Benefits of Silicone Dressings in Wound Care – Continued

How Can Silicone Dressings Be Used For Pressure Ulcers?

The most common type of pressure ulcer is the sacral pressure ulcer which can be hard to treat due to its location and its risk of infection from faecal matter and increased exudate production. This means that using the right wound dressings is critical in patient recovery.

Studies have shown that the use of a soft silicone wound dressing for these types of pressure ulcers can lessen the risk of damage to the surrounding skin and reduce the amount of dressing changes needed, both of which result in less discomfort for the patients.

Furthermore, for those at risk of developing pressure ulcers, the use of soft silicone bordered foam dressing can help to protect vulnerable areas of skin and prevent pressure ulcers from occurring by reducing friction and sheer when turning patients or to prevent footwear from rubbing.

How Can Silicone Dressings Be Used For Skin Tears?

Unlike pressure ulcers, skin tears are acute wounds that can be closed with primary intention. These types of wounds typically occur in elderly patients as their skin is more fragile and, therefore, more prone to tears.

To manage skin tears, whether they are minor or severe, the flap of skin must be realigned as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Once precise alignment of the skin flap has been carried out, a silicone-coated net dressing can be applied to secure the skin flap in place.

The dressing should be kept in place for a minimum of 5 days to allow the flap to fully adhere to the underlying skin tissue and to avoid further pain or discomfort.

The benefits of silicone dressings for skin tears include:

  • Ensures secure placement of the skin flap
  • Provides an atraumatic method of fixation
  • Offers low allergy potential
  • Allows exudate to pass through a secondary dressing

When choosing a silicone dressing for the treatment of skin tears, make sure that you look for one that provides maximum tack strength to ensure that the dressing stays in place for the total recommended length of time.

What Are the Cost Implications of Using Silicone Dressings?

If you are worried about the cost of implications of using soft silicone dressings, you should know that in recent trials, where both silicone dressings and other commonly used dressings for burns and split-skin grafting were applied, the soft silicone dressing significantly reduced the time required for dressing changes, the number of dressings used and the cost of pain management. Furthermore, healing rates were quicker, and the soft silicone dressings needed to be changed less frequently, resulting in even more savings.

Conclusion

Soft silicone dressings can be used to aid the healing process of many different wounds types by helping to prevent trauma to the wound bed and the periwound skin. They can be used on both low and highly exuding wounds and are particularly beneficial to patients with fragile skin and those who suffer pain during dressing changes.

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