BACKGROUND Various biologic dressings have been developed in an effort to find the ideal skin substitute for use in acute and chronic wounds. There are many potential uses for such dressings, but no panaceas exist. Because millions of health care dollars are spent each year on wound care, and a great deal of patient morbidity occurs from these wounds, the search for new and better dressings is likely to continue. OBJECTIVE To review the current evidence regarding the utility, outcomes, and adverse effects of the available biologic dressings, with a particular focus on use in acute surgical wounds and applicability to dermatologic surgery. MATERIALS AND METHODS PubMed literature search and review of data on biologic dressings with particular attention to the past 2 decades. Emphasis was placed on peer-reviewed manuscripts and larger series. CONCLUSIONS There is extensive literature regarding the use of biologic dressings in chronic wounds, such as venous leg ulcers and burns, but studies evaluating these dressings in acute surgical wounds and dermatologic surgery have been limited. There appear to be specific surgical settings in which such dressings may be of particular use, in addition to limitations of their use. Additional studies, particularly randomized and comparative trials, would be highly desirable. The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.
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