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When you are dealing with a wound, the last thing you want is a setback in your healing. To help prevent this from happening it’s important to find a product that works for you. The good news is, there are lots of options!

Did you know if wounds are kept in a moist environment, they heal faster, cause less pain, and leave less scarring? Because of this, the most effective wound dressings work by hydration, adding moisture to the wound bed, or by absorption, absorbing drainage thereby keeping the wound bed moist. It’s important to choose your dressings according to the characteristics of the wound.

Calcium Alginate Dressings are derived from seaweed and available as sheets or ropes for packing deep wounds. They absorb moderate to heavy wound draining and are capable of absorbing many times their own weight. Once applies they form a moist gel-like covering and always require a cover dressing. Not recommended for lightly draining wounds.

Collagen Dressings are used for moderate to heavily draining wounds to enhance healing and tissue repair. A collagen dressing can be used on burns, pressure ulcers, scrapes, cuts, and dermatologic conditions.

Compression Dressings and Unna Boots apply controlled pressure to areas of the body to help control swelling and promote circulation, encouraging wound healing.

Foam Dressings are highly absorbent and generally made from hydrophilic polyurethane foam. Offering a moist environment to insulate and cushion the wound. They require a cover dressing and tape, unless they are waterproof with an adhesive border. Conformable as well as comfortable, they will not stick to wounds or leave residue when removed. Can be used for heavily draining wounds.

Hydrocolloid Dressings are soft, absorptive, adhesive wafers that become gel-like as they absorb and are best used on lightly to moderately draining wounds. They are waterproof and impermeable to bacteria and contaminates. Easy application. Various thicknesses available. Not recommended for infected wounds.

Hydrogels are transparent and water-based. They hydrate tissue and facilitate debridement using the body’s own enzymes. Because of the relatively high water content, there is limited drainage and/or absorption. Some sheets and all gels need a cover dressing and tape to hold them in place and are easy to use. They require no mixing. Not recommended for moderate or heavily draining wounds because of limited absorptive ability.

Non-adherent Dressings are available non impregnated or impregnated and discourage foreign matter from becoming lodged in the wound bed. They can be used on skin tears, donor sites, and skin grafts. Most non-adherent dressings require a cover bandage or tape to hold them in place.

Silver Dressings feature broad-spectrum antimicrobial action and are effective against a wide range of micro-organisms including MRSA, VRE, and Fundi.

Transparent Adhesive Dressings maintain a moist environment that is permeable to oxygen and vapor and impermeable to bacteria and contaminants. Because they are waterproof they may be used on blisters, superficial wounds, or wounds with light amounts of drainage. They can also securely protect IV catheter sites. They allow evaluation of wound progress without removal of the dressing. Application may be difficult for those with dexterity problems.

Wound Cleanser gently cleanse a wound before dressing application. They may contain ingredients that absorb drainage and/or deodorize the wound. Cleansers/debriders are used to remove dead tissue while keeping healthy tissue intact.


Burlington Health Care, Northern Kentucky’s Home Health Supply Store, has the supplies you need to address and dress your wounds. As Northern Kentucky’s healthcare supply provider, our professionals will make sure you and your family have the knowledge and supplies you need to manage any and all medical challenges you encounter. Visit our website at or stop in today and speak with one of our helpful staff members.

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