When Are The Different Types Of Wound Dressings Used?

When are Calcium Alginate dressings used?
When are charcoal dressings used?
When are collagen dressings used?
When are composite dressings used?
When are compression dressings used?
When are enzymatic debriders used?
When are foam dressings used?
When are hydrocolloid dressings used?
When are hydrogels used?
When are silicon gel sheeting used?
When are transparent dressings used?

Note: The following is only meant to explain the typical use of each type of medical dressing. Always consult a physician when treating any type of serious or chronic wound, or any wound that you are unsure about.

When are Calcium Alginate dressings used?

Calcium Alginate are for moderate to heavy wounds, because of their superior absorption ability. For lighter wounds, try a thinner, less heavy dressing.

When are charcoal dressings used?

Charcoal dressings are primarily used for odor control. They usually require cover dressing or tape to secure it in place.
Back to top

When are collagen dressings used?

Collagen would are used for several different types of wounds including: burns, pressure ulcers, scrapes, cuts.
Back to top

When are composite dressings used?

Composite dressings can be used on anything from light to heavy wounds. Use extra caution fi the patient has dehydrated or sensitive skin. Consult with the manufacturer to make sure that the dressing can be used on infected wounds. The skin around the wound must be intact if the dressing has an adhesive border. Check your insurance company's guidelines about reimbursement for composite dressings used as secondary dressing with impregnated gauze or hydrogel.
Back to top

When are compression dressings used?

Compression dressings are used to control swelling and promote circulation. Particularly useful for diabetic patients and people with poor circulation.
Back to top

When are enzymatic debriders used?

Enzymatic debriders are used for wounds that have necrotic(dead) tissue that won't easily slough off. Depending on the size of the wound, you may want to have a secondary dressing to catch excess drainage.
Back to top

When are foam dressing used?

Foam dressings are for first and second degree burns, skin tears, pressure ulcers, and abrasions and other moderate to heavy draining wounds.
Back to top

When are hydrocolloid dressings used?

Hydrocolloid dressings can be used for light to moderate acute and chronic wounds. If monitoring the wound is important, make sure that the dressing is transparent. Do not use a hydrocolloid if the skin surrounding the wound is infected.
Back to top

When are hydrogels used?

Hydrogels are used for burns(including those caused by radiation) skins tears, surgical wounds, and pressure ulcers. Because of the high water content in hydrogels, this type of dressing is used for wounds with small to moderate amounts of drainage.
Back to top

When are silicon gel sheetings used?

Silicone gel sheeting prevents the formation of excessive scar tissue, sometimes called keloids. Silicone gel sheeting does this by preventing moisture from entering the scar area. If the moisture at the scar area is reduced, then there is less blood flow, and consequently less collagen, at the scar area. This reduction in collagen is important because collagen is the material that makes up scar tissue. By reducing collagen at the scar area, the scar becomes paler, making the scar's color closer to the color of your skin. If you are specifically interested in Cica Care Silicone Gel Sheeting, step-by-step instructions for usage, as well as a "Cica Care diary," are available on Smith & Nephew's website.

When are transparent dressings used?

Transparent dressings are for light wounds and blisters. They are also useful for viewing the wound without exposing it to bacteria.
Back to top

Sources
Cica Care - Smith & Nephew
When To Use Hydrocolloid Dressings
When To Use Composite Dressings
When To Use Hydrogel Dressings
Keloid and Hypertrophic Scars