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What Are The Different Types of Wound Care Dressings?

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What Are The Different Types of Wound Care Dressings?

There are a variety of types of wound care dressings that serve many purposes depending on the wound.

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Choosing the proper wound dressing assists with wound healing

December 10, 2013 by Advanced Tissue

Whenever you have a wound, whether it’s a minor cut or a major incision, it’s crucial to care for it properly. Part of the process includes wound care dressings. There are a variety of options when it comes to dressings, and to determine which is the best and most effective depends on what sort of wound you have.

A doctor or other medical professional will examine the wound and determine what is necessary to keep it free from complications and to assist with healing. The dressing options will also depend on where the wound is, how large it is and other related factors.

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What is a wound care dressing?

A dressing is used by a doctor, caregiver and/or patient to help a wound heal and prevent further issues like infection or complications. Dressings are designed to be in direct contact with the wound, which is different from a bandage that holds the dressing in place.

Dressings serve a variety of purposes depending on the type, severity and position of the wound. Aside from the major function of reducing the risk of infection, dressings are also important to help:

  • Stop bleeding and start clotting so the wound can heal

  • Absorb any excess blood, plasma or other fluids

What type of wound care dressing is right for my wound?


Hydrocolloid dressings are used on burns, light to moderately draining wounds, necrotic wounds, under compression wraps, pressure ulcers and venous ulcers.


This type of dressing is for wounds with little to no excess fluid, painful wounds, necrotic wounds, pressure ulcers, donor sites, second degree or higher burns and infected wounds.


Alginate dressings are used for moderate to high amounts of wound drainage, venous ulcers, packing wounds and pressure ulcers in stage III or IV.


A collagen dressing can be used for chronic or stalled wounds, ulcers, bed sores, transplant sites, surgical wounds, second degree or higher burns and wounds with large surface areas.

In addition to the wound product categories listed above, there are other wound dressings available, such as foams and compression in addition to secondary and cover dressings like wraps, gauze and tape.

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