Frequently Asked Questions on Composite Dressings

What are composite dressings?

Composite dressings combine varied components into a single product to address varying wound care needs and offer effective wound care management. They can be used both as primary and secondary dressings to provide a bacterial barrier and for absorption plus adhesion. Composite dressings can be used with topical medications.

When can composite dressings be used?

Composite dressings can be used for light-to-heavy exuding wounds and on healthy granulation and necrotic tissue. They can be used on:

  • Post-operative wounds
  • Laceration and abrasions
  • Skin grafts and donor sites
  • Minor burns and scalds
  • Stage I-IV pressure ulcers
  • Dermal ulcers
What are the three layers in composite dressings?

The bottom layer of a composite dressing is generally made of a semi or non-adherent material. This layer pushes moisture up into the next layer. It prevents the dressing from sticking to the granulating tissue of the wound bed and allows healing to continue.

The second or middle layer incorporates an absorptive material that wicks moisture away from the wound bed. This keeps the wound moist but does not allow skin maceration. It assists in inhibiting growth of bacteria.

The uppermost layer protects the wound from bacteria and allows air circulation. It prevents the moisture from leaking to the top layer thus reducing dressing change.

What are the benefits of composite dressings?
  • Composite dressings are versatile and effective on both partial and full thickness wounds
  • The waterproof nature of composite dressings makes it suitable on areas at risk of exposure to moisture due to incontinence
  • Composite dressings act as barrier to bacteria and other contaminants
  • Composite dressings can be applied and removed with ease like a Band-Aid
What are the features of a composite dressing?
Features of composite dressings include:
  • Moldable
  • Promote autolytic debridement
  • Suitable for use on infected wounds
  • Easy application and removal
  • Multiple size and shapes