Background. Topical silicone gel sheeting has been used for more than 20 years to help reduce the size of hypertrophic scars and keloids. Its clinical efficacy and safety is well established.
Objective. To determine whether topical silicone gel sheeting can be used to prevent hypertrophic scars and keloids from forming following dermatologic skin surgery.
Methods. Patients undergoing skin surgery were stratified into two groups: those with no history of abnormal scarring (low-risk group) and those with a history of abnormal scarring (high-risk group). Following the procedure, patients within each group were randomized to receive either routine postoperative care or topical silicone gel sheeting (48 hours after surgery). Patients were followed for 6 months.
Results. In the low-risk group, there were no statistical differences between individuals using routine postoperative care or using topical silicone gel sheets. In the high-risk group, there was a statistical difference (39% versus 71%) between patients who did not develop abnormal scars and used topical silicone gel sheeting and patients who developed abnormal scars after routine postoperative treatment. Those individuals having a scar revision procedure also showed a statistical difference if topical silicone gel sheeting was used following surgery.
Conclusion. Topical silicone gel sheeting, with a 20-year history of satisfaction in dermatology, now appears to be useful in the prevention of hypertrophic scars and keloids in patients undergoing scar revision.