The effect of moisturizers or creams on scar progress: A systematic review protocol

Tanja Klotz1, Zachary Munn2, John Greenwood3

1 Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Tce, Adelaide, SA, 5000,
2 Joanna Briggs Institute, University of Adelaide, 115 Grenfell St, Adelaide, SA, 5000,
3 Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Tce, Adelaide, SA, 5000,

The objective of this review is to identify the effect of moisturizers or creams on scar progress.

A characteristic of scars is that they have a higher rate of ‘trans-epidermal water loss’ in relation to normal skin,1, 2 particularly those that have healed by secondary intention.1 Therefore, clinicians believe hydrating the scar with the use of moisturizers is beneficial.

The aim of this systematic review is to find evidence on any moisturizers and their effects on any scars from any injury. We hope to potentially draw out useful information for clinicians and provide advice on the properties of the moisturizers they should be looking for, effects of a moisturizer on scars, and/or specific ingredients that a moisturizer should have in order to have a positive effect on scars.

The databases to be searched include: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, web of science. The keywords listed below will be used for the search.

Papers selected for retrieval will be assessed by two independent reviewers for methodological validity prior to inclusion in the review using standardised critical appraisal instruments from the Joanna Briggs Institute System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (JBI-SUMARI). Data will be extracted from papers included in the review using the standardized data extraction tool from JBI-SUMARI.

At the time of presentation there will be some preliminary results to report upon.

Key Words

Cicatrix, hypertrophic, Scar, Keloid, Emollient, Moisturizer, Skin cream, cream, Lubricant, Ointment, Salve, Unguent, Dermatologic agent, Antipruritic agent, Lotion.


1          Anthonissen M, Daly D, Fieuws S et al. Measurement of elasticity and transepidermal water loss rate of burn scars with the Dermalab((R)). Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries. 2013;39(3):420-8.

2          Suetak T, Sasai S, Zhen YX, Tagami H. Effects of silicone gel sheet on the stratum corneum hydration. British journal of plastic surgery. 2000;53(6):503-7.


I have worked in burns since January 2003. In that time I have been involved with the ANZBA Allied Health group and have presented a number of times at ANZBA conferences and at ISBI 2 years ago. I have over the last few years been complementing my practice in burns by working the other half of the week in hand therapy at Royal Adelaide Hospital. Currently though I am expanding my knowledge by undertaking a Masters in Clinical Science with Uni of Adelaide & JBI.

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