American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 449–459 | Cite as

Wound Dressings: Selecting the Most Appropriate Type

  • Karen C. Broussard
  • Jennifer Gloeckner PowersEmail author
Therapy in Practice


Appropriate wound dressing selection is guided by an understanding of wound dressing properties and an ability to match the level of drainage and depth of a wound. Wounds should be assessed for necrosis and infection, which need to be addressed prior to selecting an ideal dressing. Moisture-retentive dressings include films, hydrogels, hydrocolloids, foams, alginates, and hydrofibers and are useful in a variety of clinical settings. Antimicrobial-impregnated dressings can be useful in wounds that are superficially infected or are at higher risk for infection. For refractory wounds that need more growth stimulation, tissue-engineered dressings have become a viable option in the past few decades, especially those that have been approved for burns, venous ulcers, and diabetic ulcers. As wounds heal, the ideal dressing type may change, depending on the amount of exudate and depth of the wound; thus success in wound dressing selection hinges on recognition of the changing healing environment.


Pressure Ulcer Epidermolysis Bullosa Venous Ulcer Manuka Honey Wound Exudate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No funding sources were used to prepare this review. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen C. Broussard
    • 1
  • Jennifer Gloeckner Powers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Vanderbilt Division of DermatologyNashvilleUSA

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