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Hydrogel Dressings

Hydrogel dressings are an advanced wound care product. They are best known for creating an optimal, moist environment to aid in healing wounds. This dressing is semi-occlusive, keeping out bacteria while transferring vapor. Its semi-transparent construction allows some wound observation. Because the dressing contains mostly water, it does not stick to the wound. The major ingredients found in these dressings is deionized water, glycerin, and other humectants.
Best Hydrogel Wound Dressings.
Types of Hydrogels.
Guide to Hydrogel Dressings.
Advantages and Disadvantages.
Hydrogel FAQ's.

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Guide to Hydrogel Dressings

Hydrogel wound dressings are water-based or glycerin-based wound dressings. Manufacturers also include other ingredients such as allantoin, aloe barbadensis gel, diazolidinyl urea, sodium polyacrylate, propylene glycol USP, propylene glycoltetrasodium EDTA, hyaluronic acid, sodium metabisulBte FCC, methyparaben, methylparaben NF, propylparaben, propylparaben NF, propylparaben NFPEG-4 Olivate, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, hyaluronic acid, sodium metabisulfite FCC, and tocopherol acetate. Hydrogel dressings with higher concentrations of glycerin, offer improved absorption, bacteriostatic activity, and extended duration between bandage changing.

Hydrogel comes in several forms to choose from, including amorphous gel, impregnated gauze pads, cut-to-fit sheets, border dressings, or fillers. It also comes blended with zinc, Leptospermum, silver, and alginate to promote cell division and for infection control. This dressing absorbs exudate and provides autolytic debridement. It passes water vapor while protecting the wound from harmful airborne particles. The dressing stays in contact with the wound. Most often, a secondary dressing keeps the dressing in place. Some dressings are available with adhesive borders.


  • minor burns
  • skin tears
  • abrasions
  • skin grafts
  • sloughy wounds
  • necrotic wounds
  • neonatal extravasation and excoriation
  • diabetic ulcers
  • pressure sores
  • surgical wounds


  • peripheral vascular disease in the presence of gangrenous tissue
  • heavy exudate

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • promotes a moist environment
  • provides autolytic debridement
  • offers moderate absorbency
  • helps reduce pain
  • transparent options provide visual of wound
  • rehydrate devitalized tissue
  • promotes autolysis
  • high moisture vapor transmission
  • autolytic debridement
  • light exudate draining
  • Rehydrates necrotic eschar


  • not for use on heavy exudating wounds
  • may cause maceration to adjacent skin
  • may require a secondary dressing




How do you use this dressing?

These wound care products help regulate fluid exchange on wound surfaces. They maintain a moist environment for wound healing.

What is a hydrogel used for?

This type of dressing provides autolytic debridement for necrotic wounds. It promotes granulation and wound healing while offering a warm and moist wound environment to promote healing. It offers light to moderate exudation.

How do hydrogel bandages work?

The design of these dressings employs a thin mesh impregnated with a gel. The gel interacts with the wound to provide a moist wound environment. It also absorbs exudate into the gel, away from the wound.

How do you use hydrogel sheet dressing?

Sheet dressings offer significant flexibility for patient wound care. They may be cut-to-fit the size of the wound. A secondary dressing holds the dressing in place. Replace the dressing every 1 to 4 days.

When should you use hydrogel dressings? What kind of wound is hydrogel used for?

This type of dressing is best for the following wound types:

  • Full thickness wounds
  • Partial thickness wounds
  • Dry wounds
  • Radiation damaged tissue and skin
  • Minor first- and second-degree burns
  • Stage II to IV pressure ulcers

How long does a hydrogel dressing last?

These dressing should last from one to four days between changes.

What are the types of Hydrogel dressings?

Below is a list of the different types of hydrogel wound care products.



Product Example

Hydrogel Dressings

mends wound cavities

Carrington CarraSyn Hydrogel

Hydrogel Pads

semi-occlusive dressing

Medela Tender Care Hydrogel Pad

Hydrogel Ointments

prevent scabs, reduce scarring

Amerx Amerigel Advanced Formula Hydrogel

Hydrogel Sheets

soft, flexible cut-to-fit

Medline CarraDres Clear Sterilein

Hydrogel Bandages

cuts and partial-thickness burns

Covidien Aquaflo Hydrogel Transparent Dressing

Hydrogel Wound Gel

natural barrier

Regenecare Hydrogel Wound Care Gel

Hydrogel Filler

mends wound cavities

3M Tegaderm Hydrogel Wound Filler

Amorphous Hydrogel

malleable, free-flowing gel

McKesson Amorphous Hydrogel Wound Dressing

Hydrogel Island Dressing

adhesive border

DeRoyal Aquasorb Hydrogel Dressing

Impregnated Hydrogels

glycerine formulation will not dry out

Curafil Impregnated Hydrogel Gauze Sponge



Top Manufacturers and Brands

Top Hydrogel Brands

Ranking the Top Ten Best Hydrogel Dressings (by sales)

  • Smith & Nephew Intrasite Gel
  • Smith & Nephew SoloSite
  • Spenco 2nd Skin
  • Medline DermaGel
  • MPM Medical Regenecare
  • Kendall Aquaflo
  • Dermarite AquaDerm
  • Medline Skintegrity
  • DeRoyal Multidex  Gel
  • Derma Sciences DermaGran B
  • 3M Tegaderm Hydrogel



Manuals and Documents




Hydrogel Wound Dressing Video (3:16 minutes)



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