Dressing Wounds


Wet Dressings

  • traditionally used for acute, weeping, inflammatory lesions
  • sterile or nonsterile depending on skin disorder
  • may be used to reduce inflammation by producing constriction of the blood vessel decreasing inflammation
  • cleans the skin of exudates, crusts, and scales
  • used to maintain drainage of infected areas
  • promote healing by facilitating movement of epidermal cells resulting in the formation of new granulation tissue
  • used for vesicular, bullous, pustular and ulcerative disorders as well as inflammatory conditions
  • use sterile gloves ‘
  • open wet dressings require frequent changes to prevent drying
  • closed wet dressings need less frequent changes but may cause maceration


Wet-to-dry dressing

  • used to remove exudate from erosions and ulcers
  • dressing remains in place as it dries
  • removed without soaking so that crusts, exudate or pus from the skin lesion adhere to the dressing and are removed with it


Moisture Retention Dressings

  • moist wound healing results in 40% faster wound healing
  • dressings may be impregnated with
  1. saline
  2. petroleum
  3. zinc-saline
  4. hydrogel
  5. antimicrobial agents



  1. reduced pain
  2. decreased infections
  3. decreased scar tissue
  4. gently autolytic debridement
  5. decreased dressing change frequency


moist dressings remain in place for 12-24h


  • polymers with a 90%-95% water content
  • sheets or tube of gel
  • ideal of autolytic debridement
  • uses:
  1. for superficial wounds with high serous output
  2. abrasions
  3. skin grafts
  4. draining venous ulcers



  • water impermeable
  • polyurethane outer covering
  • adherent and nonpermiable to water, oxygen and vapour
  • dressing absorbs exudate and discolors proportionately
  • moisture allows it to be removed without damaging the wound
  • product is foul-smelling yellowish colour, not to be confused with purulent drainage


used in :

exudative wounds nad acute wounds

left for 7 days

not need to be removed for bathing

Foam dressings

  • consist a hydrophilic wound covering surface with a hydrophobic covering
  • useful for exudative wounds and bony prominences
  • used in areas where tissue os quite irritated or macerated
  • alginate forms moist pocket over wound

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