Composite Dressings

Composite dressings are multi-layered and combine physically distinct components into one single dressing to treat varying problems. They can be used as primary dressings - over sutures, skin tears, etc. - or as secondary dressings - with impregnated gauzes or wound fillers. Easy to apply and remove, composite dressings are designed for low-to-moderate exudates. They are conformable and flexible enough to be used with most types of wounds. This cost effective dressing stretches with the skin to promote extended wear time.

How do composite dressings work

Each layer of the composite dressing has a distinct characteristic. When all layers are combined into one, they offer multiple functions in one dressing. Different layers provide varying functions such as absorption and adhesion. They act as a bacterial barrier and keep out other contaminants as well as maintain a moist environment around the wound to promote healing.

Features of composite dressings

Generally, composite dressings have three layers. The top layer is breathable and has anti-bacterial qualities. The middle layer is usually composed of an absorbent material which wicks moisture off the wound bed. It enables autolytic debridement and prevents skin maceration. Composite dressings keep the wound bed moist for optimal healing. The bottom layer is usually semi-adherent or non-adherent and does not allow the dressing to stick to the wound bed. It allows moisture to leak through to the next layer.

Composite dressings are waterproof, moldable and conformable. They are water vapor permeable and can be used on infected wounds.

Wound types best suited for composite dressing include:

  • Surgical/post-operative wounds
  • Partial/full thickness wounds
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Laceration/abrasions
  • Acute/traumatic wounds
  • Superficial burn/first degree burn
  • Venous ulcers/foot/leg ulcers
  • Partial thickness burn/second degree burn
  • IV or Pin Site
  • Donor sites
  • Superficial or low exudate wounds

When not to use composite dressings

Some composite dressings are contraindicated for use on stage IV pressure ulcers. Not all composite dressings can be used on lightly exuding wounds because some of them may dry out the wound bed. Not recommended for use on fragile skin if adhesives used.

Types of composite dressings

Composite dressings are available as semi-adherent and non-adherent pad. The collection may include adhesive border of non-woven fabric tape of transparent film. These dressings can be used with topical medications.

Stratasorb composite island dressings have four layers which cover all stages of wound care. They are suitable for shallow and deep wounds, pressure injuries, partial- and full-thickness wounds and incision sites.

The Smith & Nephew Covrsite Plus composite dressing is waterproof and manages acute or chronic wounds. It protects the wound from contamination by urines and feces.


Choose from a range of composite dressings for the treatment of wounds including absorbent composite dressing, composite non-adherent dressing, adherent composite dressing, film composite dressing, island composite dressing and more. There are several quality brands to buy from such as TenderWet, COVRSITE, Alldress, Allevyn, Covaderm, Leukomed, OPSITE, etc.

 Filter
Page 1 of 2 (25 total)