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Allowing wounds to be uncovered and wet in the first 48 hours after minor skin excision did not differ from standard dry management for wound infections

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Q Does allowing wounds to be uncovered and wet in the first 48 hours after minor skin excision differ from standard management of keeping wounds dry in terms of wound infection?


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:

not concealed.

Embedded ImageBlinding:


Embedded ImageFollow up period:

to removal of sutures.

Embedded ImageSetting:

4 general practices in North Queensland, Australia.

Embedded ImagePatients:

870 patients (mean age 56 y, 53% men) who presented for minor skin excision. Exclusion criteria were facial skin excisions; sebaceous cyst excisions; flap or 2 layer procedures; lacerations; current use of oral antibiotics or immunosuppressive drugs; or clinical indication for immediate postoperative oral or topical antibiotics.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

all excisions were managed using a standardised protocol: skin preparation with normal saline; sterile technique including sterile gloves; recording of type and …

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  • For correspondence: C Heal, James Cook University, Mackay, Queensland, Australia. clarshel{at}

  • Source of funding: Primary Health Care Research and Development Fund.