What to know about medical dressings

The key to wound healing is creating optimal conditions for the immune system and medication to work. Over the years, technological advancements have seen the emergence of new and innovative medical dressings beyond the traditional wet-to-dry gauze. The dressings are specifically designed with unique materials that facilitate faster wound healing more effectively. Most importantly, medical dressing products in the market today are highly customized to meet your needs.

Some dressings are designed for specific wounds depending on the severity, size, and location. The following guide highlight the range of medical dressings available in the market today and their uses:

Foam Dressings

Foam dressings are made from polymer materials with multiple layers made for covering wounds. The dressings are moist, non-adhesive, waterproof, and very soft. The highly absorbent layering ensures that the wound area is warm for optimum healing with minimal replacement.

If you are worried about exudates, then foam dressing is ideal for you.  Foam dressings are also germ-resistant, minimizing the chances of wound infection. Since the dressing does not stick to the wound, you won’t worry about hurting your skin during removal. The softness of the dressing makes it comfortable to use.

Transparent Dressings

Transparent dressings are made from polymeric materials. The clear film is ideal for large and complex wounds like ulcers and burns that require frequent monitoring by the caregiver or doctor. The thin layer allows for the free flow of air and water vapor for optimum wound healing.

Even though the film is light and adhesive, transparent dressing is germ resistant. The reduced friction and flexibility make this thin film comfortable and easy to use. Additionally, the dressing is pocket friendly despite being wound-specific due to wound adherence and low exudate absorbance.  

Hydrogel Dressings

Hydrogel dressings and sheets create a moist environment, ideal for wound healing. This dressing is suitable for dry wounds.  

Gauze Dressings

Gauze dressings come in two options: non-woven and woven. The material is readily available and affordable. The cotton gauze can sometimes serve as the first or second layer depending on the severity of the wound. Therefore, these gauzes can serve as wrappings for injuries around joints. In addition to such flexibility, this type of wrapping is ideal for all kinds of wounds. The germ resistance and high exudate absorption capacity make this dressing ideal for clinical use. However, this dressing is for single use only, meaning it cannot be recycled.

Alginate Dressings

Alginate dressings are highly customized, with high absorbency. The algae extract, usually woven or non-woven, is ideal for wet wounds. The high exudate absorption capacity makes this material suitable for deep and fresh cuts and thick injuries. The wet environment is perfect for rejuvenating and healing those nerve endings damaged by injuries. Since the material is natural, alginate dressings have no chances of allergic reactions or infections.

Hydrocolloids Dressings

Hydrocolloid dressings are made of colloidal particles and have extra high exudate absorption capacity. This material is suitable for surface wounds.

The choice of medical dressing is dependent on the unique needs of a patient. Therefore, always understand the size, location, and severity of the wound before settling on a dressing material.