Plastic Wrap Versus Occlusive Dressings for the Management of Skin Ulcers: Comparison of Two Symmetrical Wounds in Two Individual Patients
To compare the efficacy of plastic wrap (typically used for foods) as a dressing material to treat skin ulcers versus occlusive dressings, each dressing was randomly allocated to simultaneously treat two wounds at symmetrical locations in two individual patients. In case 1, two wounds with full-thickness skin loss on the neck were treated. A wound measuring 6.2 cm2 that was treated with plastic wrap healed in 9 weeks. A hydro cellular polyurethane dressing decreased the size of a wound measuring 9.3 cm2 to 3.8 cm2 in 12 weeks.
The surface area reduction rate was 0.7 cm2/ week with plastic wrap and 0.5 cm2/week with the hydro cellular polyurethane dressing. In case 2, two shallow skin ulcers in both femoral regions resulting from skin grafting were treated. The plastic wrap dressing was randomly allocated to a wound measuring 25.1 cm2 that healed in 18 weeks. The other wound measuring 18.5 cm2 was treated with hydrocolloid dressing and epithelialized completely in 13 weeks. The healing rate of each treatment was approximately equal at 1.4 cm2/week. No adverse events developed in either case. These results are limited because of the case study design but suggest that the plastic wrap dressing treatment is as effective as the occlusive dressing technique in the treatment of chronic wounds.