Gauze is a vital component in wound care management.

When it comes to wound care, there are several different options for dressings available, and each one is suited for a number of wounds and their accompanying ailments. One such dressing options is those that feature oil emulsion, a special blend of chemicals that work to bolster the natural wound healing process. Knowing both what oil emulsion has to offer – in addition to any accompanying side effects – can help influence how you choose to tackle your ongoing wound infection treatment

How does it work?

Oil emulsion dressing is knitted from cellulose acetate fabrics that have been coated in a formulated petroleum emulsion. Because of the knitted fabric, the specialized oil is allowed to move more freely into the wound itself, which can aid in the overall healing process. Though they’re based on the same key ingredient – petroleum – oil emulsion dressing doesn’t have quite the same issues as most other petroleum gauzes. That includes ongoing issues with moisture retention and improper drainage. In fact, the oil emulsion compound allows wounds to breathe more freely, which can help cut back on the possibility of scarring. Because of its general composition, oil emulsion dressing is inexpensive to make, and thus can be made to fit a number of wound sizes and depths. The most widely covered such wounds include cuts, pressure sores, severe sunburns and skin ulcers.

Side effects and warnings

Though oil emulsion dressing has a number of benefits, there are also certain limitations to this wound care option. Those include:

  • Don’t use oil emulsion if you have an allergy to petroleum-based products.
  • Avoid oil emulsion dressing if you begin to develop a skin rash or other irritation.
  • Oil emulsion is not designed for patients who are either pregnant or are receiving radiation therapy.
  • Generally speaking, oil emulsion dressing is not made for wounds that are still bleeding.

You should also consult with a physician before using oil emulsion option, especially if you’re taking any prescription medications or dietary supplements. A common side effect of oil emulsion is tingling around the wound site. Less common side effects include hives, itching, tightness in the chest and swelling of the face, lips or tongue. Though not necessarily a side effect, oil emulsion does have a tendency to dry out after just a few days. As such, a doctor may also prescribe the use of a secondary moisture retentive dressing and a topical cream.

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