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A burn is an injury to tissue that may be caused by dry heat, such as fire or contact with a hot surface, or moist heat, such as steam or hot liquids, chemicals, electricity, lightning, or radiation from either the sun or radiotherapy. Burns vary in severity depending on the extent of tissue damage: superficial, superficial -partial thickness, deep partial thickness, or full thickness. They are classified according to the total body surface area effected by the damage and sometimes classified by first, second, or third degree depending on the depth of the burn. Third degree burns are full thickness. Control of bacteria and reduction of pain associated with dressing changes is very important with burns and antimicrobial dressings can address these concerns. ConvaTec offers dressings that are helpful with burn care both for the burn, and the graft harvest area when skin grafts are required. [1,2]
- Edwards, V. Key Aspects of Burn Wound Management. Wounds UK, Vol. 9: Supp 3, 2013, 1-9.
- International Best Practice Guidelines: Effective skin and wound management of noncomplex burns. Wounds International, 2014.
Closed Surgical Wounds
In-closed wounds, primary closure, the skin edges are re-approximated by stitches, staples, tissue adhesives or adhesive strips and left to heal by primary intention. 7. Doughty, D. & Sparks, B. (2016). Wound-healing physiology and factors that affect the repair process. In R.A. Bryant & D.P. Nix (Eds.), Acute & chronic wounds: current management concepts, 5th Ed. (pp. 63-81). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Deep Tissue Pressure Injury
Intact or non-intact skin with localized area of persistent non-blanchable deep red, maroon, purple discoloration or epidermal separation revealing a dark wound bed or blood filled blister. These areas may resolve with pressure relief, or may evolve into full thickness tissue injury even with pressure relief. 
Note: Major intervention is pressure relief/reduction, monitoring the skin and keeping it clean.6. Edsberg, L.E., Black, J.M., Goldberg, M., et al. (2016). Revised National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel pressure injury staging sytem. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing. 43(6), 1-13.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
A diabetic foot ulcer is associated with a loss of sensation and/or peripheral arterial and/or structural changes in the lower limb as a result of diabetes. It may be associated with pressure from ill-fitting footwear and these injuries are often on the tips of the toes or on the plantar surface of the head of the first metatarsal. [3, 4]
- Young M (2013) The diabetic foot: An overview for diabetes nurses. Journal of Diabetes Nursing 18: 218–26.
- International Best Practice Guidelines: Wound Management in Diabetic Foot Ulcers. Wounds International, 2013. Available from: www.woundsinternational.com
Moisture Associated Skin Damage
Moisture from many sources causes skin irritation that can result in skin loss. Excess wound fluid, drainage around tubes or fistulae, and moisture between folds of skin are examples. 8. Dowsett, C. and Allen, L. (2013). Moisture-associated skin damage made easy. Wounds UK 9(4), 1-4. Retrieved from http://www.wounds-uk.com/pdf/content_10961.pdf.
Open Surgical Wounds
Open surgical wounds are left to heal by secondary intention, which involves leaving wound to heal naturally, and relies on granulation tissue arising from the base of the wound to fill the tissue deficit created by surgery. 7. Doughty, D. & Sparks, B. (2016). Wound-healing physiology and factors that affect the repair process. In R.A. Bryant & D.P. Nix (Eds.), Acute & chronic wounds: current management concepts, 5th Ed. (pp. 63-81). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Traumatic wound occurring as a result of friction alone or in combination with shearing and friction forces. Most skin tears occur on the arms or legs, but may also occur on the trunk area due to trauma. Skin changes with aging make the elderly very vulnerable to these injuries. Every effort should be made to protect the skin in vulnerable areas. 10. Le Blanc, K., Baranoski, S., Christensen, D., et al. (2013). International Skin Tear Advisory Panel: A tool kit to aid in the prevention, assessment, and treatment of skin tears using a simplified classification system©. Adv in Skin & Wound Care. 26(10), 459-76.
Traumatic injuries occur when an external or foreign object strikes the body. These injuries are commonly caused by motor vehicle crashes, bullets, natural disasters, explosive blasts, falls and industrial accidents. Traumatic wounds may damage bone and/or internal organs, are not created surgically, and always are viewed as contaminated and at risk for infection. 18. Crumbley, D.R. & Andrew, L.E. (2016). Traumatic wounds: assessment and management. In D.B. Doughty & L.L. McNichol (Eds.), Wound, ostomy and continence nurses society core curriculum: wound management (pp. 635-48) Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia.
Unstageable Pressure Injury
Full-thickness skin and tissue loss in which the extent of tissue damage within the ulcer cannot be confirmed because it is obscured by slough or eschar. If slough or eschar is removed, a Stage 3 or Stage 4 pressure injury will be revealed. Stable eschar (i.e. dry, adherent, intact without erythema or fluctuance) on an ischemic limb or the heel(s) should not be removed. 6. Edsberg, L.E., Black, J.M., Goldberg, M., et al. (2016). Revised National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel pressure injury staging sytem. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing. 43(6), 1-13.