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In a randomized trial of wound closure in 512 abdominal wounds, wounds were closed with either reinforced Steristrip skin closures or interrupted silk sutures. Comparisons were made of wound pain and discomfort, wound infection, discharge, redness, width, and skin reaction. The causes of peeling of the tapes were assessed. The results showed that tapes were significantly more comfortable and that patients preferred them to sutures (P less than 0.01), but wide scars occurred more often. There was no difference in rates of wound infection and no case of allergy to the tapes was seen. Closure of abdominal wounds by these tapes is a satisfactory procedure that could be used more extensively.