Product File: Foam Dressings : Advances in Skin & Wound Care

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo


Product File: Foam Dressings

Editor(s): Hess, Cathy Thomas BSN, RN, CWOCN

Advances in Skin & Wound Care 16(6):p 278, November 2003.
  • Free

A snapshot of the products you may use in practice.



Foam dressings are nonlinting and absorbent. They vary in thickness and have a nonadherent layer, allowing nontraumatic removal. Some have an adhesive border and may have a film coating as an additional bacteria barrier. Foam dressings provide a moist environment and thermal insulation. They are manufactured as pads, sheets, and pillow (cavity) dressings.


Foam dressings may be used as primary and secondary dressings for partial- and full-thickness wounds with minimal, moderate, or heavy drainage; as primary dressings to provide absorption and insulation; or as secondary dressings for wounds with packing. They may also be used to provide additional absorption and to absorb drainage around tubes.




  • Nonadherent
  • May repel contaminants
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Absorb light to heavy amounts of exudate
  • May be used under compression


  • Not effective for wounds with dry eschar
  • May macerate periwound skin if they become saturated
  • May require secondary dressing, tape, wrap, or net

Source: Hess CT. Clinical Guide: Wound Care. Fourth Edition. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation; 2002:180

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.