Foam dressings are bandages that cushion the wound and are often made from polyurethane material with open cells that retain fluid. They are designed not to stick to a wound and do not produce lint. Foam dressings are highly absorptive, which makes them a good choice for wounds that produce moderate to heavy exudate.
Foam dressings help maintain a warm, moist wound environment that encourages proper healing. They cushion wounds and protect against bacteria. Foam bandages can be used on infected wounds, but are not suitable for use on burn wounds. These dressings are available with or without an adhesive border. Bandages with an adhesive border are also known as island dressings. If you use an island dressing, it is important that the foam bandage covers the entire wound and should cover an additional 2-3 inch of surrounding skin. Be sure that the adhesive does not come into contact with any part of the wound, as this can damage it and delay healing. If you choose to use a dressing without adhesive, you will need to secure it with skin-friendly tape or a bandage wrap. Mepilex is a popular brand of foam dressings and they make several styles to choose from.
Many foam wound dressings either have a silicone contact layer and/or a silicone backing. The silicone contact layer is designed to prevent the bandage from adhering to the wound. This reduces pain during bandage removal and lowers the risk of damaging the wound bed. A silicone backing creates a waterproof barrier that shields the wound from outside moisture and contaminants. Silicone dressings reduce the risk of skin maceration by absorbing excess wound exudate. Another benefit of most silicone dressings is that they can be removed and repositioned if necessary without losing their adhesive properties.