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There is evidence (level 1b) that non-silicone polyurethane gel dressings are significantly more effective in reducing the cosmetic severity of mature hypertrophic scars than silicone gel dressings

Prepared by:

Jill Hackett
Email address: jillhackett@optusnet.com.au)
4th year undergraduate occupational therapy student,
University of Western Sydney


May 2005

Review Date:

May 2007

Clinical Question:

 Do non-silicone gel dressings produce equal improvements in the cosmetic appearance of hypertrophic scars compared to silicone based gel dressings?

Clinical Scenario:

 Hypertrophic and keloid scars can lead to significant functional and psychological impairments, which impact on occupational performance. Numerous articles have been published establishing silicone gel dressings as an effective treatment in reducing both the molecular state and cosmetic appearance of scars. Surprisingly, improvements have occurred not only in newly developed scars but also in mature scars. Nevertheless, the mechanism of action of silicone dressings is still unknown. The silicone is not believed to dissipate through the skin, so theoretically it should be possible for other occlusive dressings to have similar benefits. Are non-silicone gel dressings as effective in reducing the undesirable cosmetic aspects of a scar compared to silicone gel dressings?

Clinical Bottom Line:


 Non-silicone polyurethane dressings are significantly more effective than silicone dressings in reducing the adverse cosmetic effects of mature hypertrophic scars when worn for a period of eight weeks, especially when used in conjunction with compression.


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