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All You Need To Know About Hydrogel Dressings

All You Need To Know About Hydrogel Dressings
Anushree Kothari

Hydrogel dressings are designed to manage fluid exchange on the surface of the wound. They 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 dressings are said to be a perfect source which provides moisture to a dry lesion. Here is a quick guide that will help you know how hydrogel dressing works, what are their types, their features, when should you use them or abstain from using them.

Hydrogel Dressing - Works as a Primary Dressing

Hydrogel dressings usually works as a primary dressing and can also be used to fill in the deeper sections of the wound for faster healing. They needs a secondary dressing to cover them for better securement and prevent them from getting dehydrated, which is often the case when they are not covered properly. Hydrogel dressing are 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 to 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 needs 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 dressings 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 that have 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 dressings should not be used when the wound is in the following conditions:

  • Displays heavy exudate
  • Extremely moist


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HPFY Anushree Kothari

Anushree Kothari

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Anushree Kothari, a family caregiver and a true empath, has been a devoted contributor to Health Products For You since 2016. Her journey as a medical writer for HPFY is a result ...

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