Wound healing occurs in stages. An acute wound follows the process of hemostasis, inflammation, repair, and remodeling. For a wound to heal, each step must be completed in order for the next step to begin. However, some wounds do not heal in the predicted manner. They remain in the inflammatory stage of wound healing and become chronic. This stagnancy increases the presence of slough on the wound bed. Examples of chronic wounds are – pressure injuries, venous leg ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers.
During the healing process, necrotic tissue, or slough, forms over the chronic wound. It presents as a pale yellow, dead tissue and covers the entire wound bed. A wound develops slough, which means that it is stuck in the inflammatory phase, and healing is delayed.
Removal of slough is an integral part of treating a wound. The presence of wound slough :
The major question that arises here is how to get rid of slough in a wound.
One of the ways to treat slough is to remove the bad tissue by using the body’s enzymes and natural fluids. This is known as autolytic debridement. This is done by applying moisture-retaining coverings such as hydrocolloid dressings, hydrogel dressings, alginate dressings, and transparent films. When moisture accumulates, the dead tissue swells up and separates from the wound. These slough wound dressings need to be changed frequently, more than once per day.
If the wound slough is dry and adherent, look for a dressing that adds moisture. If there is pus on the wound, choose an absorbent dressing. An antimicrobial dressing is used for signs of infection, swelling, purulent drainage, delayed wound healing, or increased pain or odor.
Maintains a moist and optimal environment to support autolytic debridement and is ideal for wounds that produce light to moderate exudate levels. This zinc-oxide-based slough removal cream can be applied easily on hard-to-dress areas. Coloplast Triad is useful for pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, superficial wounds, first- and second-degree burns, and partial and full-thickness wounds. It adheres to wet skin, stays in place even in cases of incontinence and maceration, and is also suitable for neonates.
Anacapa clear hydrogel is the best dressing to remove slough and provides a moist environment to aid wound healing and inhibit the growth of bacteria. This colorless gel reduces bioburden levels and improves the pace of recovery. It has a shelf-life of 24 months and is used for skin tears, abrasions, minor irritations, lacerations, and cuts. It is also used for advanced wounds such as partial to full-thickness wounds, pressure ulcers of all stages, surgical wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, first- and second-degree burns, venous ulcers, grafted wound sites, and intact skin.
A 100% calcium alginate dressing that offers superior absorption of moderate to heavy drainage. It wicks fluid vertically to prevent maceration. Suitable for partial to full-thickness wounds, it is available in rope and sheet form. This dressing for sloughy wounds plays two roles: it keeps the peri-wound skin dry and provides a moist environment for the wound. It comes apart easily and leaves less residual material. This dressing is also used for trauma, pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, first- and second-degree burns, and graft donor sites.
Made with a thin, semi-permeable film that maintains a moist environment for wound healing and autolytic debridement. This hypoallergenic dressing is gentle, conformable, and moves with the skin. It can be used on surgical incisions, abrasions, skin graft sites, partial thickness burns, and stage I and II pressure ulcers. 3M Tegarderm is also great for post-tattoo applications.
A breathable dressing that absorbs blood and exudates with a water-repellent film that protects the wound from contamination. This covering does not need to be removed during X-rays, and its adhesive is made to be comfortable on the skin.
A wound slough not only slows down the process of wound healing, but unless it is removed, the wound will not heal. It starts as a yellow-colored tissue that, over time, may turn dry and brown. This dead tissue attracts bacteria and dramatically increases the risk of infection. If you notice any signs or discomfort on the wound, reach out to your healthcare provider.
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