The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between maceration and wound healing. A prospective longitudinal design was used in this study. The wound condition determined the type of dressings used and the dressing change frequency. A total of 62 participants with diabetic foot ulcers (70 wounds) were divided into two groups: non-macerated (n = 52) and macerated wounds (n = 18). Each group was evaluated weekly using the Bates–Jensen Wound Assessment Tool, with follow-ups until week 4. The Mann–Whitney U test showed that the changes in the wound area in week 1 were faster in the non-macerated group than the macerated group (P = 0·02). The Pearson correlation analysis showed a moderate correlation between maceration and wound healing from enrolment until week 4 (P = 0·002). After week 4, the Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that the non-macerated wounds healed significantly faster than the macerated wounds (log-rank test = 19·378, P = 0·000). The Cox regression analysis confirmed that maceration was a significant and independent predictor of wound healing in this study (adjusted hazard ratio, 0·324; 95% CI, 0·131–0·799; P = 0·014). The results of this study demonstrated that there is a relationship between maceration and wound healing. Changes in the wound area can help predict the healing of wounds with maceration in clinical settings.
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