Different Types of Dressing and their Uses

type of Dressing

We may not all have a vast knowledge of first aid and even though a great deal of know-how is not entirely necessary when it comes to wound healing, discovering proper methods can significantly benefit the healing process and prevent all kinds of nasty infections. When taking into account that the correct dressing is vitally important, we have listed a few different types of dressings and explain the ideal methods to use them, all for your convenience.

There are quite many online medical retailers available that offer a wide range of supplies to choose from, some of which we recommend keeping stock of at home; such as antiseptic ointments, latex gloves, wound cleanser, and a few different dressing. This is mainly to ensure that you are always prepared.

While there are quite a few deciding factors when choosing the right dressing for a wound, which can be somewhat tedious, our guide will simplify the task and significantly grow your general knowledge of first aid.

Do look at the list below of different types of dressing:

Tegaderm Dressing

A Tegaderm dressing offers a waterproof barrier to keep bacteria out while still allowing oxygen in to encourage wound healing and maintain skin’s health. This dressing is transparent, adhesive, sterile, it also comes in a variety of different sizes and can also be cut to size for convenience. What’s great about this adhesive dressing is that it conforms to the shape of your body while also being able to flex with your skin, providing you with maximum comfort. It is ideal to use to protect surgical wounds, IV sites, and central lines, minor burns, and injuries.


  • When using this dressing, it is recommended to initially clean the wound properly with a wound cleansing ointment and disposable cotton swabs, use circular motions and start at the center of the injury, working your way outward.
  • After allowing the wound to air dry, establish how much Tegaderm dressing the injury will need and ensure that it will fit accurately; allowing a 4-5cm border around the wound site is recommended.
  • Applying this dressing is quite straight-forward, remove the back paper to reveal the adhesive side (leaving the paper frame to hold and apply) and place gently over the wound, pressing out any air bubbles and then finally remove the paper frame and gently press the edges of the dressing down.

Hydrocolloid Dressing

This type of dressing is appropriate for wounds that emit liquid, various types of ulcers, necrotic wounds, and burns. It has a waterproof backing and contains gel-forming agents that provide a moist healing environment while also insulating to protect against infections. A hydrocolloid dressing is safe to keep on for some days and it is made from a flexible material to promote comfort, even on areas like elbows and knees. Additionally, it is also available in a few different sizes and unless damaged, it is a sterile dressing.

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  • Before applying this dressing, you should ensure that you have cleaned the wound using wound cleanser or a saline solution and it would be a great idea to wear latex gloves while cleaning and applying this dressing to prevent spreading bacteria.
  • As with most wounds, after proper cleaning, allow the wound to dry.
  • Depending on the size and depth of the wound, you may need to apply a wound filler.
  • You will then need to hold the dressing between your hands to warm it, allowing it to adhere to your skin properly.
  • Remove the backing of the dressing and then fold in half.
  • Apply the dressing first at the center of the wound, applying outwards.

Cloth Dressing

This is one of the more commonly used dressings and generally, they are used to keep open wounds and broken skin protected. Cloth dressings are appropriate for minor injuries like cuts and grazes. The can be purchased in a rather wide variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate any sized wound.


  • Always clean the wound site thoroughly with either a saline solution or a wound cleaning ointment.
  • Establish the correct length of cloth dressing needed to cover the area adequately. Cloth dressings are usually sold in rolls and can be cut to an appropriate size.
  • Hold down the cloth dressing at least 2cm from the wound site and begin to wrap around the area. The dressing can be pinned down carefully using a safety pin or a piece of adhesive tape.

What Medical Supplies Should You Have At Home?

It is essential to keep general medical supplies at home in a first aid box at all times. Items such as latex gloves, scissors, cotton swabs, and a variety of different dressings are essential items that you should keep stock of. Additionally, saline solution and wound cleaning ointments are vital, while other items such as tweezers and safety pins are also quite handy to keep in your first aid kit to always be prepared.

Even though it is always important to consult your healthcare practitioner in the event of an injury of any kind, knowing how to tend to common wound injuries will prove beneficial.

This post was last modified on November 16, 2022 2:36 am

Piya C: Piya C is internet savvy health and lifestyle blogger. She covers beauty, relationship, diet and many more topics. #blogger #author Want to connect with me? Follow me. I reply my every DM & tweet.
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