FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a hydrocolloid dressing?
Hydrocolloid dressing is a moisture retention wound dressing that absorbs wound exudate and forms a gel on a waterproof wafer. Hydrocolloids have gel-forming properties consisting of gelatin, carboxymethyl cellulose, and pectin. After the jellifying process, the hydrocolloid dressing serves a scab-like function of moistening, insulating, and protecting the wound while your body’s enzymes heal the uninfected wound. The dressing’s protection ability comes from a polyurethane foam covering the outer bandage. Some hydrocolloid dressings allow for gel drainage, and others house the gel within the adhesive matrix of the wafer. However, because it holds moisture in, hydrocolloid paste dressing is unsuitable for treating infected wounds.
What are the benefits of hydrocolloid dressings?
Because hydrocolloid dressings outlast most dressings, they require fewer applications during the healing period. The easy-to-use dressings are available in assorted shapes and sizes for different wound types, especially hard-to-dress wounds on elbows and heels. Plus, they work well with venous compression.
Because of their moisture retention ability, sterile hydrocolloid dressings promote faster healing in a bacteria and contaminant-free environment. In addition, these dressings don’t stick to wounds. So, they are less painful to wear or remove. In addition, hydrocolloid dressings give you more freedom of movement during the healing process because they are flexible enough to contort to your body motions.
What type of wounds require hydrocolloid dressings?
The 1967 patent for hydrocolloid dressing listed it as a dressing for stomas. But, over time, it became standard for chronic and acute wounds. You can use hydrocolloid dressings as a primary or secondary dressing for superficial wounds with low drainage amounts. This category includes skin tears, wounds with necrotic tissue, lacerations, pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, and dermal ulcers. Plus, you can use hydrocolloid dressings on minor burns, pressure injuries, and blisters. Recently, they have become a social media sensation as an effective treatment for acne lesions. Hydrocolloid bandages placed directly on pimples reduce irritation, inflammation, and redness by absorbing drainage from active acne blemishes.
When should you stop using hydrocolloid dressing?
Unfortunately, some people are allergic to hydrocolloids. With this in mind, you should stop using hydrocolloid wound dressing if you experience unusually dry or irritated skin. There is a rare possibility that you may have symptoms like hives, throat swelling, shortness of breath, fluid-filled eyes, or hypersensitivity. Under normal circumstances, you should stop using hydrocolloid dressing when the wound is completely dry or you see a wholly formed scab.
How do you remove hydrocolloid dressing?
Removing the hydrocolloid dressing is an easy process. You can start the removal process by pressing downward on your skin near an edge of the dressing. Next, free the adhesive by lifting the dressing off the edges. At this point, use great care in pulling the dressing off the wound toward the grain of your hair. Then, gently wash away any residue with soap and water while looking for any signs of infection.
How do you apply hydrocolloid dressing?
Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly and slip on a pair of gloves. Next, clean the wound with saline solution before using a clean gauze to pat the wound dry. Then, change your gloves and measure the dressing to ensure it extends around an inch from the injury. After removing the paper liner, place the hydrocolloid dressing over the center and apply with a rolling motion while being careful not to overstretch the dressing. Your warm hands will mold the dressing to your skin. If the hydrocolloid dressing doesn’t have adhesive edges, you can secure it with adhesive tape.
How often should you change a hydrocolloid dressing?
On average, hydrocolloid dressing requires changing every three to five days. Since these bandages keep the wound moist and protected, daily cleanings are unnecessary. In addition, this quality helps speed up the healing process because the wound gets less exposure to the air. However, if the dressing leaks around the edges, you’ll need to change the hydrocolloid dressing earlier than usual. The same rule applies if the dressing gets damaged.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.