Silicone Dressings

Silicone dressings are dressings coated with soft silicone as an adhesive or a wound contact layer. These are designed to absorb exudate and maintain a moist wound bed to facilitate fast healing. The soft consistency of silicone allows for atraumatic removal of the dressing and ensures low risk of maceration. Soft silicone dressings leave the healing wound surface intact without damaging the newly-formed granulating tissue or epithelial cells.

How do silicone dressings work

Silicone dressings are soft and tacky and therefore conform well to the surface of dry skin without adhering to the moist wound bed. They create several points of adherent skin contact and form a seal around the wound. These dressings do not lose adhesion and so can be reapplied multiple times.

Silicone wound dressings are atraumatic because of the hydrophobic property of the silicone which prevents adherence to moist wound surfaces. They do not impact the wound bed on removal and also do not leave residue behind.


Features of silicone dressings

Silicone dressings for wounds:

  • Are safe, easy to apply and remove
  • Have low thermal conductivity
  • Are chemically inert with little effect upon cells responsible for healing
  • Have low toxicity
  • Are waterproof
  • Are anti-microbial
  • Have high gas permeability
  • Are adhesive to dry skin
  • Can be used under compression bandages
  • Can be cut as per size requirement


Different types of silicone dressings


Silicone dressings are available as primary wound contact layer, silicone foam with adhesive and non-adhesive border silicone sheets with no absorbent dressings attached and semi-transparent films with silicone as the interface.

Silicone foam dressings with adhesives are absorbent with a thin adhesive silicone layer that wicks fluid vertically. It minimizes contact of exudate with the peri-wound skin. These are highly breathable dressings with a hydrophilic foam bacterial barrier. They are effective on low-to-high exudate wounds, leg ulcers, pressure sores, skin tears and minor burns.

Primary wound contact layers are soft, comfortable and effective on superficial wounds. They are made of a non-absorbent polyamide net and allow exudate to pass through into a secondary, absorbent dressing. They do not adhere to a moist wound. Silicone dressings for skin tears are common. They also treat abrasions, surgical wounds, second degree burns, lacerations, leg ulcers and pressure sores.

Silicone absorbent dressings have a high exudate absorption capacity with breathable fluid repellent backing. They are effective on pressure sores, sloughy or granulating wounds, skin graft donor sites and fungating wounds.

Silicone gel sheets are used on healed wounds and do not require a secondary dressing. Silicone gel for scars is also effective.


When to use silicone wound care dressings


There is effective use of silicone dressingsfor scars. They are designed for temporary use in the management of both existing and new hypertrophic scars and keloids. They work on several types of wounds such as:

  • Venous ulcers/foot/leg ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Partial/full thickness wounds
  • Laceration/abrasions
  • Partial thickness burn/second degree burn
  • Superficial burn/first degree burn
  • Full-thickness burn/third degree burn/graft wound
  • Moderate-to-highly exuding wounds
  • Surgical/post-operative wounds
  • Acute/traumatic wounds
  • Donor sites
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Blisters
  • Low-to-moderately exuding wounds
  • Arterial ulcers
  • Hypertrophic/keloid scars


When not to use silicone dressings


Silicone dressings should not be used if:

  • Wound is infected and there is no appropriate antibiotic coverage
  • Sensitivity develops to the product
  • User is allergic to silicone products


There is a huge range of silicone dressings to choose from. Popular brands among these dressings are Mepilex, CutimedSiltec, Optifoam, Biatain, Mepitel and more.

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