound, ease of dressing removal and time required to change dressings were significantly better in the petrolatum treatment arm (p<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

Petrolatum gel without top dressings may be at least as effective as silver sulfadiazine gauze dressings with regard to time to re-epithelialization, and incidence of infection and allergic contact dermatitis. Petrolatum gel appears to be an effective, affordable and widely available alternative in the treatment of minor superficial partial thickness burns in adults.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02109718.

KEYWORDS:

Dressings; Partial thickness burns; Petrolatum; Silver sulfadiazine

PMID:
25172229
DOI:
10.1016/j.burns.2014.07.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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