Foam dressings, by default, are a non-adherent solution designed to create a moist healing environment and reduce wound trauma during removal. Pads, sheets and cavity dressings provide these properties, while an adhesive border may be added to help the material stay in place.
What are Foam Dressings?
Constructed of a polymer like polyurethane, foam dressings use an open-cell design allowing for partial permeability. This core may be accompanied by other materials to enhance absorbency, wound fluid retention and bacteriostatic properties. These include antimicrobial substances like silver or iodine, surfactants to improve healing or a waterproof, bacteria-blocking barrier.
With this basic design in mind, foam dressings:
- Allow for easy, straightforward removal, minimizing trauma to the wound and periwound skin.
- Feature hydrophobic construction to repel moisture and outside substances from the exterior.
- Are available in a range of sizes, or can be cut to fit the wound.
- Are ideal for low- to high-exudate wounds.
- Keep the wound bed moist while cushioning it against additional damage.
- Provide a degree of debridement.
- Accommodate a range of wounds, including high-exudate, infected injuries.
- Can be used in conjunction with compression therapy.
- Can remain in place for multiple days.
Types of Foam Bandages
Mepilex® dressings feature a multi-layer design enhanced with Safetac® technology. For chronic and acute wounds, these highly absorbent dressings can be cut to size, help contain exudate to reduce maceration risks and can be used in different locations across the body.
PolyMem delivers all the benefits of standard foam dressings through a hydrophilic polyurethane matrix that further improves healing through a wound cleanser, moisturizer, highly absorbent construction and semi-permeable backing film. This combination draws in exudate and lessens inflammation while debriding the wound, and reduces trauma and pain during dressing changes.
Uses for Foam Dressings
For protecting, healing and packing, foam dressings function as primary and secondary dressings for:
- Full- and partial-thickness wounds
- Surgical wounds
- Skin grafts
- Leg ulcers
- First- and second-degree burns
- Pressure ulcers
- Around tracheotomy and gastrostomy tubing
- Infected wounds
- Draining wounds
- Negative pressure wound therapy
- Wounds with necrotic tissue
Foam dressings are not ideal for no-exudate wounds and third-degree burns.