Choosing the correct type of wound care dressing is an extremely important element of an overall wound care treatment plan. With several thousand different types of wound dressings available on the market today, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the options.
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There are several categories of wound dressings which possess different, although sometimes overlapping, properties. A few of the main wound care dressing categories includes:
Antimicrobial dressings - used to help prevent infection and provide protection from common infectious bacteria and other contaminants
Alginate dressings - highly absorbent and are primarily used to manage heavily exuding wounds
Abd dressings - used to absorb discharges from abdominal and other heavily draining wounds
Transparent film dressings - provide wound protection and maintain a moist, healing environment while allowing observation of the wound bed without removing the dressing from the skin
Hydrogel dressings - gel-based dressings which protect and provide a most wound-healing environment and help remove dead tissue from the wound bed during the healing process
Super absorbent dressings - multi-layer wound covers which combine a semi or non-adherent layer with a highly absorptive layer of fibers, and are specifically designed to minimize adherence to the wound and effectively manage exudate
Wound contact layer dressings - can be applied directly to the wound as a primary dressing and then if necessary, covered with a secondary dressing for additional absorption
Foam dressings - comprised of foamed polymer solutions with small, open cells that are capable of holding fluids, they are available with an adhesive border or transparent film coating which acts as a bacterial barrier
Hydrocolloid dressings - composed of gelatin or pectin with an absorptive capability, they are useful on areas that require contouring such as heels and sacral ulcers