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Effect of Postoperative Dressing on Excisions Performed on the Leg: A Comparison Between Zinc Oxide Compression Dressings Versus Standard Wound Care

Thompson, Carol B. MD*; Wiemken, Timothy L. PhD; Brown, Timothy S. MD

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001209
Original Articles

BACKGROUND: Wound healing on the legs may be complicated by delayed healing and other postoperative problems. Two potential postoperative wound care regimens for sutured excisions on the legs include a standard pressure dressing and zinc oxide compression dressings. Limited data exist comparing the efficacy of these 2 options.

OBJECTIVE: To compare outcomes of standard postoperative wound care dressing versus postoperative use of a zinc oxide compression dressings for sutured repairs on the legs.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, healing time and complication rate of 44 patients treated with standard dressing and 36 patients treated with zinc oxide compression dressings were compared.

RESULTS: At 19 days, 91.7% of patients receiving zinc oxide dressing were fully healed, whereas only 65.9% of patients receiving standard wound care were healed. Complications were noted in 6 of the patients receiving standard dressing (13.6%); no complications occurred in the zinc oxide dressing group.

CONCLUSION: Zinc oxide compression dressings were a practical option for postoperative wound care, with decreased incidence of delayed wound healing, and fewer complications versus standard postoperative wound dressing.

*Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky;

Computational Epidemiology Unit, Division of Infectious Diseases, Global Health Research Organization, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky;

Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology Fellowship, Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Carol B. Thompson, MD, Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville, 3810 Springhurst Boulevard, Suite 200, Louisville, KY 40241 or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2017 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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