Frequently Asked Questions on Alginate Dressing


What are alginate dressings?

An alginate dressing is a natural absorbent wound dressing. It is developed from various kinds of algae and seaweed which form a gel on coming in contact with liquid. Alginate dressings contain sodium and calcium fibers acquired from seaweed. These fibers provide a moist environment on the wound surface thus offering optimal wound healing conditions. The dressing is flat and can be placed on varied wound types.

Alginate dressings are used for cleansing of excessive secretions. Their hydrophilic gel formation ability is the reason for their higher absorption power which reduces bacterial contamination of wounds. Alginate dressing can bear up to 20 times its own weight, is conformable and can effectively mold to the wound shape. This speeds up exudate absorption.

When to use alginate dressings?

Alginate dressings are effective on wounds with heavy drainage including blood and pus. These include:

  • Venous wounds
  • Surgical wounds
  • Diabetic wounds
  • Full-thickness burns
  • Cavity wounds
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Over areas where dressing is difficult like heels and sacral areas.
How to apply alginate dressings?
  • Clean the wound surface with normal saline water
  • Dry the area surrounding the wound
  • Apply alginate dressing on the wound
  • Secure it using a secondary dressing so that it does not shift
  • Change dressing within 1 to 3 days when fluid is noticed oozing out from under the edges
How do alginate dressings work?

Alginate dressings absorb exudate and assist in the clearing of wounds. They are dry when placed over wounds, but once they begin to absorb the excess fluid they become larger. Alginate dressings allow presence of enough moisture required for healing. They protect the wound surface from bacteria, allow debridement and promote growth of new skin.

Why use alginate dressings?

Alginatedressings are used for cleansing of excessive secretions. Their hydrophilic gelformation ability is the reason for their higher absorption power which reducesbacterial contamination of wounds. Alginate dressing can bear up to 20 timesits own weight, is conformable and can effectively mold to the wound shape. Thisspeeds up exudate absorption.