Objective: To compare standard management of keeping wounds dry and covered with allowing wounds to be uncovered and wet in the first 48 hours after minor skin excision.
Design: Prospective, randomised controlled, multicentre trial testing for equivalence of infection rates.
Setting: Primary care in regional centre, Queensland, Australia.
Participants: 857 patients randomised to either keep their wound dry and covered (n = 442) or remove the dressing and wet the wound (n = 415).
Results: The incidence of infection in the intervention group (8.4%) was not inferior to the incidence in the control group (8.9%) (P < 0.05). The one sided 95% confidence interval for the difference of infection rates was infinity to 0.028.
Conclusion: These results indicate that wounds can be uncovered and allowed to get wet in the first 48 hours after minor skin excision without increasing the incidence of infection.