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J R Soc Med. 1980 May; 73(5): 348–354.
PMCID: PMC1437489

Pressure therapy for hypertrophic scarrings: preliminary communication1


A six-point programme for the prevention and pressure therapy of hypertrophic scarring started in 1975 at Odstock Hospital. The work reported here includes a pressure calibration of batches of the material chosen for pressure bandaging; a pressure study of the bandages on volunteers' limbs; and the formation of a pressure therapy clinic. The clinic results were similar to those reported by Thomson (1974) and were considered sufficiently favourable to justify continuing the clinic and instituting a policy of close review and early therapy for all burns patients. The programme proved the accuracy of the pressure sensor and attempted to develop an objective method of recording progress. Arguments for pressure versus occlusion as the therapeutic agent are discussed and supported by a case report. It is suggested that a controlled trial of pressure therapy should be carried out.

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Selected References

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  • Baur PS, Larson DL, Stacey TR, Barratt GF, Dobrkovsky M. Ultrastructural analysis of pressure-treated human hypertrophic scars. J Trauma. 1976 Dec;16(12):958–967. [PubMed]
  • Brent B. The role of pressure therapy in management of earlobe keloids: preliminary report of a controlled study. Ann Plast Surg. 1978 Nov;1(6):579–581. [PubMed]
  • CRASSWELLER PO, FARMER AW, FRANKS WR, MCCOMB CR. Studies in the pressure of closed burn dressings. Plast Reconstr Surg (1946) 1952 Dec;10(6):408–430. [PubMed]
  • Husni EA, Ximenes JO, Hamilton FG. Pressure bandaging of the lower extremity. JAMA. 1968 Dec 16;206(12):2715–2718. [PubMed]
  • Isherwood PA, Robertson JC, Rossi A. Pressure measurements beneath below-knee amputation stump bandages: elastic bandaging, the Puddifoot dressing and a pneumatic bandaging technique compared. Br J Surg. 1975 Dec;62(12):982–986. [PubMed]
  • Isherwood PA, Rossi A, Druett JE, Robertson JC. Letter: Skin contact pressures. Br Med J. 1976 May 15;1(6019):1212–1212. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Johnson HD. Mechanics of elastic bandaging. Br Med J. 1972 Sep 23;3(5829):767–768. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kemble JV. Scanning electronmicroscopy of hypertrophic and keloid scar. Postgrad Med J. 1976 Apr;52(606):219–221. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Larson DL, Abston S, Willis B, Linares H, Dobrkovsky M, Evans EB, Lewis SR. Contracture and scar formation in the burn patient. Clin Plast Surg. 1974 Oct;1(4):653–656. [PubMed]
  • LEHMANN AL, HAY LJ. A controlled pressure plastic dressing for skin grafting, burns, and thrombophlebitis. Surgery. 1954 Mar;35(3):401–404. [PubMed]
  • MULLER EA, VETTER K. Der Einfluss von Druckbelastung auf die Hautdurchblutung. Arbeitsphysiologie. 1954;15(4):295–304. [PubMed]
  • Pigott RW. Some characteristics of dressings commonly used in hand surgery. Br J Plast Surg. 1967 Jan;20(1):45–56. [PubMed]
  • SOSKIN RM, STATE D. The measurement of pressure under surgical dressings. West J Surg Obstet Gynecol. 1959 Nov-Dec;67:323–326. [PubMed]
  • Spiro M, Roberts VC, Richards JB. Effect of externally applied pressure on femoral vein blood flow. Br Med J. 1970 Mar 21;1(5698):719–723. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tanigawa MC, O'Donnell OK, Graham PL. The burned hand: a physical therapy protocol. Phys Ther. 1974 Sep;54(9):953–958. [PubMed]
  • Thomson WG. Treatment of Hypertrophic scarring by compression and occlusion. Proc R Soc Med. 1974 Apr;67(4):256–257. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • WOLFE JJ, NOLAND JL, CAVANAH HS. The effect of hydrostatic pressure on the burn injury in rabbits. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1962 Nov;115:621–625. [PubMed]

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