There are two types of wound dressings available in the market – the gauze-based dressings and the paste bandages such as the zinc paste bandages. The characteristics of a good dressing includes it capacity to absorb and maintain moisture as well as antibacterial.
Different types of wound dressings
When it comes to first aid, it is important that you are familiar with the different types of wound dressings that you can use. It is important to note that each of these types of wound dressings is used on specific wounds and injuries.
- Antimicrobial gauze wrap and gauze sponge – can be used on any wound with any type of drainage. It prevents infection developing in the wound that can be caused by bacteria. The options in the market include bored roll gauze and board gauze sponge.
- Calcium alginate dressings – used for the management of wounds with moderate to heavy drainage in 1st and 2nd degree burns, diabetic ulcers, dermal ulcers, skin grafts, pressure ulcers, vascular ulcers and surgical cuts.
- Calcium alginate with silver – used for the management of moderate to heavy drainage such as infected wounds. It is also used to fill cavities and tracts. Additionally, it decreases or eliminates bacterial infestation in an infected wound.
- Calcium alginate with honey – it is also used on wounds with moderate to heavy drainage. The pus from the wound is absorbed and the alginate forms a gel to maintain moisture in the wound for faster healing. The alginate can be removed in one piece. It is also used for diabetic foot ulcers, leg ulcers, 1st and 2nd degree burns and traumatic surgical wounds.
- Collagen dressings – used for wounds with any kind of drainage. These dressings are available as pads and gels. It provides a moist healing environment in order to help with tissue granulation and epithelialization.
- Hydrocolloid dressings – a wafer-type dressing that contain hydroactive particles when placed on wounds. It will form a fluid or gel environment over the wound. These dressings are self-adhering with a surface that repels water, bacteria and other contaminants.
- Hydrogel dressings – used for any type of wound that needs additional moisture as well as on burns and grafts. These dressings are also used for quick healing of cosmetic procedures and to minimize scar formation.
- Hypertonic dressings – provides a high sodium chloride level to eliminate necrotic tissue. It provides a moist environment and also fills the wound space and drains fluids or pus.
- Foam dressings – it absorbs the excess fluids or pus in the wound to prevent maceration but can also provide a moist environment.
- Transparent film dressings – these are semipermeable membranes that are self-adhesive, thin and waterproof. Water, bacteria, and other contaminants cannot penetrate this type of dressing. It is also used for ulcers and dry necrotic wounds that require removal of dead or infected tissues.