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​All You Need To Know About Transparent Dressings

​All You Need To Know About Transparent Dressings
Anushree Kothari

Article Reviewed by Registered Colorectal NurseReviewed by Christine Kijek, Registered Colorectal Nurse, on October 1, 2022

Transparent films or dressigns are made up of a thin transparent sheet that allows for easy inspection of the wound bed. It allows you to check the healing progress and the amount of wound drainage. These dressings protect the skin at pressure spots and keep the affected area moist for faster healing. Its flexibility allows it to conform to the wounds that are in hard-to-cover locations of the body. These come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes to cover different types of wounds.

Transparent Dressing - Works as a Primary or Secondary Dressing

Transparent dressings work as a primary dressing and help in covering second-stage wounds, partial-thickness wounds, or wounds with little or no drainage. No secondary dressing is required to cover this dressing. These wound dressings can also be used as a secondary dressing over a gauze dressing to secure it in place. This type of dressing should not be used on wounds that require daily or frequent dressing changes.

Types of Transparent Wound Dressings

To meet the requirements of different types of wounds, transparent film dressings are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Based on the shape of the wound, a rectangle dressing might be needed instead of a square one, or you might need something that is round or slightly curved. A dressing with fenestration for the needle works best if you want to affix IVs or tubing to the skin. Some transparent films have an area to write the time and date to keep track of when the dressing was last changed.

​Transparent Dressing
​Transparent Dressing
​Transparent Dressing

Among the varieties available, the size of the dressing should be chosen in such a way that there are one to two inches between the adhesive border and the wound.

What are its Features?

  • Provides a moist wound environment conducive to healing
  • Protects the wound bed from bacterial invasion and mechanical trauma
  • Promotes autolytic debridement
  • Transparency makes it easy to inspect the wound surface
  • Allows one-way transmission of excess moisture vapor and carbon dioxide away from the wound
  • Impermeable to bacteria and other contaminants
  • No secondary dressing required
  • Acts as a second skin
  • Reduces friction
  • Waterproof
  • Conformable

​Transparent film dressing is used for which type of wound?

​Transparent dressings are indicated for the following:

  • Partial-thickness wounds with minimal or no drainage
  • Protection of bony prominences
  • Protection of intact skin
  • Debridement of eschar
  • To secure another dressing
  • To secure I.V. catheters and tubing


Do not use transparent film dressings for wounds on patients who have:

  • Moderate to heavy exudate
  • Suspected or active infection
  • Third-degree burns
  • Active herpetic lesions
  • Fungal infection

How to apply transparent film dressing?

  1. Use a normal saline solution to clean the wound.
  2. Pat the skin dry around the wound using a gauze pad.
  3. Remove the liner from the transparent dressing for wounds and expose the adhesive surface.
  4. Locate the wound through the transparent film and hold the dressing over its center.
  5. The dressing should be large enough to leave at least a border of 1 inch around the wound.
  6. Gently apply the dressing over the wound surface without stretching it.
  7. Smooth the dressing from center to outwards.
  8. To remove the dressing, lift it from the edges towards the center slowly and carefully to prevent the stripping of epidermal tissues.

How to remove transparent film dressing

  • Wash and dry your hands before touching the dressing.
  • Start by locating one end of the dressing that can naturally come off. Use clean scissors to cut an edge if you can't find an easy corner. 
  • Slowly and gently pull the dressing back from the corner at a 180-degree angle to the skin. 
  • Pull it back over itself toward hair growth, if need be.
  • While removing the dressing, stop pulling if it's still stuck to the skin. It can hurt the wound skin.
  • Hold down the skin near the dressing end to reduce discomfort, and then try slowly pulling it off. 
  • Dispose of the dressing properly.
  • Look for any signs of irritation. If you notice any problems, consult with your doctor. 


Frequency of Transparent Dressing Changes

The transparent dressing should be changed within 3 to 5 days. It can even be left on the wound for up to 7 days. If the dressing becomes loose, if there is leakage or you notice some skin irritation or redness, remove the dressing and reassess whether its use should be continued or not.

Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Anushree Kothari

Anushree Kothari

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Anushree Kothari, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016. She has a deep interest in human physiology and wellness and possess a passion and talent for guiding others through ...

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