Wound dressings, does it matter and why?

Marjolein Birgitte Maessen-Visch, Catherine van Montfrans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Compression therapy and treating venous insufficiency is the standard of care for venous leg ulcers. The need for debridement on healing venous leg ulcers is still debated. Dressings are often used under compression bandages to promote faster healing and prevent adherence of the bandage to the ulcer. A wide range of dressings is available, including modern dressings with different kinds of biological activity. Microbial burden is believed to underlie delayed healing, but the exact role of microbiofilm in wound healing is uncertain. Before choosing a specific wound dressing, four main functions should be considered: (1) cleaning, (2) absorbing, (3) regulating or (4) the necessity of adding medication. There is no clear evidence to support the use of one dressing over another, as demonstrated by many Cochrane review studies. In addition, the prescriber should enquire about contact allergies that may also develop during wound treatment. It is shown that early intervention and early investment may reduce the cost of treatment. The choice of wound dressings should be guided by cost, ease of application and patient and physician preference and be part of the complete strategy. The role of the medical specialist is evident. Wound dressings matter as part of the optimal treatment in VLU patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-7
Number of pages5
Issue number1 Suppl
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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