A randomized study of polymyxin B sulfate-bacitracin zinc-neomycin sulfate versus simple gauze-type dressings in dermabrasion wounds assessed the effects that each treatment had on scarring. Each of three uniform dermabrasion wounds created on the upper backs of 70 subjects was treated concurrently with a triple-antibiotic ointment (polymyxin B-bacitracin-neomycin), a double antibiotic (polymyxin B-bacitracin), or a simple, non-occlusive, gauze-type dressing, twice daily for up to 14 days. Pigmentary changes and textural changes (scarring) appearing after healing at the skin surface test sites were compared to adjacent normal skin at 45 and 90 days post-dermabrasion. These changes were graded visually utilizing fluorescent light, long-wave ultraviolet light, and by clinical color photography. The triple-antibiotic ointment was superior to simple gauze-type dressing alone in minimizing the scarring observed in dermabrasion wounds. The benefit of this new ointment was more pronounced in its effect on pigmentary changes.