What are Hydrogel Dressings, and How to Use Them

How to Care for Wounds with Hydrogel Dressings

Hydrogel dressings are one the most widely used methods of dressing a wound. Made of roughly 90% water, hydrogels provide adequete moisture which can accelerate healing time. Initially, they were designed to help in regulating fluid exchanges on the surface of the wound.

Hydrogel Dressing Uses

  • Minor Burns
  • Painful Wounds
  • Full Thickness Wounds
  • Partial Thickness Wounds
  • Dry Wounds
  • Radiation Damage

Types of Hydrogel Dressings

Sheet Hydrogels

Sheet dressings typically can be cut to fit the wound. The gel sits inside a thin mesh which overlaps between the wound and the skin without causing any harm. Other wound dressings can cause harm to the skin around the wound, making sheet hydrogel dressings and ideal choice- especially for those with sensitive skin.

Impregnated Hydrogels

These hydrogels include a separate gel compound that is added onto a gauze pad or strip. These can be laid over the wound, or packed inside if the wound is deeper or even. Note that these can require a secondary dressing to hold everything in place and provide complete protection of the wound.

Amorphous Hydrogels

These are free-flowing dressings which are quite thicker than the other two. Designed to be able to move into the deeper parts of the wound or puncture, amorphous hydrogels are flexible making them ideal for flow into the nooks and crannies of puncture and other deep wounds. While it is the most flexible, it often needs to be covered by a secondary dressing so that it stays put and helpful in the wound surface.

How To Apply Hydrogel Dressings

  • Wash your hands very thoroughly
  • Remove the dressing from it's packaging. Use clean, sterylized scissors to cut the dressing to a size that will cover the entire burn or wound.
  • Slowly peel off the backing of the dressing and lay the dressing over the wound or burn.
  • Use a fixing tape or other bandage to wrap and hold the dressing in place.