All You Need To Know About Hydrogel Dressings

Hydrogel dressing is designed to manage fluid exchange on the surface of the wound. It consists of 90% water suspended in a gel base. The water content in the wound gel dressing provides moisture to the wound and helps in faster wound healing. The tissues of the wound debride, granulate and then heal completely. Hydrogel wound dressing is said to be a perfect source that provides moisture to a dry lesion. Here is a quick guide that will help you know about how the hydrogel dressing works, what are its types, its features, when you should use it and when to abstain from using it.

Hydrogel Dressing - Works as a Primary Dressing

Hydrogel dressing usually works as a primary dressing and can also be used to fill in the deeper sections of the wound for faster healing. It needs a secondary dressing to cover it for better securement and prevent it from getting dehydrated, which is often the case when it is not covered properly. Hydrogel dressing is made up of hydrophilic polymers arranged in the three-dimensional networks. The polymers act as absorbents and help in absorbing wound exudate effectively. This wound gel dressing provides moisture to the wound and helps in creating a moist healing environment that cools down the wound and provides pain relief for up to six hours. It protects the wound from infections and promotes efficient healing. It is often painless to remove the hydrogel dressing because its high water content does not let it adhere to the wound surface.

Types of Hydrogel Dressings

Hydrogel dressings are usually available in three different forms described below:

  • Amorphous Hydrogel: It is a free-flowing gel that comes in tubes, bottles and packets. Amorphous gel is viscous and can easily fill up the deep and uneven wounds. It needs to be covered with a secondary dressing to hold the gel in place and promote faster healing.

    Hydrogel Dressings

  • Impregnated Hydrogel: It comprises of a gauze pad, gauze strip or sponge rope impregnated with the gel compound. Hydrogel impregnated gauze is required to be covered by a secondary dressing to provide protection to the entire wound surface. It can be simply put over the wound surface or packed into a deep wound as per the user requirements.

    Hydrogel Dressings

  • Sheet Hydrogel: It is made by adding gel compound to a thin fiber mesh. The suspended hydrogel overlaps the wound and helps it in healing faster. Sheet hydrogel dressing comes in a variety of sizes and can also be cut to fit the unique shape of the wound.

    Hydrogel Dressings

Features of Hydrogel Wound Dressing

The unique features of hydrogel wound dressing are stated below:

  • Good moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR)
  • Non-adherent property allows for pain-free removal
  • Hydrates the wound bed by adding moisture to it
  • Can be used in combination with topical medications
  • Provides a soothing effect
  • Facilitates autolysis
  • No tissue trauma
  • Needs a secondary dressing
  • Suitable for infected wounds
  • Reduces pain

When is Hydrogel Dressing Used?

You can use hydrogel dressings to treat the following types of wounds:

  • Dry or dehydrated wounds
  • Partial or full-thickness wounds
  • Partial or full-thickness lesions
  • Wounds with dry and minimal exudate
  • Wounds having granulated tissue development
  • Stage III and IV pressure ulcers
  • Abrasions or severe scrapes
  • Tissue damaged by radiation
  • Painful wounds
  • Minor burns

Contraindications of Hydrogel Wound Dressing

It is important to remember that hydrogel wound dressing should not be used when the wound is in the following conditions:

  • Displays heavy exudate
  • Extremely moist