Hydrocolloid dressing

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A hydrocolloid dressing' (trade names include "Comfeel Plus Ulcer - Coloplast"'''Duoderm, Granuflex, Ultec, and 3M Tegaderm Hydrocolloid) is an opaque dressing for wounds. A hydrocolloid dressing is biodegradeable, non-breathable, and adheres to the skin, so no separate taping is needed.

The active surface of the dressing is coated with a cross-linked adhesive mass containing a dispersion of gelatin, pectin and carboxy-methylcellulose together with other polymers and adhesives forming a flexible wafer. In contact with wound exudate, the polysaccharides and other polymers absorb water and swell, forming a gel which is held within the structure of the adhesive matrix. The moist conditions produced under the dressing are intended to promote fibrinolysis, angiogenesis and wound healing, without causing softening and breaking down of tissue. The gel which is formed as a result of the absorption of wound exudate is not mobile and free running but held within the structure of the adhesive matrix. Most hydrocolloid dressings are waterproof, allowing normal washing and bathing.[1]


Dressings may be used, under medical supervision, even where aerobic infection is present; the infection should be treated appropriately.

The dressing is applied to a cleaned wound. Hydrocolloid patches are sometimes used on the face for acne. They are also used to secure nasogastric tubes or CPAP masks to the patient's face. Hydrocolloid dressings are used for pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores). They are used in the treatment of eczema, to seal steroid ointment underneath and to provide a barrier against scratching.

Compeed is a hydrocolloid-075 containing patch for the treatment of herpes labialis.


The results of meta-analyses indicate no significant difference in healing rates between hydrocolloid dressings and other dressings (including simple dressings) for venous ulcers,[2] for superficial burns,[3] or for diabetic foot ulcers.[4]


  1. ^ Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory Dressings Datacard: Bordered Granuflex
  2. ^ Palfreyman, SJ; Nelson EA; Lochiel R; Michaels JA. (2006). "Dressings for healing venous leg ulcers.". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3): CD001103. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001103.pub2. PMID 16855958. 
  3. ^ Wasiak, J; Cleland H; Campbell F. (2008). "Dressings for superficial and partial thickness burns.". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4): CD002106. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002106.pub3. PMID 18843629. 
  4. ^ Dumville, JC; Deshpande S; O'Meara S; Speak K. (2012). "Hydrocolloid dressings for healing diabetic foot ulcers.". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2 (2): CD009099. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009099.pub2. PMID 22336859. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 

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