The application of silicone gel for the treatment of hypertrophic scars and burn wounds, and consideration of the "ideal" burn dressing
This thesis describes the author's investigations into the design of a burn dressing; the use and mode of action of silicone gel when applied to hypertrophic scars, and its use as a burn dressing. This research was carried out at the Bioengineering Unit, Strathclyde University in conjunction with the Burns Units at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, and the Dow Corning Corporation. The Introduction provides a background to the history of burn dressings and hypertrophic scarrinfg The need to define the "ideal" burn dressing is emphasised, and the thesis objectives are stated. Chapters 2 and 4 provide a background to the study by describing the anatomy and physiology of skin, wound healing, burns, hypertrophic scarring and burn dressings. The limitations of presently available burn dressings is reviewed in Chapter 5. Quantitative, critical criteria, useful for defining the "ideal" burn dressing, are presented in the same chapter. Chapter 6 is a literature review on the chemistry and medical applications of silicones. The treatment of hypertrophic scars with silicone gel is discussed in Chapter 7. The mode of action of the material has been examined and a possible explanation is presented. Chapter 8 explores the possibility of using silicone gel as a burn dressing by examining its relevant properties and the application to burn wounds. The results of the investigation are discussed in Chapter 9. Silicone gel has been found to be a very effective treatment for hypertrophic scars. However, more research is required to fully discover its potential as a burn dressing, and to completely define the "ideal" burn dressing quantitatively.