Transparent Dressings

Transparent dressings are thin, breathable clear dressings for wounds and easy to apply. Also known as transparent film dressings, these thin sheets are generally made of polyurethane and have an adhesive coating. They make for ideal protective dressings on wounds and IV catheter sites as also for securing tubing and other devices. Transparent dressings are available in several shapes and sizes.

How transparent film dressings work

Transparent wound dressings are ideal in situations where there is little or no wound exudate. They also assist in autolytic debridement and are therefore effective on wounds with necrotic tissues. Transparent film dressings may also be used as secondary dressings. Since they are transparent, monitoring the wound for exudate and healing is made easy.

These dressings are breathable, allowing moisture vapor and oxygen exchange. Transparent dressings help maintain a moist environment on the wound and its surrounding area thereby assisting in its quick recovery. They are sterile on the side next to the skin and their waterproof quality allows for use in the shower or bath. Since they are waterproof dressings, transparent film dressings also protect the wound from bacterial infections and other contaminants. They allow carbon dioxide and excess moisture water vapor to escape from the wound.

Properties of transparent dressings

Transparent wound dressings are flexible in nature therefore making it a good choice to dress hard-to-reach wound areas. But they do not adhere to a wound with moist surface area. This type of a dressing can remain on a wound for days without needing to be replaced. Therefore, it should not be used on a wound that requires frequent dressing change.

When to use transparent dressings

Transparent dressings work on several types of wounds such as:

  • Surgical/post-operative wounds
  • Laceration/abrasions
  • IV or Pin Site
  • Donor sites
  • Partial/full thickness wounds
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Superficial or low exudate wounds
  • Acute/traumatic wounds
  • Partial thickness burn/second degree burn
  • Superficial burn/first degree burn
  • Full-thickness burn/third degree burn/graft wound

Different types of transparent dressings

Transparent dressings are also available as film transparent dressings and vapor permeable transparent dressings. There is also a choice in absorbent transparent dressings, transparent adherent dressings, transparent dressings that are anti-bacterial, non-adherent transparent dressings and low-adherent transparent dressings.

When not to use transparent dressings

Transparent dressings should not be used:

  • If the wound has moderate-to-heavy exudate
  • If the wound is infected
  • On wounds with third-degree burn
  • On wounds with fragile or thin skin
  • On wounds which are at risk of peri-wound maceration

You can choose transparent dressings for wounds by properties such as waterproof, hypoallergenic, with adhesive border and bordered. We carry high quality transparent dressings from reliable and trusted makers such as 3M, BSN Medical, Medline Industries, Smith & Nephew, Covidien/Medtronic, Reliamed, etc. Our Tegaderm dressings are popular for their cost-effectiveness and provide high adhesion making them ideal for wounds with some moisture. Tegaderm transparent dressings protect skin and wound sites and are impermeable to liquids, bacteria and viruses.

The 3M Tegaderm absorbent clear acrylic dressing has the film close to the wound surface perforated to allow uptake of the wound fluid by the absorbent acrylic pad. The other side is moisture vapor permeable but impermeable to liquids, bacteria and viruses.

Other popular transparent film dressing brands include Leukomed, OPSITE, Suresite, Kendall, Bioclusive and more.

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