Randomized comparison of dry dressings versus hydrogel in management of radiation-induced moist desquamation

Maureen S. Macmillan, Mary Wells, Sheila MacBride, Gillian M. Raab, Alastair Munro, Hugh MacDougall

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    61 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: We present the results of a randomized controlled clinical trial that evaluated the effect of a hydrogel or dry dressing on the time to healing of moist desquamation after radiotherapy to the head-and-neck, breast, or anorectal areas. Methods and Materials: A total of 357 patients were randomized before radiotherapy to receive simple dry dressings (Tricotex) or a hydrogel (Intrasite), with Tricotex as a secondary dressing. Patients were instructed to use their dressings from the onset of moist desquamation, if it occurred. Results: Of the 357 patients, 100 (28%) developed moist desquamation. The time to healing was significantly prolonged (hazard ratio, 0.64; 95% confidence interval, 0.42–0.99), in patients assigned to gel dressings. No evidence was found that gel dressings had a significant impact on subjectively reported skin symptoms. Conclusion: The results of this study have not supported the routine use of hydrogels in the care of patients with moist desquamation and suggests that the healing times are prolonged, without any improvement in patient comfort.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)864-872
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology - Biology - Physics (IJROBP)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


    • Radiotherapy
    • Skin care
    • Acute toxicity
    • Moist desquamation
    • Wound healing


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