There are many types of dressing your wound may require.

As you work to care for your wound, you’ll need the right wound care supplies. Luckily, picking them out is your medical professional’s job, so you’ll have just the right equipment. However, knowing a little about every kind of dressing is a good idea so you have an understanding of what it’s supposed to do for you and your wound healing process. Let’s review:

Dry dressings

When you think of wound dressings, this is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Dry dressings are gauze pads that lie under rolled gauze and tape – and the category also includes your standard bandages. You may have this type of dressing, which is intuitive and simple for most people to take care of and change, for wounds that are relatively dry themselves. If your dressing sticks to your wound bed, pour a little saline solution over the area to help it come off without pain.

Wet-to-dry dressings

Keeping the wound area moist is very important in certain types of wound care. For wounds that need this, particularly wounds that need to be debrided, sometimes providers will use wet-to-dry dressings. This involves soaking gauze or cotton in saline and putting it on the wound. As the sponge dries, it will dry out the wound around it as well, helping to debride it. If you need to use this type of dressing at home, be careful with your hygiene, as it doesn’t protect against outside contaminants as well as some other types of dressings.

Foam dressings

Foam dressings are padded to protect the wound and keep everything moist. Generally, they’re useful for pressure ulcers in the early stages because they protect the entire area from being rubbed further. Mostly, these are self-adhesive, so report any pain around the wound site to your practitioner.

Hydrocolloid dressings

Just like wet-to-dry dressings, hydrocolloid dressings assist in wound debridement. They also keep the wound moist for healing and keep oxygen out. They are not recommended for wounds that are already infected, but they’re very useful for wounds at high risk of infection. They are long-term dressings that can be used for up to a week unless they get saturated with discharge before that point. Always remember to change your wound dressings on the schedule your provider gives you.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients.