Hydrocolloid Dressings: What, When, & How

The wound healing process is complex, and for a wound to heal correctly, it will need an optimum healing environment. This can be achieved by selecting and applying the right type of dressing. There are many wound care dressings on the market today, and one of the most commonly used is the hydrocolloid dressing. Here, we will discuss what hydrocolloid dressings are, when they are used, their advantages, and how to apply and remove them.

What are Hydrocolloid Dressings?

DuoDERM CGF Hydrocolloid dressingHydrocolloid dressings help maintain the optimal healing environment while protecting the wound, so the body’s own enzymes can get to work for proper healing. These dressings’ unique design allows it to absorb wound exudate and form a gel over the wound site. The result is a self-adhering and waterproof wound dressing that resembles an absorbent, flexible wafer. These advanced wound dressings come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. They are available with or without adhesive borders, such as the DuoDERM CGF Adhesive Border Hydrocolloid Dressing and the DuoDERM CGF Sterile Dressing.

When are Hydrocolloid Dressings Used?

Hydrocolloid dressings have the best effect on clean, uninfected wounds, have medium thickness, and have low to moderate drainage. Since these wound dressings are waterproof and flexible, they are an excellent choice to protect newly or partially healed wounds when the skin is still intact. Many times smaller hydrocolloid dressings are used for those suffering from acne. If a pimple is raised or has visible pus, the hydrocolloid dressing can absorb the fluid and flatten out the spot. Hydrocolloid dressings can decrease the severity of the pimple, its redness, oiliness, and dark pigmentation.

Using hydrocolloid dressings helps insulate the wound site allowing the body to consume less energy to heal. An important note is that these advanced wound dressings are not suitable for wounds with high exudate.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydrocolloid Dressings

Advantages

DuoDERM hydrocolloid dressing for heels and elbowsHydrocolloid dressings can help promote faster healing of wounds for a variety of reasons.

  • They provide the optimal healing environment, keeping the wound site moist and allowing the body’s enzymes to get to work.
  • They are impermeable to protect against bacteria and other contaminants.
  • They do not stick to the wound site, but rather the healthy surrounding skin.
  • They can be left on longer than most other wound dressings, requiring less frequent changes.
  • They are flexible for the body areas that are difficult to dress, such as the heels and elbows.
  • They can be used alongside venous compression products.
  • They come in a wide selection of shapes and sizes.

Disadvantages

Although there are many benefits of using hydrocolloid dressings, it is essential to note that there are also some disadvantages.

  • They are not suitable for wounds that have heavy exudate as they may become forced out of position.
  • The excess moisture may lead to hypergranulation or maceration of the surrounding skin.
  • Some of the dressing may stick to the wound site and cause trauma to the soft healing tissue.
  • The dressing may have an unpleasant odor upon changing if some of it sticks to the healing wound.
  • These wound dressings can curl or roll up on the edges.
  • Assessing the wound site can be difficult due to the opaqueness of the hydrocolloids.

How to Apply Hydrocolloid Dressings

Your doctor should provide you with detailed instructions on applying the hydrocolloid dressings that you will be using for your particular wound. However, there are some best practices to take and a general process to follow.

  1. Always wash your hands before handling wound care dressings and supplies.
  2. Put on a pair of surgical or exam gloves.
  3. If necessary, remove any current dressing and discard it. (See How to Remove Hydrocolloid Dressings below)
  4. Use an effective saline solution to clean the wound site and surrounding skin.
  5. Pat the wound site and the surrounding skin dry with sterile gauze.
  6. Remove and discard the gloves and put on a new pair.
  7. Use a quality moisture barrier to the periwound skin.
  8. Before removing the backing from the hydrocolloid dressing, hold it between your hands to warm it to adhere better.
  9. Remove the backing and center the dressing over the wound site, smoothing it from the center outward, pressing gently to improve adhesion.
  10. If the wound dressing does not have an adhesive border, secure it with tape.

How to Remove Hydrocolloid Dressings

Removing a hydrocolloid dressing from a wound site is very easy. However, taking great precautions is crucial as you do not want to cause any more damage to the affected and surrounding areas.

  1. Gently press down on the skin at the edge of one side of the adhesive border or tape to allow it to lift slightly.
  2. Using your fingers, slowly lift the edges and continue around until the adhesive is free from the skin.
  3. Gently and carefully, lift the hydrocolloid dressing away from the wound site.
  4. If you are changing the wound dressing, refer to the steps above to apply a new bandage.

Personally Delivered carries a wide variety of hydrocolloid dressings. For questions or help selecting the right wound care dressing for your wound type, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to help.

Popular Hydrocolloid Dressings

DuoDERM Signal Hydrocolloid Sacral Dressing

DuoDERM Signal Hydrocolloid dressing

DuoDERM CGF Hydrocolloid Wound Dressing

DuoDERM CGF Sterile Hydrocolloid Dressing

DuoDERM Extra Thin Hydrocolloid Dressing

DuoDERM Extra Thin Hydrocolloid dressings

DuoDERM Signal Hydrocolloid Heel Dressing

DuoDERM hydrocolloid dressing for heels and elbows
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Top 10 Incontinence Products for Seniors

Top 10 incontinence products for seniors with an elderly man grinning at a woman on a swing

According to research, more than 50% of elderly Americans suffer from incontinence, whether it be bladder or bowel related. Incontinence is not only a physical medical condition; it can also affect people mentally, emotionally, and financially. The cost of incontinence products for seniors can add up, and you could be caught off guard if you aren’t prepared.

We have compiled a list of what we think are the ten most useful incontinence products for seniors. Consider some or all of these incontinence supplies the next time you shop for yourself or a loved one to keep ample inventory levels on hand.

1. Briefs/Diapers

Attends Premier Briefs in a bag available in sizes medium to extra largeBecause briefs or diapers can be changed without removing all clothing articles, they are a preferred choice by many seniors. Briefs are for those needing a more secure and absorbent option and sometimes referred to as adult diapers. These one-piece incontinence garments feature re-fastenable tabs that make readjustment easy for a tight fit. Incontinence briefs also come in daytime or nighttime absorbencies depending on what level is needed. The Attends Premier Brief is an excellent incontinence product for seniors that offers both daytime and overnight protection.

2. Protective Underwear or Pull-Ups

Protective briefs or pull-ups are one-piece garments made to be easily pulled on and off and are an excellent incontinence product for seniors that are looking for more traditional and discreet protection. Offered in absorbencies for both day and night protection, protective underwear also provides odor control and moisture-wicking to remain comfortable and dry.

3. Underpads/Bed Pads/Chux

Available in various colors, materials, designs, and absorbency levels, underpads, bed pads, or chux, provide the extra protection needed to absorb leakage, reduce odors, and control bacteria. Instead of doubling up on protective underwear and mattress covers, an underpad can deliver the required absorbency on its own. Underpads can also be used to protect furniture, car seats, and even as pet potty training pads.

4. Liners/Pads

Incontinence pads and liners in a collageLiners, panty liners, or pads are placed inside regular underwear with their adhesive strip and are used for light to moderate urinary incontinence. Liners and pads are an economical incontinence product for seniors that do not have heavy leakage. On the other hand, booster pads are added to a disposable brief for an added layer of protection for those with moderate to heavy incontinence.

5. Fecal Pads

Fecal incontinence padsThe Butterfly Body Patch by Attends is an excellent fecal incontinence pad or bowel incontinence pads are designed for those who suffer from Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL) and are looking for a bowel leakage product that absorbs fluids and odors while being discreet. Many people are unaware of such a product and resort to using a regular bladder pad for bowel incontinence protection. Those with fecal incontinence require a disposable bowel leakage product, as the use of washable products is not an option. Fecal or bowel incontinence pads such as the Butterfly Body Patch, are specifically shaped to fit in and around the buttocks and are designed to absorb liquids and hold the stool in place. These bowel incontinence products are not as absorbent as traditional incontinence pads, so they hold less fluid.

