Evid Based Nurs 10:20 doi:10.1136/ebn.10.1.20
  • Treatment

Paraffin ointment or mupirocin ointment did not differ from no ointment under moist occlusive dressings on non-contaminated surgical wounds for wound infections

 Q Does use of ointment or ointment containing an antibiotic under occlusive dressings reduce wound infections and complications more than no ointment in non-contaminated surgical wounds?



randomised controlled trial.


unclear concealment.


surgeon assessing outcome.

GraphicFollow up period:

at removal of sutures and 6–9 months.


a skin cancer clinic in Belmont, Victoria, Australia.


778 newly referred patients ⩾18 years of age (mean age 59 y, 54% men) who had skin lesions that required incisional or excisional surgery and would result in wounds closed with interrupted polyamide sutures. A total of 1801 wounds were included (median 1 wound/patient, range 1–15 wounds). Exclusion criteria were skin contamination or infection before surgery, surgical site not amenable to moist occlusive dressings (eg, eyelid), known allergy to occlusive dressings or ointment preparations, or partial thickness skin graft donor sites.


269 patients (729 wounds) were allocated to paraffin ointment (Lacri-Lube®, Allergan, Irvine, California); 262 patients (562 wounds) were allocated to mupirocin ointment, 20 mg/g (Bactroban®, GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford, UK); and …

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