Self-Adhesive Wound Dressings — What you need to know

What are Self-Adhesive Wound Dressings?

Self-adhesive wound dressings, also known as adherent dressings, are wound care materials designed to be secured in place by the material's inherent elastic and adherent properties rather than with external tapes or adhesives. It implies that these dressings will stay on regardless of what body part they are used on and do not require external fixation. They are constructed from pliable non-woven polyester material. Usually, they contain a mild, water-based polyacrylate glue that is safe for the skin, providing a delicate yet firm fixation on the skin. Typically, self-adherent dressings have substantial absorbent properties, which makes them ideal for wounds with exudate.

What are the Merits of Self-adhesive wound dressings?

Adherent wound dressings have many features that help treat injuries and wounds. They include;

  1. They adhere safely to skin: Self-adherent wound dressings have an intrinsic adhesive property that allows them to stick to wounds. They are gentle on the skin and can be easily removed [1] [3]. 
  2. They are conformable and easy to use: Self-adhesive dressing can be used on any body part. They conform to all body contours and are comfortable to wear. Additionally, Adherent wound dressings are designed with a protective paper that can be removed easily, making it possible to apply them sterile while also making the process simple. Additionally, it is made to reduce the amount of friction that occurs between the user and their clothing or bed.
  3. They are absorbent features: A vital property of self-adherent wound dressings is their ability to absorb fluids from wounds. These bandages absorb both blood and exudate from injuries effectively [3].
  4. They protect against wound infection: Self-adherent dressings are designed to protect wounds from infection [1]. Typically, these dressings have a water-resistant backing film, which shields the wound from contamination from the outside environment.

What are the Medical Uses of Self-Adhesive Wound Dressings?

Self-adhesive dressings are excellent dressing options for many types of wounds and injuries. Some typical wound care applications of self-adherent wound dressings include;

  •  Surgical incisions
  • Bruises
  • Lacerations

Typically, self-adhesive dressings are ideal for wounds with mild to moderate exudates.

Contraindications to the Use of Self-Adherent Wound Dressings

It is critical to know that self-adherent dressings are only ideal for some wounds. Knowing the advantages and contraindications of wound care products can help you select the appropriate product for wound treatment. Here are some contraindications to keep in mind for self-adherent wound dressings and some of the downsides of wound care materials;

  • Adherent dressings are not suitable for wounds with heavy or excessive exudates/fluids.
  •  Do not use self-adhesive dressings for persons who are allergic to acrylic adhesive [2]. 

Self-adherent dressings are typically easy to apply; however, it is best to keep certain things in mind when using these fantastic wound care products. They include;

  • Do not apply these dressings under strain because they can cause skin damage from shearing forces. It is especially crucial when the bandages are placed over a joint [2].
  • Do not reuse self-adhesive wound dressings. Reusing these dressings increases the likelihood of skin damage during application.
  • Additionally, keep your self-adherent dressing on for a short time. Changing these dressings as frequently as possible is best to prevent accidental wound infection.

How to Use Self-adhesive Dressings

Self-adhesive wound dressings are straightforward to apply, although it helps to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Using a self-adhesive bandage is easy if you follow these instructions. They include;

  1. It's important to sterilize the skin before applying tape to it.
  2. Cut the protecting paper in half.
  3. Peel off the backing paper to expose the adhesive side of the tape.
  4. Stick the dressing's adhesive side to your skin.
  5. Make sure the tape is securely placed by giving it a light rub.


Self-adherent dressings are quite a unique wound care product. They adhere gently to wounds and surrounding skin without causing skin damage. They are an excellent wound care option for mild exudative injuries. 


  1. Bredow, J., Oppermann, J., Hoffmann, K., Hellmich, M., Wenk, B., Simons, M., Eysel, P., & Zarghooni, K. (2015). Clinical trial to evaluate the performance of a flexible self-adherent absorbent dressing coated with a soft silicone layer compared to a standard wound dressing after orthopedic or spinal surgery: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16(1), 81.
  2. Matsumura, H., Imai, R., Ahmatjan, N., Ida, Y., Gondo, M., Shibata, D., & Wanatabe, K. (2014). Removal of adhesive wound dressing and its effects on the stratum corneum of the skin: comparison of eight different adhesive wound dressings. International Wound Journal, 11(1), 50–54.
  3. Mepore breathable, absorbent dressing for exuding wounds. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2022, from
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