New Data Indicates SilverSeal Hydrogel Dressing Successful in Treating Postsurgical Scars

Dermatology Times, Dermatology Times, November 2022 (Vol. 43. No. 11), Volume 43, Issue 11

NEXGEL’s dressing demonstrates significant scar improvement as early as 6 weeks after surgery.

New data showed silver hydrogel dressings (SilverSeal Hydrogel Dressing; NEXGEL, Inc.) demonstrated significant improvement in patients with scars and burns.1 The study aimed to evaluate the effects of a silver hydrogel dressing on postoperative scarring and complications. NEXGEL, a provider of high-water content hydrogel products for healthcare, announced the results in SAGE Journals’ Scars, Burns and Healing publication.

Scars form after ankle and foot surgeries and can cause several serious concerns for the patient and surgeon. Linear incisions are the most common type used in surgery and can cause scars that impede healing.Patients often worry about the cosmetic appearance of scars; surgeons say the improperlyhealed scars can impact range of motion, gait, and delay the patient’s return to activities.

A total of 40 foot and ankle patients, aged 32 to 66, were included in the double-blind, randomized study with 20 patients in each group. The treatment patients received a silver hydrogel dressing (SHD), and the control group was given a standard petroleum-based dressing. Researchers evaluated scarring and complications, and conducted follow-ups at two, six and 12 weeks post-surgery using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS), which measures a scar’s quality from both the physician (vascularity, pigmentation, thickness, relief, and surface area) and patient perspective(pain, itchiness, color, stiffness, thickness, irregularity). 

Results:

  • The results reveal the treatment group fared significantly betterin the POSAS observer score and observer opinion at six and 12 weeks(p<0.001).
  • At the 12-week mark,patients in the treatment group reported a lower pain level than the control group (p<.001).
  • Patients in both groups reported a decline in itching at the surgical site over time, with a significant decrease in itching by the treatmentgroup, compared to the control group at si and 12 weeks(p≤0.002)
  • None of the patients in either group reported post-operative complications.

In previous studies, the SHD was found to be ~99% effective in reducing streptococcus pneumoniae, compared to ~13% efficacy of the reference gauze and ~99% effective in reducing staphylococcus epidermidis, compared to ~17% efficacy of the reference gauze.2 Silver-impregnated dressings, like the one used in this study have been found to reduce the bioburden of a wound through its bactericidal activity.

Researchers involved in the study did cite limitations, such as the small patient population (n=40) and lacked long-term follow up. They say they did not assess patient adherence to their assigned protocol; therefore, they did not know if the patients applied the dressing daily as instructed. Despite the limitations, they believe the current results demonstrate that the use of the SHD dressing following foot or ankle surgery to be beneficial to scar remodeling compared to the standard control.

References:

1. Miner S A, Lee J, Protzman N M and Brigido S A. The effect of a silver hydrogel sheet dressing on postsurgical incision healing after foot and ankle surgery. Scars, Burns & Healing, Volume 8, 2022. doi:10.1177/20595131221122303

2. Nexgel. NEXGEL announces positive results from its antimicrobial study of its SilverSeal® product line. NEXGEL Announces Positive Results From its Antimicrobial Study of its SilverSeal® Product Line. Published October 6, 2021. Accessed October 5, 2022.https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nexgel-announces-positive-results-from-its-antimicrobial-study-of-its-silverseal-product-line-301393749.html.