Get to Know More about Transparent Film Dressings for Wound Care

The right wound dressing is critical to provide a valuable protective barrier against outside contaminates, fluid, and bacteria. A transparent film dressing is a thin sheet of clear polyurethane coated with an adhesive to adhere to the wound margins without sticking to the actual wound. This dressing type is typically used to –
Transparent Film Dressings for Wound Care

  • Protect the skin in pressure spots
  • Act as a second skin
  • Protect the wound from bacterial invasion and mechanical trauma
  • Promote autolytic debridement
  • Protect gauze covering wounds with low amounts of exudates

They are also used on wounds with eschar to promote autolysis. They have no absorptive capacity, but do transmit moisture vapor and are semipermeable to gases. These dressings may also be used during in-patient visits to secure and protect catheters.

Advantages of Transparent Film Dressings

Compared to other dressings, transparent films provide advantages such as

  • Require less frequent changes - These dressings require changing every 3 to 5 days, though they may be left on for as many as 7 days if there isn’t excessive exudate. Reduced number of dressing changes preserves skin integrity and therefore lowers the risk of trauma and infection. If the dressing becomes loose, if leakage is present, or if skin irritation is noted, the dressing should be changed and reassessed.
  • Allows constant observation of healing wounds - As the material is transparent, this dressing offers the advantage of allowing daily inspection without dressing removal, and they offer a barrier to air contaminants and external pathogens.
  • Waterproof and flexible - With their waterproof quality, these dressings don’t have to be removed while bathing or showering. Being flexible, they can also be used in wounds in difficult-to-apply areas of the body and are impermeable to bacteria and contaminants.

However, this dressing type is not recommended if the wound has moderate or heavy exudate or if there is an active or suspected bacterial or fungal infection, since the moisture can damage the adhesive and cause the dressing to slip or fall off completely. It is also not recommended for patients with fragile or thin skin, especially elderly patients, or in patients receiving steroids because removal may cause epidermal stripping or skin tears.

All wounds should be assessed at least once a week and more often if notable changes occur. Assessment and documentation can be made much easier using an advanced wound EMR. As the wound characteristics change, so too should the choice of the wound dressings. It is based on the wound assessment, the physician uses this dressing. Depending on the severity of the wound, some clinicians may suggest a minimal 2-inch border surrounding the wound. Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, transparent film dressings are ideal for specific wound care needs.