Tegaderm is a dressing made of a thin polyurethane membrane which is coated with a layer of an acrylic adhesive. Once applied on a patient, it will prevent external contamination while maintaining a moist environment at the surface of the wound. Tegaderm prevents scab formation, so epidermal regeneration occurs at an enhanced rate compared to dry dressings. There are plenty of other kinds of dressing that can be applied instead of using the Tegaderm dressing.
Various Kinds of Tegaderm
Tegaderm and similar dressings are used for minor burns, donor sites, pressure areas, post-operative wounds, and for minor injuries such as abrasions and lacerations. Before looking at other kinds of dressings, it is helpful to know that there are different kinds of Tegaderm dressings. One alternative product is Tegaderm Plus, which contains iodine. Some patients have allergic reactions to adhesive on such dressings, however, a woven, nylon Tegaderm dressing called Tegaderm Contact Layer has sealed edges which is hypoallergenic, non-adherent, and non-irritating. It is applied over the wound and under another absorbent dressing or gauze and can be left on a wound for up to 7 days.
Opsite Flexigrid Dressing
One alternative to a Tegaderm dressing is Opsite Flexigrid which is a transparent, adhesive film that provides moist-wound healing and can be used as an additional dressing to help prevent pressure sores. Like Tegaderm, Opsite promotes quicker, safer, wound healing and it is flexible with a waterproof film. When using Opsite, the dressing should be changed daily. Those with diabetes, or patients who have weakened immune systems, may need extra medical supervision to prevent skin damage by repeated applications because of thin or fragile skin. Irritation may occur due to the adhesive.
Aside from Tegaderm transparent dressings, Bioclusive transparent dressing, 2nd Skin Blister Pad, Flexifix dressing, Polyskin transparent dressing, as well as variations of Tegaderm and Opsite transparent dressings are on the market. Alternatively, Alginate dressings which contain calicum alginate, biosynthetic dressings, and collagen dressings are also available. Composite dressings are similar to plastic adhesive strips which include a semi-adhesive surface, a bacterial layer and an absorbent layer. Contact layer dressings have a perforated or woven polymer material to prevent another dressing such as Tegadrerm from sticking to the wound. Gauze is a woven, cotton dressing which is sold in sheets, rolls, sponges, pads, ribbon and surgical swabs. Hydrocolloid dressings are attached to a foam sheet or a thin polyurethane film, and Hydrofiber dressings turn into a gel when in contact with wound fluid. Hydrogels dressings also provide moisture to wounds. Polyurethane foam dressings draw fluid away from a wound. Transparent films have a special adhesive that prevents sticking to moist surfaces, however, these films allow some circulation of oxygen. Which dressing you choose largely depends on its application and purpose. Links to websites in the Resource section provide more detailed information about transparent dressings.