Treatments you perform to an open wound will determine the length of time the wound requires for thorough healing. While proper treatments will let the wound heal quickly, improper handling of these open wounds may result in delayed healing or worse, wound site infection. Thus, choosing the proper and best dressings for these type of wound become essential.
How dressings affect open wounds progress
The importance of choosing the best dressings for open wounds lie on how they are going to affect the wound site. Proper wound dressings will increase the skin ability to form new skin cells and tissues. This will promote faster skin regeneration and thus, faster wound healing. Proper wound dressings also has a significant role of inhibiting the formation of scabs and thus, minimizing the risk of scarring. With proper dressings, your open wounds also have lower risk of infection and resulted pain during the healing process is also minimal.
Dressings an open wound
Before determining the proper and best dressing types for open wounds, it is important to know what kinds of wounds are categorized as open wounds. An open wound itself is an injury that involves either an external or internal break in body tissues and usually involves the skin. There are numerous potential causes of open wounds, and the wounds itself can be in the forms of abrasions, incisions, lacerations, or puncture wounds. To provide best dressings for open wounds, some things need to be considered:
Mild solution is the best solution you should use to clean an open wound site.
Saline solution is the most appropriate wound cleaner that mimics your body’s internal pH and can be made at home. You can make saline solution by diluting a small amount of salt in the water. This solution is far milder than some other previously-advised antiseptic solutions for open wounds, such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine. While these solutions, according to old-wives tales, are able to kill infesting bacteria on the wound site, they might also damage the skin tissues, as they are too harsh.
Wound dressings that preserve moist environment are advised for open wounds.
An open wound causes tear to the superficial surface of the skin, and in more severe cases, the internal tissues of the skin. In order to promote regeneration to this injured region, it is important to provide wound closure that has an ability on preserving sufficient moisture for cell growth.
Best dressings for open wounds
Since there are some different types of open wounds, you might have to put things into account before deciding the best dressing to be used with certain open wounds. Some factors to consider include:
- The location of the wound.
- The severity of the wound and the damages caused.
- The depth of the wound.
- The cause of the wound.
Some best dressings for open wounds that put above criteria into considerations include:
Topical antibiotics, which can be found in the forms of ointment, creams, or spray. These topical antibiotics can be applied onto most open wound surfaces. Abrasions, scratches, and scrapes are minor wounds that are best handled with topical antibiotic. These ointments or in some other cases, petroleum jelly provide lasting moist environment to these open wounds, which speed up the growth of new skin cells. Skin adhesive bandage or sterile gauze are also often used for these kinds of superficial open wounds to give them a protective barrier against the external disturbances.
Larger or deeper open wounds, however, might require more complicated treatments than merely topical antibiotic application. If you are suffering from lacerations with separated torn edges, staples, stitches, or butterfly bandages are some of the best wound closure. Since these larger wounds will likely ooze more fluid discharge, it is important to choose wound dressings that are able to absorb these fluid discharge while maintaining moist wound environment for wound healing. To accommodate large or more severe open wounds, some best dressings are:
- Hydrogel wound dressings, which are good for wound hydration. This wound dressing is best for dry or dehydrated open wounds, severe scrapes or abrasions, minor burns, and open wounds with granulation tissue development. Hydrogel gives soothing effect to the wound site and retain hydration on the wound site.
- Hydrocolloid wound dressings, which do not only provide moist healing environment, but also an autolytic debridement of the wound site. Thus, non-infected open wounds with partial or full thickness or which are very dry can be dressed with hydrocolloid wound dressings. However, these wound dressings may not be suitable for open wounds with heavy exudate.
- Alginate wound dressings, which are suitable for open wounds that have heavy fluid discharge or exudate. Alginate wound dressings will not only maintain moist wound environment, but also absorb this exudate, leaving proper environment for new tissue growth. Alginate wound dressings are beneficial for diabetic open wounds and other severe pressure wounds.
- Collagen wound dressings, which promote faster formation of collagen on the wound site, which is necessary for the entire wound healing. Most collagen dressings are suitable for open wounds because they include antimicrobial agent, which is essential for killing infesting bacteria. Collagen dressing also do not require frequent changes, so that they are suitable for various kinds of open wounds. However, this dressing is not recommended for open wounds with heavy exudate.