Hydrogel & Maceration don’t go together!
The Application of Wound Gels:
Maceration is when the skin tissue is exposed to excessive moisture over a period of time. A great example would be if you have been in the bath tub too long and your fingers get pruney. You know how it turns white and softens up? We may see this sometimes in our practice around the wound edge and/or periwound skin. When this happens skin breakdown occurs and may make the wound larger. Maceration can be caused by several different things such as; excessive wound drainage, urinary incontinence, sweating and improper use of wound treatments.
When using a hydrogel to a wound we need to make sure it stays in the wound bed and not on the edges or periwound area. Using a cotton swab gives you easy control of where the hydrogel should be applied.
Sometimes you will see clinicians just taking the tube of hydrogel and start squirting it in to the wound, but when they place the secondary dressing over top of the wound the hydrogel may tend to ooze over the edges and on to the good tissue and cause maceration. Not good you always want to maintain control of where the hydrogel is going. Your goal is to keep the hydrogel in the wound bed only.
TIP: Use moisture barrier, like skin prep, around the wound edges to prevent from maceration-this is just a good habit to do every time you use hydrogel as a treatment.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure the products you are using in the wounds are appropriate.
For more information about becoming Wound Care Certified and our New Diabetic Wound Certification Courses, please visit http://www.wcei.net