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4 Types of Wound Dressing and When to Use Them

For wounds to heal fast and effective, it’s crucial for one to use the right dressing which will depend on the size, location, and amount of drainage.

That being said, it’s essential to know the kind of dressings available as well as the type of situations they are most applicable.

Honey Alginates and Gauze

Honey alginates usually come in two sizes: 2” x 2” and 4.5” x 4.5”

Honey gauzes, on the other hand, come in one size at 4” x 4”

Honey dressings are best used on both partial and full-thickness wounds as well as wounds with minimal to heavy exudates. They are also effective on wounds that require autolytic debridement.

Just apply to the surface of the wound bed and make sure to cover it with a secondary dressing for effective wound healing.

More importantly, make sure to apply daily.

Super Absorbent Dressings

Super absorbent dressings can be classified into two. You have the adhesive type which comes in 2” x 2”, 4” x 4”, and 5” x 5” sizes, and the adherent type which comes in 2” x 2” and 5” x 5”.

This type of dressing is best used for full-thickness wounds and may also be used as both a primary and secondary dressing.

The application for this dressing is slightly different from the honey type. For the super absorbent variety, the dressing is applied over the wound with the pad size large enough to cover the wound, ensuring that the tape doesn’t come in contact with the wound bed.

You then smooth the backing of the dressing as a final step and ensure daily use.

Silicone Foams

Next are the silicone foams which come in 4” x 4” and 6” x 6” sizes.

This type of dressing is applied directly on the wound and is used on full-thickness wounds as well as wounds with moderate to heavy exudate.

The frequency of use of this dressing varies depending on how it was applied. If used as a primary dressing, it requires daily change. If it was used as a secondary dressing, however, it needs to be changed with primary treatment.


Last but not least are composites or combination dressings which can be used both as a primary and secondary dressing.

Composites allow you to create any combination of dressing types but more importantly, they can be used on a wide variety of wounds. They’re also widely available and very easy to use.

The only disadvantage of using this type of dressing is that it can be a little expensive and difficult to store. They are also less flexible compared to other dressings.

Final Thoughts

While there are many factors to consider when it comes to wound healing, there’s no denying that the type of dressing you use as well as the application itself, can determine how fast and effective the wound will heal.

It’s not enough to cover a wound with whatever is available at your disposal. If you want your wound to heal faster, using the correct dressing is essential.

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