Application of a wound dressing to a cut or surgical incision is performed to prevent infection and avoid further injury during the healing process. Wound dressings can help reduce pain, control bleeding, immobilize an injured part, protect the wound and neighboring tissue from germs or further injury, as well as support a moist environment for wound healing.
Some of the common dressings for wounds include:
An ideal dressing should be sterile, nontoxic, non-allergenic and provide mechanical support, bacterial protection, a moist environment and allow exchange of fluids and gases.
To dress a laceration, your wound will first be cleaned to remove contamination. An antiseptic ointment may be applied to fight infection and a dressing is applied over the wound. In case of a surgical procedure, the incision is sutured closed and a suitable dressing is then applied.
Management of the dressing is a crucial stage in healing. Once the wound is dressed, it has to be monitored for efficient healing and vigilantly protected from infection. Depending on the type of wound and dressing applied, your doctor will give you specific instructions on wound care. You will be instructed to keep the dressing clean and dry. You may be told not to wet the dressing in the shower for a few days. Timely changing of the dressing is recommended either at home or clinic to promote good wound healing. Follow the instructions from your provider for the best outcome.