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Just a Flesh Wound? A Detailed Review of Modern Dressings

Yichi Zhang, Elizabeth Holland, Magnus Chun, Mark O’Brien, An Nguyen and Lichun Sun

Dressings are employed across the world as a ubiquitous form of wound treatment in the 21st century. However, the differences between the thousands of wound dressing products currently available on the market can be difficult for clinicians to understand. Common categories of dressings include bioactive, hydrocolloids, hydrogels, alginate-based gels and semi-permeable films among others. However, understanding each dressing’s characteristics is crucial for clinicians to providing the highest standard of care to their patients. This review will highlight the important compositional differences among the most common variants of modern wound dressings and discuss the implications on their clinical applications and antimicrobial properties. As new material is introduced and novel concepts in microbiology are illuminated, more researchers will seek to apply their knowledge to the research and development of modern wound dressings. This review hopes to inspire and guide future studies of wound dressings in an interesting and meaningful direction.