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Understanding Wound Types Key to Using the Right Dressing

Understanding Wound Types Key to Using the Right Dressing

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Understanding wound types can help lead to using the right dressing.

The basic approach to wound care management is to keep the area moist – but not excessively so – to encourage the proper healing process, according to Medscape. But because there are different types of wounds, there are various forms of wound coverage needed. According to Wound Educators, there are more than 3,000 types of wound dressings.

Knowing a few basics about the various types of wounds can help you understand which bandage may work best. Here are a few of the most common wound types and the forms of dressing generally required.

For dry wounds: 

A hydrocolloid dressing is beneficial for wounds that may dry out quickly. They are able to keep the area moist and free from bacteria and oxygen that can affect the healing process. It is also beneficial to autolytic debridement, the process in which old tissue is removed utilizing moisture retentive dressings.

For draining wounds: 

While it’s important to keep wounds moist, they can sometimes be too moist if exudation is present, stated Wound Care Advisor. Exudative wounds – those which expel an excessive amount of the liquid that is produced by the body’s response to tissue damage – require a highly absorbent dressing such as calcium alginate. In addition, the longer, rope form of the dressing is especially suited for treatment of deep wounds.

For wounds with extreme exudation: 

Hydrofiber or impregnated dressing can be used on wounds that drain excessively. The specific dressing is either a gauze, sponge, rope or strip that is soaked with an agent (emulsion or oil) or compound. The most common solutions are saline, oil, petrolatum or zinc salts (which have been discovered to be important in the wound treatment process, according to Wounds Research). On a very exudative wound, the dressing will have to be changed at least twice a day.

For infected wounds:

 With deeper wounds where there is the chance of heavy bacterial infection, irrigation with a Dakin solution and acetic acid, apply a hydrofiber-silver dressing to control exudation.

For wounds covered with dry eschar:

 Caused by burns and pressure wounds, eschar isdead crusty tissue that falls from healthy skin as it develops on the wound, according to Healthline. The eschar can be tan, brown or black in color. In this state, the wound can’t really be classified because the condition underneath can’t be seen.  Because of this, it’s easier to merely protect the wound by applying povidone iodine until the covering dries up and falls away.

For wounds in difficult-to-bandage areas:

 Wounds such as ulcers that are located on heels or on the sacrococcygeal area (tailbone), a more comfortable and flexible dressing is needed such as a thin hydrocolloid. In the sacrococcygeal area where maintaining moisture may be an issue, a wafer hydrocolloid may be needed.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care suppliesto patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.

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