6. Mattress Cover

Using a mattress cover is another incontinence product for seniors that protects the mattress from incontinence leaks, accidental spills, and unwanted stains. Mattress covers such as the Salk Prima Vinyl Mattress Cover, fit just like a fitted bed sheet, covering the entire mattress, and can also protect against bacteria and some allergens. Mattress protectors may also defend against bacteria and some allergens. Because mattress covers are made of water-resistant materials, they extend the mattress’s life. This handy feature can also protect your health. When fluids enter the mattresses core, bacteria breeds, and dust mites thrive in these warm, damp environments. Investing in a quality mattress cover as one of the top incontinence products for seniors can be beneficial for many reasons.

7. Skin Care

The entire area of the body covered by an incontinence product is at risk for skin irritation. If the skin has become wet or chaffed, the incontinence product either incorrectly fits the wearer or is not the right absorbency. With effective skin moisturizers, creams, and ointments, the sensitive perineal skin can stay healthy and clean.

8. Personal Care Wipes

Item# 325521 Aloe Vesta Bathing Cloths in a pouch are perfect as a no-rinse cleansing optionWith all the personal hygiene products available, personal care wipes are the most convenient incontinence product for seniors. Using personal care wipes is not only a quicker and easier option than paper towels or cloths; they are also the most versatile cleaning product around. Wipes are compact enough for travel and an inexpensive way to keep yourself and the surfaces around you clean throughout the day.  When there isn’t a water source available, using personal care wipes can be used to quickly remove dirt and germs from the hands and face as well as a toilet paper alternative.

9. Penis Clamp

As men age, they may experience difficulty controlling their urinary leakage when lifting, coughing, or straining. They may also have leakage or dribbling of urine due to other urinary problems such as prostate cancer. A penis clamp is an incontinence product for seniors that puts light pressure on the urethra and helps control urine leaking. They are a cost-effective way to help manage stress incontinence in men and worth having around for convenience and travel.

10. Adult Swim Brief

In the summer months, enjoying the pool can be difficult for those that suffer from incontinence.  With adult swim briefs such as the Swimmates Adult Reusable Diapers, pool-time can be worry-free. These snug-fitting, stretchy, and lightweight incontinence briefs are made specifically to fit underneath a swimsuit. Adult swim briefs are also machine washable and reusable, so they are budget-friendly when choosing this kind of incontinence product for seniors.

Stocking up on the essential incontinence products for seniors is important when managing an incontinence condition. Not being prepared with the necessary incontinence supplies when you need them, most can be frustrating. You can rest easy with a little preparation, knowing that you don’t need to run out in an emergency to get the incontinence supplies you need.

For any questions about the incontinence products we carry, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist. Being prepared never felt so good!

Related Incontinence Products

Prevail Air Heavy Absorbency Briefs

Prevail Air Briefs in a bag are a heavy absorbency option as an incontinence product for seniors available in sizes small to large

Personally Delivered Overnight Protective Underwear

Personally Delivered Overnight Protective Underwear in a bag are an excellent incontinence product for seniors for nighttime protection you can trust

Cardinal Health Quilted Premium MVP Underpads, Wings

Cardinal Health Quilted Premium MVP Underpads keep the skin and the bed dry as they keep you comfortable

Hollister Extended-Wear Self-Adhesive Male External Catheter

The Hollister Extended-Wear Self-Adhesive Male External Catheter is easy to apply and safely controls the flow of urine
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Toms River, NJ
The people at Personally Delivered have always been very friendly and helpful. They make it comfortable and easy to order my supplies.

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Peoria, AZ
Products are of high quality. People are very friendly and considerate. Very polite and personable. Excellent to deal with!

Daniel S.

Glen Rock, PA
Customer Service is the BEST! Your reps really care and are always finding ways to make things as easy as possible!

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