Background: Considerable thought has been given to the development of dressings and adhesives for use on chronic wounds. Dressings and adhesives used on acute (surgical/traumatic) wounds, however, have not had the same level of scrutiny regarding the skin damage that may be incurred on removal, particularly as the dressings are often removed after short application periods.
Aims: To compare the skin adhesive properties of three dressings used for acute wounds in terms of their peel adhesion, pain on removal and their effect on skin post removal.
Results: The study shows that dressing A displayed a lower level of adhesion (thus potentially less skin damage), and yet remained in place after 96 hours application. Baseline levels of pain on removal were low, which might account for the fact that no significant differences were observed between the three dressings in respect of this measurement. Application of dressing B showed an increased level of hydration in the skin, which may have clinical implications in terms of maceration.
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that the same level of care is required when selecting dressings for acute wounds to ensure that minimal damage is caused to skin which may be as fragile as that close to chronic wounds.
Conflict of interest: The study was sponsored by Mölnlycke Health Care.