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What is Xeroform Sterile Petrolatum Gauze Dressing?

What Is Xeroform? 

Xeroform Sterile Petrolatum Gauze Dressing

What is Xeroform Sterile Petrolatum Gauze Dressing?

Xeroform is a sterile wound dressing that is non-adherent, which means it won't stick to the wound so dressing changes are less painful and trauma to the wound is minimized. Xeroform is also an occlusive dressing which means the dressing prevents air from reaching the wound. An occlusive dressing will retain moisture, heat, and it will help the medication stay in place, this promotes a moist healing environment. Xeroform dressings are made of a absorbent fine mesh gauze that easily conforms to the body. It is comfortable and soothing against your skin. The fine mesh gauze is impregnated with a 3% bismuth tribromophenate petroleum blend formula that provides bacteriostatic protection. Xeroform also deodorizes because it works to reduce wound odor.

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When Do You Use Xeroform Dressings?

Close Up of Covidien Xeroform Sterile Petrolatum Gauze Dressing

  • Light to medium exudate wounds
  • Surgical incisions
  • New circumcision sites
  • Donor sites
  • Skin grafts
  • First and second degree burns
  • Lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Can not be used on infected wounds

How to Use Xeroform Dressings:

  • Cleanse wound with sterile water
  • Gently dry surrounding skin with clean cloth
  • Place Xeroform directly over the wound
  • Follow your doctor's instructions in regards to the frequency of wound dressing changes
  • Xeroform is, however, intended for daily dressing changes in order to maintain a moist environment to encourage healing
  • You will want to cover the Xeroform with a non-adherent secondary dressing like a sterile bandage roll
  • Dispose of discarded Xeroform as well as the secondary dressing, they are intended to be used once and not reused for the next dressing change

What Can I Expect from a Xeroform Sterile Petrolatum Gauze Dressing?

Xeroform - Sterile Petrolatum Gauze Dressing Directly Against Hand of Patient

Xeroform Sterile Petrolatum Gauze Dressing is comfortable to wear because it molds itself to the body, it isn't stiff at all. You will need another wound bandage to hold it in place and if you use a sterile gauze kerlix bandage roll that is pliable and soft then the entire system will be comfortable to wear, even when you are active. If your doctor limits your activities, you will want to heed their warnings and instructions, however, the bandage is pliable enough to not overly limit movement. The wound dressing should be changed each day to help the Xeroform maintain the moist healing environment needed. The fine mesh is cool and soothing so it won't cause discomfort when applied directly to non-infected wounds.

Xeroform can get wet but you don't want to immerse it completely in water for more than just a few minutes. It would be better to take a shower instead of a bath. It can also be helpful to use a removable shower head so you can control the water better. If the dressing is wet after your shower, pat dry. You can also use a hair dryer on a low setting for a minute or so to help dry the area. Wet dressings are not comfortable at all and if it is too wet that can make your skin fragile. Don't hesitate to remove the dressing and apply a new Xeroform as well as a new outer bandage retainer. If you would prefer to not worry about how wet your dressing will get, there are wound and dressing protectors that are specially designed for use in the shower.

If you see any sign of infection, call your doctor immediately and stop using the Xeroform dressing, it is not intended to be used on an infected wound. There are other wounds dressings that are intended to be used with wounds that are infected. Consult your doctor to determine which wound dressing they would prefer you use. As always, consult your doctor for his or her specific instructions. Your personal medical team knows your health history so they know the best way to treat your specific wounds.

*Special thanks to Jason W. for the modeling help!

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