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Thirty chronic leg ulcers have been studied under controlled conditions until complete healing occurred. Measurement was performed weekly using a computer-linked stereocamera which is capable of measuring skin defects noninvasively with errors of less than 2%. There was a significant difference in healing rate for the first two weeks between clean ulcers entering the trial directly and ulcers admitted first for cleansing before joining the trial. The difference suggests that the weekly healing rate of an ulcer may take up to 2 weeks to respond to a new form of treatment. Absolute ulcer size, change in ulcer size and rate of epithelial migration did not correlate well with time to complete healing, but percentage change in area in the third week was found to be the parameter which gave the earliest close correlation with time to complete healing. Using this parameter, on the data available it was found that time to complete healing could be predicted to within one week for 50% of the ulcers, making this a simple and useful early predictor of treatment efficiency.