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Dermatol Surg. 2019 Mar 28. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001952. [Epub ahead of print]

Variability in Wound Care Recommendations Following Dermatologic Procedures.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.
2
Dermatology Service, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn, New York.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dermatologists routinely perform office-based surgical procedures that result in cutaneous wounds. Wound care instructions are an important resource for postoperative patients. As there is no consensus on the ideal wound care regimen after dermatologic procedures, recommendations may vary.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the current recommendations for wound care following dermatologic procedures.

METHODS:

The authors conducted a cross-sectional assessment of dermatology wound care handouts available online. The handouts were evaluated based on predefined parameters: topical agent recommendations for wound healing, caution against topical antibiotic use, and discussion of scarring, infection, bleeding, analgesia, and lifestyle considerations.

RESULTS:

A total of 169 handouts were evaluated. The majority (84%) recommended the application of petrolatum-based products, specifically Vaseline (75%) and Aquaphor (43%). Nearly half (43%) recommended the use of topical antibiotics, whereas 24% advised patients to avoid antibiotic ointments. Handouts variably addressed scarring (36%), infection (72%), bleeding (69%), pain (66%), and lifestyle modifications (64%).

CONCLUSION:

The instructions provided in dermatology patient handouts are highly variable, with various topical agents being recommended for wound healing. Topical antibiotics are not indicated for prophylaxis in clean dermatologic procedures but are still widely used. Greater efforts should be made to ensure that patients receive consistent and evidence-based wound care guidance.

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