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5 Wound Dressings for Pressure Ulcers

5 Wound Dressings for Pressure Ulcers
Sailaxmi Chennuru

Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, pressure injuries, and decubitus ulcers, are wounds that occur when the skin and underlying tissues are damaged due to sitting or lying in one position for a prolonged period. Pressure, friction, and incontinence are primary contributing factors for pressure ulcers and they usually appear on bony areas like the hips, knees, spine, tailbone, shoulder blades, elbows, and back of the head.

Bedsores are most common in those with restricted mobility who cannot switch positions and can affect anyone who stays in a bed, chair, or wheelchair for extended periods.  

Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers

There are conditions and factors that can make pressure ulcers a real concern for some. Those at a higher risk include:

  • Diabetics
  • Undernourished individuals
  • Those with poor blood circulation
  • The elderly

Pressure injuries affect millions of people each year, causing pain, infection, and reduced quality of life. If left untreated, they can lead to life-threatening conditions such as sepsis

Treating these sores involves reducing pressure on the affected area, caring for wounds, controlling pain, preventing infection, and maintaining good nutrition.  

5 Best Wound Dressings For Pressure Ulcers

Wound dressings are widely used to promote healing by helping to debride the wound, reduce bacteria, prevent further trauma, and prevent reoccurrence. 

The most commonly used wound dressings to treat pressure ulcers include:

1. Alginate Dressings

Alginate dressings - made from fibers or seaweed and contain calcium and sodium to speed up healing time. These dressings can absorb 15 to 20 times their weight and are best used on wounds with moderate to heavy exudate. They form a gel-type barrier over the wound and create a moist environment to assist in healing. Alginate dressings are commonly used to treat deep bed sores. 

Medline Maxorb II Alginate Wound Dressing

FSA Approved

Contains 100% calcium alginate for superior absorbency and strength. Alginates absorb drainage from bedsores and form a barrier over the wound, ensuring a moist environment to assist in healing wounds. This latex-free dressing is ideal for moderate to heavily draining wounds, is available in rope and sheet form, and can be worn for up to seven days. 

Why choose Medline Maxorb II Alginate Dressing?

  • 100% alginate dressing
  • Superior fluid handling
  • Wicks fluid vertically to prevent peri-wound skin maceration.
  • Improved gelling capability 
  • High wet strength ensures more comfortable dressing changes with less residue left in the wound.
  • Offers step-by-step information for proper dressing application.
Medline Maxorb II Alginate Wound Dressing



2. Hydrocolloid Dressings

Hydrocolloid dressings contain gel-forming agents that absorb fluid from bedsores and aid healing. The gel also encourages the growth of new skin cells while keeping the surrounding skin dry. Because these dressings create a moisture-proof barrier, they are widely used with incontinent patients to keep moisture away from healing wounds. Hydrocolloids are ideal for difficult-to-dress pressure sores.

Coloplast Triad Hydrophilic Wound Dressing

FSA Approved

Designed to absorb low to moderate levels of exudates while retaining a moist wound environment. This zinc oxide-based hydrophilic paste gently sticks to wound beds and covers the wound without a secondary dressing. Zinc oxide decreases wound area inflammation and bacterial growth and also reduces infection to promote healing. Triad Hydrophilic wound dressings are used to manage poor circulation, pressure ulcers, dermal lesions/injuries, first and second-degree burns, partial and full-thickness wounds, superficial wounds, and scrapes.

Benefits of Coloplast Triad Hydrophilic Wound Dressing

  • Easy to apply directly from the tube to the wound or peri-wound skin.           
  • Adheres to wet skin and irregular surfaces and consistently stays in place, even in incontinence or maceration.
  • Creates a moist wound environment that facilitates healing and autolytic debridement.
  • Ideal alternative for difficult-to-dress wounds and when conventional dressings are not feasible.
  • Protects peri-wound skin.
Coloplast Triad Hydrophilic Wound Dressing



3. Foam Dressings 

Foam dressings are highly absorbent and suitable for exuding bedsores. They provide a warm and moist environment and don’t adhere to the wound for trauma-free dressing changes and optimal wound healing. Foam dressings are mostly used to treat early-stage pressure ulcers.

