To the Editor.—The article by Stillman et al1 regarding the advantages of staples over sutures in contaminated wounds also stated that skin tapes should be the preferred method of skin-wound closure. The authors stated that they were reluctant to use tapes routinely because of "variability in their adhesive properties." I have used the microporous tapes (3M Steristrips) since their introduction approximately 20 years ago, in thousands of cases, and can state with conviction that there is very little, if any, variability in their adhesiveness.
I can find no statement of variability in adhesiveness of microporous tapes in the report by Edlich et al.2 Differences in bacterial growth under cloth-backed tapes have been noted; however, the cloth-backed tapes have never been widely used or accepted.
The variability is in the skill and knowledge of the operator using the tapes. While the technique is not particularly difficult, there are