New Zealand has the highest rate of skin cancers in the world which leads to a large number of skin excisions. About 30-40% of the population carry a bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus. Carriage of this bacterium has been shown to increase the risk of surgical wound infections by up to eight times. Earlier studies have assessed the effectiveness of a topical antibiotic, mupirocin to eradicate carriage of Staphylococcus aureus. Unfortunately, this method has been complicated by bacterial resistance and allergic skin reactions. In this study, we want to see whether applying white petrolatum (Vaseline) is effective for eradicating nasal carriage of staphylococcus aureus and reducing wound infections in dermatologic surgery. If proven to be effective, this simple method may be a safe and economic method to reduce the incidence of wound infections in dermatologic surgery.
Any queries regarding this study please contact Research Co-Ordinator Wendy Thomas at
This most recent research project being undertaken by the Skin Centre doctors can be found by clicking the link below: