Wound dressing: All You Need To Know
By Ayush Henry
Dressings are used to secure a wound and prevent it from further infection. They are meant to stay in direct contact with a wound. Wound care dressings are different than bandage as bandage holds dressing in place. Different types of wound care dressings are available depending on the wound:
Hydrogel dressings create a moist environment which promotes the healing process. It is comprised of 90 % water in the form of gel. Hydrogel dressing simplifies granulation, dead tissue removal and epidermis repair. The cooling sensation offers pain relief for nearly 6 hours. Hydrogel dressings are best suited for:
- Dry wound,
- Minor burns,
- Skin damage by radiation
It is important to note that one has to immediately use hydrogel dressing for burns for optimal healing. Avoid hydrogel dressing if wound is extremely moist or begins to exudate. Cover the dressing as it can dehydrate easily.
Alginate dressing is well-known for its absorbent property. It contains calcium and sodium fibers derived from seaweed to increase the absorbency. Alginate dressing can absorb nearly 20 times of its own weight which makes it suitable for diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcer and venous ulcers. The dressing can mold itself to absorb wound drainage properly. The unique properties of alginate dressings promotes the growth of new skin and lowers the risk of infection.
Hydrocolloid dressings are absorbent, water-resistant, self adhering wafer that contains gel forming agent. Hydrocolloid dressings provide a moist environment and insulation to the wound which promotes healing. It is effective on different types of wound that are uninfected and have low to moderate drainage. Hydrocolloid’s impermeable property protects the wound from bacteria resulting in effective healing.
Transparent dressings are available in variety of shapes and sizes. They are used to properly cover the wound. Transparent dressings are very thin. They help in keeping the wound moist for optimal healing. Transparent dressings are easy to apply which conforms to wound easily. The waterproof transparent dressings adhere to the wound, even while taking shower. Make sure to apply these dressings only on dry skin as wet skin nullifies adhesion. The transparent dressings are best suited for the condition when:
- There is minimum drainage,
- Dead tissue needs debridement
- Another dressing needs to be secured
Avoid transparent dressing if wound exudate heavily, is suspected of infection, has a third degree burn or if the skin is thin.
Foam dressings come in variety of shapes and sizes. The semi-permeable polyurethane creates a safe environment that keeps contaminants outside while at the same time allows vapor to enter. Some dressings come with adhesive tape to secure edges. Foam dressings can be best used for wounds that have moderate to high drainage. The dressing doesn’t adhere to the wound while it protects the affected area and can be used if the wound is infected.
There are many other dressings available at shopwoundcare.com like silicone dressings, odor absorbent dressings, composite dressings, antimicrobial dressings, etc., with different characteristics and for different stages of healing.