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Moisture and Exudate Management

Wounds heal better in a moist environment. Nerve endings are protected - reducing pain - and skin layers repair at a faster rate producing less scarring than in dry wounds. As part of the normal healing process wounds release fluid (or exudate). Too much exudate (maceration) or too little exudate (desiccation) can interfere with wound healing, therefore it is important to manage moisture levels, particularly in chronic wounds.



Identifying moisture imbalance


  Thin and watery exudate (fluid) containing some blood is a normal part of wound healing. Assess the level of exudate (low, medium or high) and apply a suitable dressing to absorb the moisture.


Pus in the wound fluid may indicate infection. Treat the infection if present, and apply a suitable dressing to absorb any excess moisture.


Wounds that are dry or have very low levels of exudate need to have moisture added (hydration). Select a dressing that can give back fluid to the wound so that healing is stimulated.



Maintaining moisture balance

Maintaining moisture balance in the wound requires an assessment of exudate levels, followed by selection of a suitable dressing that will either remove exudate if there is too much present, or add fluid to the wound if it is too dry.



Product solutions

Products are available to manage wounds with different exudate levels. Hydrogels including the Intrasite* product range and Solosite* Gel can be used to add moisture to wounds that are dry or that have low exudate levels. Wounds with medium to high exudate levels can be managed with Algisite* M or the Allevyn* range .



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