1. Section Editor(s): Hess, Cathy Thomas BSN, RN, CWOCN

Article Content

A snapshot of the products you may use in practice.




Hydrogels are water- or glycerin-based amorphous gels, impregnated gauzes, or sheet dressings. Because of their high water content, some cannot absorb large amounts of exudate. Hydrogels help maintain a moist wound environment, promote granulation and epithelialization, and facilitate autolytic debridement.



For use as primary dressings (amorphous gels, impregnated gauzes) or as primary or secondary dressings (sheets); to manage partial- and full-thickness wounds, deep wounds (amorphous gels, impregnated gauzes), wounds with necrosis or slough, minor burns, and tissue damaged by radiation.



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* Soothing and reduce pain


* Rehydrate the wound bed


* Facilitate autolytic debridement


* Fill in dead space (amorphous gels, impregnated gauzes)


* Provide minimal to moderate absorption


* Applied and removed easily from the wound


* Can be used when infection is present




* Usually not recommended for wounds with heavy exudate


* Dehydrate easily if not covered


* Some require secondary dressing


* Some may be difficult to secure


* Some may cause maceration


Source: Hess CT. Clinical Guide: Wound Care. Fourth Edition. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation; 2002:275-6.