Wound care 101: treating your wound with different dressings

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We all know it’s no fun having a minor abrasion, cut or scrape. But, thankfully, we can easily treat minor wounds with the help of top quality dressings from reputable suppliers.

Whether you’re going for ActivHeal dressing or something different, here are some of the different dressings and how they can help the wound healing process.

But first, clean that wound!

Before you get started on cleaning your wound, you have to ensure that it is clean.

Follow these steps to clean your wound:

  1. Wash your hands, dry them with a clean cloth and put on some plastic gloves.
  2. Use a soft, clean washcloth to gently clean the wound with a few added tablespoons of salt that have been mixed up in lukewarm water. The wound should not be bleeding too much when cleaning but a little bit of blood is fine.
  3. Rinse the wound with clean water. Then go on to gently pat the wound dry with a clean towel but do not rub the wound.
  4. Check the wound for a bad smell, increased redness or any swelling (it may require doctor attention if it has any of these problems).
  5. Pay attention to the amount of drainage and colour of your wound. Look for drainage that has become thicker or darker.
  6. Once the wound is clean, take off your gloves and place them in a bag with the old gloves and dressing and dispose in a bin.
  7. Wash your hands again.

Different dressings can be essential to the pace of which the wound can heal. The type of dressing you use is largely dependent on the size of the injury, the injury’s nature, severity and location.

Below is a guide to some of the best wound dressings available on the market.

Hydrocolloid dressing

Hydrocolloid is effective on wounds that emit liquid, burns, pressure ulcers, venous ulcers and necrotic wounds. Hydrocolloid dressings produce moist healing conditions that can help heal particular wounds, but they are also impermeable to bacteria, which is why they are a great option for treating infections. They are made with flexible material that is ideal for even very sensitive skin types.

Hydrogel dressing

Hydrogel is ideal for wounds that have little or not leaking, are pressure ulcers/donor sites or are painful/necrotic wounds. Hydrogel can also be ideal for infected wounds and second-degree burns. They optimise patient comfort, reducing pain via their cooling gel.

Alginate dressing

Alginate dressing is ideal for burns, packing wounds, venous ulcers, higher state pressure ulcers and wounds with high amounts of drainage. These dressings create gel that helps heal the wound or burn more quickly while absorbing excess liquid. These dressings have to be changed every couple of days, sometimes fasters, as they quickly absorb liquid. They should only be used for high liquid drainage or wet wounds or else they can dry out wounds too quickly.

Foam dressing

Foam dressing is good for wounds of varying degrees of severity as wounds that create odours. Foam dressings can work really well as they absorb exudates from the surface of the wound. These dressings provide the opportunity for extra water vapour to enter which promotes faster healing and prevents bacteria from getting into the affected area.

Transparent dressing

Transparent dressings cover the wound with a clear film which, in turn, makes it useful for carers/medical professionals to monitor wound healing. With transparent dressing, medics can identify potential wound complications and spot infections much earlier. These dressings are typically used on surgical incision sites, IV sites and burns or ulcers.

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