Does taping torso scars following dermatologic surgery improve scar appearance?

  • Rosengren H
  • Askew D
  • Heal C
  • et al.
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BACKGROUND: Studies show that patients are significantly less satisfied with torso scars than scars elsewhere. Though not an uncommon practice, it is unknown if application of adhesive tapes following dermatological surgery help improve cosmesis.<br /><br />OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of taping sutured torso wounds on overall scar appearance, scar width and patient satisfaction with the scar.<br /><br />PATIENTS/METHODS: Participants having elliptical torso skin excisions in a primary care setting in regional Australia were randomized in a single-blinded, controlled trial to 12 weeks taping (intervention) or usual care (control) following deep and subcuticular suturing. A blinded assessor reviewed scars at three and six months.<br /><br />RESULTS: Of 195 participants recruited, 136 (63 taped, 73 controls) completed six months of follow-up. Independent blinded assessment of overall scar appearance was significantly better in taped participants (p= 0.004). Taping reduced median scar width by 1 mm (p=0.02) and when stratified by gender, by 3.0 mm in males (p=0.04) and 1.0 mm in females (p=0.2). High participant scar satisfaction was not further improved by taping.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: Taping elliptical torso wounds for 12 weeks after dermatologic surgery improved scar appearance at six months.




Rosengren, H., Askew, D. A., Heal, C., Buettner, P. G., Humphreys, W. O., & Semmens, L. A. (2013). Does taping torso scars following dermatologic surgery improve scar appearance? Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, 3(2).

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