There is wide disagreement about how much to bandage. Bandaging for protection only has its advantages and disadvantages. A blister, erosion or wound should be bandaged in the presence of these circumstances:
- The wound requires protection from further trauma or contact and friction from clothes.
- The wound is draining or bleeding.
- The wound requires topical treatment for infection.
- The wound is painful, and a dressing will improve comfort.
It would be ideal if one dressing was effective for every wound every time. Unfortunately, different wounds are at different stages of healing at any given time. Individial wound care products are designed for specific types of wounds in specific stages of healing. To optimize healing, each wound should be assessed during the dressing change, and product selection should be made based on these features:
- The dressing must be non-adhesive. No tape or adhesives should be applied to EB skin.
- Moisture balance is essential for healing.
- A dry wound will need moisture added with a dressing that hydrates or adds moisture to the wound.
- A moist, heavily draining wound will need the drainage removed from the wound bed by an absorbent dressing.
- An excessively draining wound may benefit from an alginate or a specialty absorptive dressing.
- An infected wound may benefit from a silver or other antimicrobial dressing (treatment is necessary for infected wounds; see section about infection).
- Personal preference matters greatly. If you do not find a particular dressing comfortable, then don’t use it.
After you have determined the condition of the wound, choosing the proper dressing becomes easier.