Hydrocolloid dressing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A hydrocolloid dressing is an opaque or transparent[1] dressing for wounds. A hydrocolloid dressing is biodegradable,[2] breathable, and depending on the dressing selected, may adhere to the skin, so no separate taping is needed.[3]

The active surface of the dressing is coated with a cross-linked adhesive mass containing a dispersion of gelatin, pectin and carboxymethyl cellulose 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. The gel may be designed to drain, or to remain within the structure of the adhesive matrix.[4]

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 held in place within the structure of the adhesive matrix. Most hydrocolloid dressings are waterproof, allowing normal washing and bathing.[5]


Hydrocolloid dressings are used to treat uninfected wounds.[6] Dressings may be used, under medical supervision, even where aerobic infection is present; the infection should be treated appropriately.[citation needed]

The dressing is applied to a cleaned wound. Hydrocolloid patches are sometimes used on the face for acne. Smaller sizes are used on acne, not only to get rid of acne, but to avoid acne scars.[7] They are also used to secure nasogastric tubes or CPAP masks to the patient's face.[citation needed] Hydrocolloid dressings are used for pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores).[8]


The results of meta-analyses indicate no significant difference in healing rates between hydrocolloid dressings and other dressings (including simple dressings) for venous ulcers,[9] or for diabetic foot ulcers.[10]

There is tentative but unclear evidence for hydrocolloid dressings for superficial and partial thickness burns.[11] Hydrocolloid dressings were, however, superior to other substrates (i.e., alginate, film, gauze, hydrofiber, silicone) for treating skin graft donor sites.[12]


  1. ^ Coloplast (UK)- Reviewed 2017-10-21 (Primary)
  2. ^ Kennedy, J.F.; Bunko, K. (2009), "The use of 'smart' textiles for wound care", Advanced Textiles for Wound Care, Elsevier, pp. 254–274, doi:10.1533/9781845696306.2.254, ISBN 978-1-84569-271-1, S2CID 107857160, retrieved 2023-11-08
  3. ^ Wietlisbach, Christine M. (2020), "Wound Care", Cooper's Fundamentals of Hand Therapy, Elsevier, pp. 154–166, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-52479-7.00017-x, ISBN 978-0-323-52479-7, S2CID 243089436, retrieved 2023-11-08
  4. ^ World Wide Wounds
  5. ^ Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory Dressings Datacard: Bordered Granuflex
  6. ^ Andrews, Karen L.; Derby, Kelly M.; Jacobson, Therese M.; Sievers, Beth A.; Kiemele, Lester J. (2021), "Prevention and Management of Chronic Wounds", Braddom's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Elsevier, pp. 469–484.e4, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-62539-5.00024-2, ISBN 978-0-323-62539-5, S2CID 224870006, retrieved 2023-11-08
  7. ^ "This TikTok acne remedy really does work". wexnermedical.osu.edu. 2020-12-21. Retrieved 2023-11-08.
  8. ^ Heyneman, Alexander; Beele, Hilde; Vanderwee, Katrien; Defloor, Tom (2008). "A systematic review of the use of hydrocolloids in the treatment of pressure ulcers". Journal of Clinical Nursing. 17 (9): 1164–1173. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02218.x. ISSN 1365-2702. PMID 18416792.
  9. ^ Palfreyman, SJ; Nelson EA; Lochiel R; Michaels JA. (2006). Palfreyman, Simon SJ (ed.). "Dressings for healing venous leg ulcers". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3): CD001103. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001103.pub2. PMID 16855958.
  10. ^ Dumville, Jo C.; Deshpande, Sohan; O'Meara, Susan; Speak, Katharine (2013-08-06). "Hydrocolloid dressings for healing diabetic foot ulcers". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013 (8): CD009099. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009099.pub3. ISSN 1469-493X. PMC 7111300. PMID 23922167.
  11. ^ Wasiak, J; Cleland, H; Campbell, F; Spinks, A (28 March 2013). "Dressings for superficial and partial thickness burns". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 3 (3): CD002106. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002106.pub4. hdl:10072/58266. PMC 7065523. PMID 23543513.
  12. ^ Sinha S, Schreiner AJ, Biernaskie J, Nickerson D, Gabriel VA (June 2017). "Treating pain on skin graft donor sites: review and clinical recommendations". J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 83 (5): 954–964. doi:10.1097/TA.0000000000001615. PMID 28598907. S2CID 44520644.