Healing of untidy traumatic skin defect of the face by secondary intention.

S. F. Jeng*, Y. R. Kuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Untidy facial skin defects manifest extensive soft tissue injury and contamination. Since modern surgical principles emphasize immediate wound closure, most surgeons should learn to convert an untidy wound to a tidy one and to reconstruct defects immediately if possible with the use of grafts and flaps. However, in some situations, healing by secondary intention remains advantageous. The purpose of this study is to reevaluate this traditional approach. METHODS: Twenty patients with untidy facial skin defects were treated conservatively over a 4-year period. The defects ranged from 2 x 2 cm2 to 6 x 4 cm2 in size. The depths of wounds were classified into partial-thickness in 9 patients, full-thickness in 7 patients, and deep defects in 4 patients. Each patient was instructed on wound care, which included daily cleaning with normal saline, followed by application of hydrocolloid occlusive dressing. Prophylactic antibiotics were not used. RESULTS: The mean follow-up period was 17 months. All wounds healed within 3 to 5 weeks. There was no wound infection. One patient developed a hypertrophic scar over the cheek, and received excision of the scar and resurfacing with full-thickness skin graft. Two patients had residual traumatic tattooing which was resolved by laser therapy. Two patients had hypopigmentation/hyperpigmentation problems. Most patients (18/20) were satisfied with both functional and cosmetic results. CONCLUSION: Conservative wound care with hydrocolloid occlusive dressing allows good healing by secondary intention for traumatic facial defects in selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
JournalChang Gung Medical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 04 2000
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Healing of untidy traumatic skin defect of the face by secondary intention.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this