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Hydrogel Dressings in Wound Care

Hydrogel dressings are seen as an essential component in many different types of wound care. This is because hydrogel dressing is designed to hold moisture in the surface of the wound, providing the ideal environment for both cleaning the wound, and allowing the body to rid itself of necrotic tissue. The moisture in the wound is also essential in pain management for the patient, and these dressings are very soothing and cooling. Therefore, it is perfect for use in a variety of different applications. With their high moisture content they also help to prevent bacteria and oxygen from reaching the wound, providing a barrier for infections.

The most common types of hydrogel dressings are amorphous gels, sheets, filler or fiber types of material and gauze types of dressings. Choosing the right type and shape of hydrogel dressing is important for several reasons, including adequate coverage of the would area. Typically, wounds treated with the use of hydrogel dressings include diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, surgical wounds, burns and skin tears. They may contain up to ninety five percent water, which is perfect for keeping skin and tissue well hydrated. However, the downside to this high water content is that they cannot absorb liquids from the wound. Typically, hydrogels are not used on wounds that have more than minimal drainage, or they are combined with other types of more absorbent dressings. For this reason, they may not be used initially on some of the types of wounds listed above, but may be incorporated as a dressing once the wound is down to minimum or mild levels of drainage. Hydrogel dressing is also usually not used on wounds that are infected for the same reason.


Hydrogel dressings are non-adhesive to the would or the tissue, making this a very pain-free type of dressing for the patient. With the variety of options available in hydrogel dressings, small to large wounds can be easily managed by simply selecting the correct dressing option. They are ideal for wounds that are slough-covered, since they don't stick or allow the necrotic tissue to slough off as the healing process occurs. This dressing is also very good for dry and necrotic wounds, since the hydration helps with skin moisture retention and more effective healing. One option to consider is hydrogel that contains glycerin, allowing it to shape to the surface of the wound and promote healing. These glycerin rich type of hydrogel dressings are also much more fibrous and can be used for deeper wounds and chronic wounds that have created cavities or depressions in the skin. 

Hybrid forms of hydrogel dressings are also coming on the market that combine the moisturizing and healing benefits of the hydrogel with the more absorbent properties of a hydrocolloid or calcium alginate dressing. One other benefit of the newer types of hydrogel dressings include having no debris from the dressing left in the wound, eliminating the need for extensive cleaning between dressings. Patients are more comfortable and less stressed, resulting in fewer complaints and problems with wound healing. This would even be helpful on very significant types of chronic ulcers and lesions.


MSEC remains dedicated to providing the very best and the very latest in medical supplies and equipment.  We never cease to be on the lookout for the latest innovation that will benefit both our many clients and the patients they dedicate their lives to caring for.  If you have any difficulty finding your choices in our vast inventory, call our customer service at 1-877-706-4480 to speed up your order or to make a special request.  We are always happy to help you.




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