Wound Dressings

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A wound that just won’t heal? Looking for the right wound dressing? We’ll help you find. Dressings play a key role in the healing of wounds and are vital for wound care. Choosing the right wound care product is important for quick recovery because it comes into direct contact with the wound unlike a bandage. It protects the wound from infection, absorbs exudate and creates the right environment for healing. Manage chronic and difficult-to-heal wounds with different types of medical dressings like silver, collagen, antimicrobial, topical, hydrogel, alginate, mepilex, iodine, gauze, hydrocolloid, hydrocellular and hydrofiber. Also available are silicone and honey dressings as well astopical and composite dressings.

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How to Select a Wound Dressing?

There are multiple choices in wound dressings. Know your wound type because each dressing is designed to tackle specific conditions. Picking the right one, as recommended by your wound care professional, will ensure that recovery is fast.

Wound Dressing By Exudate Type

  • For a wound with heavy exudate, the dressing needed is one that not only absorbs the excess drainage but also keeps the wound moist. Excess moisture does not promote healing but at the same time, some amount is needed to help it. So, the key here is getting the right level of moisture.  

  • For heavy exudate, absorbent dressings are required. These may be used as primary or secondary dressing and are designed to have minimum adherence to the wound bed. They do not allow infection to set in because the bacteria are trapped inside the dressing along with cellular debris and the excess exudate. Absorbent dressings promote healing through natural debridement and new skin growth.  

  • Wounds with moderate-to-heavy exudate can be treated with alginate dressings made with natural alginate fibers from seaweed. They are flat or rope dressings and ideal for pressure ulcers, venous ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, burns, cavity wounds and wounds associated with diabetes. Initially dry, but once placed on a wound these dressings absorb the exudate and become gel-like. Tegaderm alginate dressings and Maxorb alginate dressings are popular buys.  

  • Foam dressings with honey are effective in handling heavy exudate. The foam absorbs the exudate and honey is released to ensure the right level of moisture in the wound bed for fast healing. Hollister, Medline and Covidien are top manufacturers of foam dressings.  

  • Hydrofiber dressings are absorbent, too. They form a gel on absorbing the wound fluid and conform to the wound surface.  

  • Wounds with light drainage can be treated with hydrocolloid dressings. Dry-to-minimally draining ulcers and open surgical wounds need hydrogel dressings.

Dressing By Wound Type

  1. Burns: Dressings for burns will depend on the severity of the wound. A first degree or superficial burn can be treated with Medihoney paste or gel while for second degree burn there are antimicrobial dressings, silver dressings, non-adherent dressings as well as hydrogel dressings. Hydrocolloid dressing can be used for burns which have light-to-moderate exudate. A collagen dressing can also be used for second degree or higher burns. This type stimulates new tissue growth and allows for the healing of necrotic wounds and skin grafts.
  1. Infected Wounds: Infected wounds can be treated with hydrogel dressings. This type is non-adhesive to the wound and has high moisture content thus preventing bacteria and oxygen from reaching the affected area. Transplant sites, surgical wounds and wounds with large surface areas need collagen dressings from reputed manufacturers like Medline and Acelity/Systagenix. Collagen speeds up the recovery period because of new collagen formation at the wound site stimulating new tissue growth.

Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores or pressure ulcers occur because of continuous pressure on the skin. This leads to sores especially in the bony areas of the body like heel, ankle, tailbone and the hips.
  • Stage 1 pressure ulcers are not open wounds. At this stage, transparent film dressings and hydrocolloid dressings will be effective. These are breathable, thin and allow moisture vapor and oxygen exchange.
  • For stage 2 pressure ulcers, hydrocolloid dressing is found effective. Itreacts with the exudate to form a gel-like covering. Hydrogel dressing is also used for stage 2, being non-adhesive and soothing.
  • For stages 3 and 4 pressure ulcers, dressings recommended are hydrogel, hydrophilic and hydrocolloid.
  • Venous leg ulcers are treated with Unna Boot dressings which promote quick healing. Their non-hardening zinc oxide paste formulation eases irritation and keeps the area moist. 
  • Venous ulcers and pressure ulcers in stage III or IV will find relief from alginate dressings too. 
  • Diabetic or neuropathic ulcers with minimal drainage can be treated with medihoney gel, hydrogel or hydrophilic wound dressings. Heavy drainage means calcium alginate or hydrofiber dressings.

Choosing the right type of dressing can keep your wound free from infections and promote quick healing. Browse through our catalog and related articles to help make the right decision.