How to Use Aquacel

Aquacel is a sterile dressing used to cover acute and chronic wounds that are excreting pus or other fluids. The dressing is used on ulcers, graft sites and lesions that would benefit from staying moist. The active ingredient in the Aquacel dressing is sodium carboxymethylcellulose. Aquacel draws excess moisture away from a wound and traps the bacteria. Excess moisture is retained in the dressing to keep the wound from drying out, which promotes wound healing.

Wash your hands with soap and water.

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Apply a topical antibiotic medication to the wound if prescribed by your doctor.

Pour isopropyl alcohol onto scissors to sterilize the cutting surface. Let the scissors air dry.

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Cut Aquacel dressing with sterile scissors to a size that is a little larger than the wound.

Lay the Aquacel dressing directly on top of the wound.

Moisten Aquacel dressing with saline water solution if the wound is very dry. If the wound is excreting pus or other fluids, the dressing does not need to be moistened.

Cover the Aquacel dressing with a second sterile dressing 1. Use gauze if the wound is very wet, to absorb excess moisture. Use a plastic backed dressing if the wound is only a little wet, to help hold moisture in the Aquacel dressing. Fix the secondary dressing over the Aquacel dressing with surgical tape.

Change the Aquacel dressing once a day if the wound is excreting a lot of fluid. The dressing can be left on for up to seven days for dryer wounds. If the Aquacel dressing sticks to the wound, apply saline water solution to loosen the dressing. Check with your doctor for a recommended dressing change schedule.


Do not use Aquacel if you are sensitive or allergic to sodium carboxymethylcellulose.