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How to Use Hydrocolloid Dressings

Hydrocolloid dressings support natural healing by protecting wounds from trauma and contaminants while maintaining a moist healing environment. These dressings can also be used to reinforce intact skin or newly healed wound sites.



What is a Hydrocolloid Dressing?

Hydrocolloid dressings are flexible, water-resistant wafers composed of gel-forming agents that gently absorb fluid. These non-adherent primary dressings support natural healing by providing thermal insulation and promoting a moist environment for healing.

Hydrocolloid dressings act as a skin-like barrier, ideal for wounds with small to moderate drainage. These dressings can also be used over intact skin or newly healed sites to provide protection from friction and trauma.

Our latex-free Hydrocolloid Bordered Dressing features a water-resistant polyurethane outer layer and a gentle adhesive border.



Advantages of Hydrocolloid Dressings

  • absorb minimal to moderate amounts of drainage
  • promotes moist environment for natural healing (autolytic debridement)
  • occlusive, reduce risk of infection by preventing external fluid/bacteria contamination
  • may be used under compression
  • do not require secondary dressing
  • non-adherent to wound bed, reducing pain with dressing changes
  • conform to fit shape of wound bed


How to Apply Hydrocolloid Dressings

  • clean with wound cleanser or saline, pat dry
  • cut hydrocolloid dressing 1-2 inches larger than wound and apply as primary dressing
  • for increased adhesion, warm dressing prior to application and hold in place for 30-40 seconds
  • to remove, peel hydrocolloid dressing away from skin in the direction of hair growth
  • do not require secondary dressing
  • recommended dressing change every 3-7 days, depending on amount of wound drainage


Uses for Hydrocolloid Dressings

  • wounds with minimal to moderate drainage
  • partial thickness wounds
  • non-infected wounds
  • minor burns, blisters, and abrasions
  • superficial surgical incisions and donor sites
  • pressure ulcers
  • venous stasis ulcers
  • arterial ulcers
  • diabetic ulcers
  • wounds in areas with increased risk of urinary/fecal contamination
  • newly healed sites or intact skin at risk for friction-related breakdown


Considerations for Hydrocolloid Dressings

  • not indicated for wounds with large amounts of drainage, infected wounds, 3rd degree burns, fungal/herpetic lesions, or wounds with deep tunneling or areas of exposed tendon/bone



Our Hydrocolloid dressings are the same dressings used in large medical centers to protect skin and wounds. Often referred to as the workhorse of wound care dressings, hydrocolloid dressings are extremely versatile and can be used alone or in combination with other dressings such as Collagen Particles. Our Hydrocolloid dressings are value priced and often used in Home Healthcare and Small Nursing Facilities.