EFFICACY OF MICROPOROUS TAPE IN THE PREVENTION OF ABNORMAL POST-SURGICAL SCARS AMONG A BLACK POPULATION
Keywords:Microporous tape, abnormal scars, prevention, black population
AbstractBackground: A scar can be defined as a mark or a blemish resulting from a healed wound. All surgical incisions give rise to scars and approximately 15% have excessive scars. Some scars are thin lines which are almost unnoticeable, whereas others become abnormal when the amount of fibrosis is excessive or suboptimal or when it causes functional disability or aesthetic distress to the patient. The conversion of normal scarring to hypertrophic scarring occurs six to eight weeks after surgery as a result of increasing scar tension. Thus, scar support especially with the use of microporous tape is critical during this period. Objectives were to determine the efficacy of microporous tape in the prevention of abnormal post-surgical scars. Methods: A randomized control study which compared the limb scar outcome between post-surgical patients who underwent scar taping with microporous tape and those who did not. The scars were assessed at six weeks, three months and six months after surgery using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale. The test group had microporous tape applied to their scars over a period of six months and worn twenty-four hours daily. The tapes were changed every fortnight or whenever they fell off. The data was analyzed using SPSS-22. The categorical variables, the relative scar height, the scar width and the OSAS score were compared using the Chi-square test and the independent t-test respectively. Results: At six weeks, 48.8% of non-taped scars and 97.6% of taped scars were normal; at three months 75.6% of non-taped scars and 2.4% of taped scars were abnormal while at 6 months 80.5% of non-taped scars and none of the taped scars were abnormal. Conclusion: Microporous tape is an effective modality for preventing abnormal scarring in post-surgical patients.
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