In the earlier days when it came to wound healing process, it was believed that keeping the wounds exposed to air, allowed them to heal quickly. But with the advancements in healthcare more secure and effective methods were discovered to help in wound healing and one successful method among these was ‘moist wound healing’.Instead of keeping the wound open, this method creates a moist environment surrounding the wound area which is ideal for the healing process to be more effective.And this is achieved through dressings that contain a special gel called ‘Hydrocolloids’ which is used to cover the wound areas.

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Effects of Hydrocolloids

At first, medical experts thought that the best way to heal wounds was to keep them in a dry state with the likes of plain gauze. But a discovery that was made around the 1960’s by Dr. George D. Winter proved that this was not the case. He was able to discover that the ‘Epithelialization Process’(i.e. – the surface area of a wound being covered by new cell generation of the skin whichprovides protectionfrom the likes of bacteria), in moist wounds was much faster than in dry wounds. This breakthrough, led to many research and development on the area of dressings, which ultimately led to the use of hydrocolloids. When it comes into contact with moisture from a wound’s exudate, it takes a gel like form that will aid in the development of new tissues and cells in the wound.

Major Uses

There are many forms of these hydrocolloids under different trade names like duoderm, granuflex, replicare, etc. and all of these allows for a quick epithelialization thus preventing the wound from getting infected by bacteria that are in the environment. If scabs are formed in a wound due to the healing environment being too dry, it can dampen the skin cell replacement rate which will lead to slowing down the process of healing. But hydrocolloid dressings have the ability to prevent these scabs from forming in the first place.Another major benefit of these is that it reduces the frequency of changing the dressings unlike the normal dressings that usually need to be changed more frequently. When the wound is not being disturbed by thesefrequent dressing changes, it will reduce the risks involved with pain, scarring and even infections too. These dressings arealso very easy to remove from wounds unlike the normal gauze which poses a high risk of causing pain to a patient as the newly formed skin cells might be torn away when they are being removed.

Through these innovative hydrocolloid dressings, moist healing of wounds has nowadays become a widely accepted form of therapy for wound healing as it allows for the perfect environment for a wound to heal quickly, without the risks of infection. Being able to be used even for a number of days at a stretch, the care that these hydrocolloids providecan be an ideal solution for anyone who is expecting a quick relief from his/her wounds.