Steel Wool-Aided Dermabrasion of Deep Partial-Thickness Burns

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Abstract

Early tangential excision of the burn wound is essential for removal of necrotic tissue and promotion of burn wound healing process. However, the depth of the burn wound is not easily assessed during the tangential excision performed by hand-held dermatomes, and it may be possible to excise unburned vital dermis unnecessarily, which aids in primary epithelization of the burn wound by adnexal structures. We herein present early clinical results of steel wool-aided dermabrasion in patients with deep partial-thickness burns. This is a retrospective case study of 23 consecutive hospitalized patients with deep partial-thickness burns. All of the steel wool-aided dermabrasions were performed under general anesthesia within 48 hours after injury. Patients were excluded from the study if the admission was not within 24 hours after injury, and if the burn wound was entirely superficial partial- or full-thickness. Thirteen male and 10 female patients with a mean age of 26.2 ± 17.1 years were enrolled in the study. During the follow-up period, all of the patients had burn wounds primary epithelized on postburn day 15.1 ± 1.8, without any complications. None of the patients exhibited a mortal course, and redebridement or skin grafting of the previously dermabraded deep partial-thickness burn wounds were not required in any of the patients. Steel wool-aided dermabrasion is an easy, cost-effective, and reliable technique for the treatment of deep partial-thickness burns, which provides complete removal of necrotic tissue, preserves the vital dermis, reduces the requirement for skin grafting, and decreases length of hospital stay.

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