Medline Optifoam Gentle Silicone Face and Border Dressing

FSA Approved

Wound dressing application and removal are effortless and gentle!  Featuring a specially formulated silicone adhesive that holds the dressing tight yet is easily removed without causing trauma to the wound and the surrounding skin. This dressing can also be lifted up for wound healing progress checks and reapplied easily. 

The super absorbent core absorbs exudate, converts it into the gel, and locks it away, creating the ideal healing environment. This dressing reduces friction and has a waterproof outer layer to protect the wound from getting wet.

Benefits of Medline Optifoam Gentle Silicone Dressing

  • Superabsorbent core absorbs and retains fluid and helps create an ideal healing environment 
  • Silicone adhesive eases the discomfort of dressing changes 
  • The waterproof outer layer protects the wound and keeps bacteria out
  • Helps reduce friction 
  • Minimizes damage to fragile skin
Medline Optifoam Gentle Silicone Face and Border Dressing



4. Hydrofiber Dressings

Hydrofiber dressings are used to treat hard-to-heal pressure ulcers. These dressings incorporate the benefits of both hydrocolloids and alginates to heal wounds by absorbing drainage and turning it into a gel. They absorb up to 30 times their weight and provide less risk of peri-wound skin maceration due to their vertical fluid absorption properties.

ConvaTec Aquacel Extra Hydrofiber Wound Dressing

FSA Approved

Specifically designed for high-exuding wounds with Hydrofiber technology for better absorbency and fluid retention. Hydrofiber is a soft and super-absorbent material that transforms liquid into gel and creates an optimal environment for the healing of pressure ulcers. The resulting gel conforms to the wound bed and helps prevent the entrance of new bacteria. This Hydrofiber dressing is perfect for managing pressure ulcers (stages II-IV).

Benefits of ConvaTec Aquacel Extra Hydrofiber Dressing

  • Removes harmful bacteria and enzymes from the wound bed 
  • Helps protect peri-wound skin from maceration
  • Reduces lateral spread of fluid
  • Maintains an optimal moisture balance in the wound bed
  • Minimizes pain and discomfort during dressing changes
ConvaTec Aquacel Extra Hydrofiber Wound Dressing



5. Antimicrobial Dressings

Antimicrobial dressings contain antimicrobial agents like silver and iodine that reduce wound bacterial colonization and infection to improve the healing process of pressure injuries. Antimicrobial dressings are usually recommended when a pressure sore is infected or if the wound is at risk of developing an infection.

Molnlycke Mepilex Border Ag Antimicrobial Foam Dressing

FSA Approved

Designed to treat a wide range of chronic and acute wounds with moderate to heavy drainage. This soft, conformable foam dressing offers a moist wound healing environment, optimal exudate management, and an antimicrobial barrier to treat wounds showing signs of infection or at high risk of infection. 

Antimicrobial foam dressings are ideal for treating pressure sores, traumatic wounds, partial thickness burns, malignant wounds, secondary healing wounds, etc. 

Features of Molnlycke Mepilex Border Ag Foam Dressing

  • The antimicrobial activity of silver sulfate reduces bioburden and kills 99.9 percent of a wide range of bacteria.
  • Utilizes Safetac technology.
  • Minimizes pain and trauma during dressing changes.
  • Self-adherent requiring no secondary fixation.
Molnlycke Mepilex Border Ag Antimicrobial Foam Dressing



Can be used while showering pressure ulcers are a serious condition and require proper medical attention. Your doctor can advise you on the best wound dressing for your specific wounds. HPFY carries a large collection of wound dressings, including alginates, hydrocolloids, foams, antimicrobial dressings, and more. Visit HPFY to explore more wound care products.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed 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 Sailaxmi Chennuru

Sailaxmi Chennuru

Sailaxmi Chennuru, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2017. A business management graduate, the study of anatomy has always been of interest to her.

After working as a medical transcriptionist for several years, she developed a keen interest ...

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