Hydrocolloid dressings provide a moist and insulating healing environment which protects uninfected wounds while allowing the body's own enzymes to help heal wounds. These dressings are unique because they don't have to be changed as often as some other wound dressings and are easy to apply. Hydrocolloid dressings:
These wound dressings are helpful for use on wounds that are:
Because these dressings are flexible and water-resistant, they also make an excellent protective layer for recently healed wounds, or for partly healed wounds with granulation tissue that needs protection from surface trauma. Furthermore, a hydrocolloid dressing can mold around the wound and provide insulation so that the body doesn't need to use as much energy to heal the wound.
Applying a hydrocolloid dressing is similar to the best practices for most wound care. Follow these steps:
Follow these procedures to remove a hydrocolloid dressing from a wound:
Generally, hydrocolloid dressings last from 3 to 7 days. Sometimes a hydrocolloid dressing starts coming up at the edges earlier. If so, it needs to be changed earlier. Because they keep the wound moist and protected, the wound does not need to be cleaned daily. In fact, wounds covered by hydrocolloid dressings will heal faster if they are not regularly exposed to air.
However, because a wound covered with hydrocolloid dressings is not easy to check, it is important to use this type of dressing only on wounds which are completely clean and absent of infection.
Hydrocolloid dressings lasts longer than most types of dressing, so it needs to be applied less frequently. They are easy to apply to the wound and come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different types of wounds. Hydrocolloid dressing can also be used with venous compression. In addition, they can often promote faster healing because they:
These types of dressings are not appropriate for all wounds and should not be used if there is heavy exudate or infection. Other disadvantages include:
Generally, hydrocolloid dressings should be used very cautiously on individuals with diabetes, especially on foot wounds. Only use on diabetic feet if:
To view hydrocolloid dressings products, click here.
Image Credit: Medetec (www.medetec.co.uk)
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