FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you use collagen wound dressings?
Collagen dressings like the Puracol Plus Wound Dressing are simple to use. To apply one, begin by thoroughly washing and drying your hands. Next, remove any bandaging already on the wound. Then clean the wound well using saline or an approved cleanser. If there is a backing film on your collagen bandages, remove it, then apply the dressing to the wound. Keep the affected area moist. Apply a secondary non-absorbent dressing on top of the collagen wound dressing. This could be paraffin gauze or another nonabsorbent material. On top of this, use an absorbent gauze and film or tape to hold the dressing in place.
Is Aquacel a collagen dressing?
There are a variety of collagen wound dressing brands available. Aquacel is a brand that specializes in a different product—the Aquacel Extra Hydrofiber Dressing. This is a hydrofiber dressing, not a collagen dressing. This type of dressing forms a gel when it comes into contact with fluid from the wound, thus helping maintain a moist environment. It also features antimicrobial properties. Despite working similarly to collagen wound gel bandages, this is a different product using different technology to promote wound healing.
What exactly are collagen dressings?
Understanding a collagen dressing requires understanding collagen first. Collagen is the most common protein found in the human body. There are more than twenty different types of collagen found in skin, muscle tissue, and elsewhere.
A wound dressing with collagen is designed to promote wound healing. Collagen within the dressing acts as a substrate for new tissue growth. It is thought that the collagen within the dressing can provide a source of collagen to help the wound heal properly. These dressings feature collagen within a carrier such as a gel, paste, or polymer. The collagen within most collagen wound dressings comes from bovine and porcine sources—cows and pigs.
Does collagen help heal wounds?
Collagen does help heal wounds. While a wound heals, a sequence of events takes place. This includes the accumulation of platelets, the growth of fibroblasts, plus several other processes. All of these lead to wound remodeling and scar formation.
Collagen has a role in each of these phases. Fibroblasts and keratinocytes are crucial to healing—and collagen attracts both of these things to wounds. The result is debridement along with other processes that result in the formation of new tissue.
How does a wound heal under silicone gel film?
Silicone wound gel and silicone wound dressings are typically used after at least one month of healing, or once the wound has started closing. Some silicone dressing products can be used on open wounds, but most silicone products are designed as a preventive measure to minimize scarring.
Beneath a silicone gel film, wounds heal the same way that they normally would. However, when used over an open wound, these products have some advantages. They are gentle on irritated skin, and they are easy to reposition. They evenly distribute fluid across the dressing to promote healing. Since they are waterproof, they seal out bacteria.
Can silicone gel help heal old scars?
It is unlikely that silicone gel can heal old scars. Silicone is a viable way to minimize the appearance of new scars, however. It prevents water loss in the skin, which helps natural healing processes prevent excessive scarring as the wound heals. There is some evidence that topical silicone sheets compress healing tissue. This leads to a reduction in scar height, making the scar less visible. While silicone gel sheets are waterproof, they are permeable to oxygen. Oxygen plays an important role in wound healing, which can minimize scarring as the wound heals.
All of these factors and more mean that silicone can minimize scarring during the final stages of the healing process. In the case of old scars, once scarring has fully developed, silicone may not offer much benefit.
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