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Surgery. 1989 Oct;106(4):781-6; discussion 786-7.

Topical silicone gel: a new treatment for hypertrophic scars.

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Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo. 63110.


A prospective, controlled clinical trial was designed to assess the efficacy of a new treatment of hypertrophic scars. Silicone gel sheeting was applied to 14 hypertrophic scars in 10 adults for 8 weeks. The treated scars and untreated, mirror-image or adjacent control scars were photographed, biopsy specimens were taken, and they were measured elastometrically before and after treatment. Photography and elastometry were repeated 4 weeks after treatment was discontinued. All the scars that had been treated for at least 12 hours a day were improved clinically after 4 weeks. There was further clinical improvement during the second 4 weeks of treatment. Elastometrically, the treated scars were improved significantly at 4, 8, and 12 weeks, compared with both their own treatment value and the control scars (p less than 0.05). Control scars were unchanged elastometrically. Clinical improvement persisted for at least 4 weeks after treatment was discontinued. The silicone gel sheeting was well tolerated, except for occasional transient rashes or superficial maceration--both of which resolved promptly when treatment was withdrawn. There was no histologic evidence of inflammation or foreign body reaction suggesting that silicone had entered the treated tissues. We conclude that this simple method of treating hypertrophic scar is efficacious, even in relatively chronic cases. The mechanism of action of silicone gel, which is apparently not related to compression, remains to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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