Dressing Selection

Moist versus Traditional Wound Dressing

It has been historically believed that a dry wound environment (leaving the wound open, exposed to air) promotes healing, lowers the risk for infection and reduces costs. However, ever since Winter demonstrated in 1962 that epidermal healing was enhanced in a moist wound environment, as compared with wounds exposed to air,1 there have been several moist wound care products that have been developed.

Why prefer moist over dry wound healing?

Studies have shown that moist wound healing has several advantages over dry wound healing. 2,3,4

  • Prevention of wound dessication2,3
  • Reduction in necrosis of wound surface2
  • Reduction in pain3
  • Activation of enzymes needed for debridement2
  • Enhanced phagocytic and lysosomal functions2
  • Lower wound pH stimulates angiogenesis and impedes bacterial proliferation2
  • Sequestration and stimulation of growth factors2
  • Enhanced neutrophilic inflammatory response2
  • Stimulate the proliferation of fibroblasts and endothelial cells2
  • Increases the proliferation and migration of keratinocytes2
  • Support transplanted cells and micrografts, thereby accelerating healing4
  • Soluble agents (e.g. growth factors or bioactive molecules) can be introduced in a highly controlled manner in a wet wound-healing environment4

How does BETAplastTM score over gauze in wound care?

Features of BETAplastTM vs. Gauze for patients undergoing surgery*5
Important considerations for wound careGauzeBETAplastTM
Optimal quality wound healing
Cleaner wound bed
Optimal moist wound environment
Low shearing of skin during dressing change6
Reduce inflammatory phase7
Less pain at wound site
Better protection against infection
Frequency of dressing change7HighLow
Easy to remove
✔ = a feature of ; *Penile surgery

Diagrammatic representation of Dry vs. Moist dressing7

Moist vs Traditional Wound Dressing
Diagram is representative only. Not drawn to scale
  1. Brett DW. A Review of Moisture-Control Dressings in Wound Care. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2006;33(6S):S3-S8.
  2. Kannon GA, Garrett AB. Moist wound healing with occlusive dressings: A clinical review. Dermatol Surg. 1995;21(7):583-90.
  3. Field FK, Kerstein MD. Overview of wound healing in a moist environment. Am J Surg. 1994;167(1A):2S-6S.
  4. Junker JP, Kamel RA, Caterson EJ, Eriksson E. Clinical Impact Upon Wound Healing and Inflammation in Moist, Wet, and Dry Environments.Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2013;2(7):348-356.
  5. Lee KC, Kwak TI, Lee DS, et al. The effect of Medifoam dressing on the wound of penile surgery.
  6. Park YO, Min KW, Huh JP. Clinical study of application of medifoam (hydrophilic polyurethane foam) dressing to donor site. J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg 2002;29(4):297-301.
  7. Fleck CA. Why wet to dry? Journal of the American College of Certified Wound Specialists. 2009;1:109–113.
  8. Mudge E and Orsted H. Wound infection and pain management made easy. Wounds International. 2010;1(3):1-6.