Updated: Dec 26, 2020
What is hydrocolloid
Hydrocolloid dressing contains gel-forming agents such as sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC), gelatin, or pectin, which can be used for wound management. The dressing is suitable for non-infected, neurotic, granular, and wounds with minimal to moderate discharges.
What are the advantages of using hydrocolloids?
Hydrocolloid is a yellow gummy dressing that provides a moisture environment to optimize wound healing. Its inner layer is a wafer type of gel-forming agent to absorb the exudate from the wound. Its outer layer is water-resistant and impermeable to bacteria and other contaminants. The advantages of using a hydrocolloid include: maintaining the wound fluid that withholds nutrients, growth factors, and white blood cells to speed up wound healing, prevent scar formation, and reduce wound pain.
General using guidelines of hydrocolloid:
Clean the wound with antiseptic and apply hydrocolloid to the damage. Gently apply pressure to the edge of the bandage to achieve better adhesion. The dressing will absorb exudate from the wound. If the dressing turns white or the exudates start to leak, change the dressing. Hydrocolloids can apply for 3-7 days.
Remove the dressing by gently peeling off the edge. Press the skin down at the border, starting peeling off at the edge until it does not stick to the skin. Peel sideways and along the direction of hair growth.
Is hydrocolloid suitable for blisters?
Hydrocolloid is suitable for deroof blisters that do not have too many exudates. The dressing will absorb the discharge from your blister and turn it into a white color gel. The hydrocolloid provides a safe environment for your blister to heal by preventing the *scabs from detaching from the wounds.
*When the skin is damaged, scabs form as a protective tissue to keep germs out and allow the wound to heal underneath it. Don’t poke or scratch the scabs; if they fall off, the repair process needs to start over again, which means your healing is delayed.
Do no apply hydrocolloid to blister in the following situations:
If the skin flap remains on the blister, you will peel off the skin when you remove the hydrocolloid dressing.
When there are excessive exudates, the discharges leak from the dressing that requires you to change within one day. The hydrocolloid dressing cannot function optimally under weepy conditions.
Not for blister prevention.
Diabetics and those with poor circulation should use only under the supervision of a Healthcare Professional.
If inflammation occurs, discontinue use and consult your doctor.
Extra tips for applying hydrocolloid to blister:
A deroof blister is an open wound. Apply antiseptic such as povidone-iodine before you put on the hydrocolloid dressing.
Choose a hydrocolloid that is 2-5cm bigger than the wound.
Smooth the dressing outward from the wound.
Warm the edges with hands for better adhesion.
It is adhesive, but no matter what: you walk on your feet daily, the edge of the dressing will stick to the socks, slippers, or dust. Secure the border by putting fixing-roll (a soft, nonwoven fabric adhesive plaster).
Some instructions on the hydrocolloid said it is water-proof and you can bathe with it, don’t go crazy for that, avoid soaking in water for too long. Remember, the dressing can last up to 7 days on your skin.
Why is hydrocolloid not included in the SBC Kit?
SBC Kit is designed for outdoor leisure activities. Unfortunately, if you developed a blister during hiking or camping, please follow our first aid instructions to handle the situation. Our first aid instruction is more suitable for a short hike. It is not a must to apply hydrocolloid in the wild unless you still have a very long way to go. After you arrive home, clean the wounds thoroughly again and use hydrocolloids for better healing if necessary.
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