Wound treatment requires careful care. Wounds may get worse or become infected and cause more serious complications if not treated properly. Various wound care medications are one of the things to consider when treating wounds so the wounds can heal quickly.
Various Wound Treatments
When treating wounds, the type of wounds must first be determined. There are two main types of wounds, namely open and closed wounds. Open wounds are characterized by an opening of the skin layer, while closed wounds occur under the skin. The type of wounds also determines the appropriate method of treatment.
Wound treatment in healthcare facilities such as hospitals or clinics is also significantly different from home treatment. Healthcare facilities employ doctors and nurses who have knowledge of how to properly treat wounds. In addition, there are many different wound care equipment and medications.
Meanwhile, householders with no medical experience usually have limited knowledge of wound care. The medications and equipment for wound treatment is also more limited. There are several treatments for wounds that can be performed in a health facility or at home, including:
- Sterile plaster, bandage, or gauze application
- Use of antibiotics
- Use of wound cleaning liquid
- Ointment or gel application
- R.I.C.E technique (rest, ice, compression, elevate) application
Wound Classification and Appropriate Treatments
Wounds can be classified by a number of things, including the mechanism of onset, healing time, level of contamination, and the depth and area of the wound. Appropriate treatment techniques should be based on this classification.
First, there are open and closed wounds. Some examples of open wounds include scratches, cuts, tears, stabs, shots, and bites. Meanwhile some examples of closed wounds are traumatic wounds and bruises.
Based on the healing time, there are acute wounds that occur suddenly and the healing time can be estimated and chronic wounds that persist for a long period of time or reappear due to failure of previous treatment.
According to the level of contamination, there are clean wounds, clean-contaminated wounds, contaminated wounds, and dirty or infected wounds. And depending on the depth and area of the wounds, there are stage I to IV wounds with stage I being the lightest and stage IV the most severe. Wound treatment based on the classification is crucial. Doctors will always classify the wound before starting treatment.
Various Medical Plasters and Their Use
For the treatment of open wounds, there are various types of medical plaster that have their own uses. For example:
Sterile gauze plaster has various sizes. It is used to treat all types of open wounds, especially wounds with drainage, infected wounds, wounds that require dressings, and wounds that need frequent dressings replacement.
With a transparent material, the wound is covered with this plaster, allowing the entry of oxygen which is useful for healing. Usually, transparent film plasters are used for large and complicated wounds. For example, minor burns, stage I and II decubitus ulcers, and wounds from blood donation.
Foam plasters are usually soft and highly absorbent. This plaster is useful to keep the wound moist. Types of wounds that are often treated with foam plasters include diabetic wounds, pressure ulcers, minor burns, and blood donation wounds.
Hydrocolloid plasters are coated with gels, which create moist conditions that help accelerate the healing time. This type of plaster is often used to treat burns, pressure ulcers, and necrotic wounds.
Alginate plasters are highly absorbent, making it suitable for wounds with a lot of drainage. Burns and venous ulcers are usually treated with this type of plaster.
Collagen plasters are most commonly used for chronic wounds with a prolonged or delayed healing period. This type of plaster, which helps new skin cells to grow, can also be used to treat pressure sores, burns, surgical scars, and wounds that affect many parts of the body.
Various Ointments and Gels and Their Use
There are also different ointments and gels that can be used to treat wounds. For example:
This type of ointment and gel have antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that can prevent bacteria from multiplying in the wound. It is usually used for minor injuries such as cuts, scratches, and burns.
The content of this type of ointment and gel is similar to that of povidone iodine, so its use is generally the same. However, cadexomer iodine is generally more effective for older wounds.
This type of ointment and gel contains antibiotics that can stop the growth of bacteria. It is usually used to treat minor cuts, scratches, and burns.
The amount of antibiotics in this kind of ointment and gel can inhibit and stop the growth of bacteria. Its use is the same as that of bacitracin.
This type of ointment and gel with antibiotics are commonly used to treat moderate to severe burns. The purpose of using silver sulfadiazine is to prevent bacterial infections.
Various Wound Cleansing Fluids and Their Use
It is very important to keep the wound clean to heal faster and prevent infection. Types of cleansing fluids that are often used to treat wounds are as follows:
Running water is generally used to clean minor open wounds.
Water containing sodium chloride (NaCl/saline) is suitable for cleansing dirty wounds or when there are dead skin cells.
This liquid wound cleanser has antimicrobial properties that can prevent infection, but it is only effective in treating new wounds.
Acetic acid solution can help speed up wound healing as well as prevent or treat infected wounds.
This fluid not only cleanses the wound but can also prevent bacterial, viral, or fungal infections and doesn’t cause pain.
Hydrogen peroxide is most commonly used to clean minor wounds from dust or dirt at the onset of the wound.
Wound Treatment at Home
Not every wound can be treated at home. However, generally treatment of open wounds at home can be as follows:
- Wash your hands with soap and running water
- For minor wound, clean it under running water without soap or alcohol
- Check for signs of infection such as swelling and pus
- If the wound is large, use sterile plasters, dressings, or gauze; change every day or when it looks wet
Meanwhile, closed wounds treatment involves the application of the RICE technique, which consists of resting the injured part of the body, applying cold compresses, bandaging the wound, and elevating the wound. Painkillers can be used if necessary. The severity of the wound needs to be considered when treating the wound at home. If you are unsure, you should immediately come to the nearest health service facility to get better treatment. For doctor visit, doctor tele-consultations and home nursing services, please contact Kavacare Support.