Foam Dressing

photos: Riepe, Bültemann

common kitchen utility

fine foam

coarse foam


- polyurethane foams with pores in variable sizes,
- some with semiocclusive outer layers (protects clothes),
- some with contact layers towards the wound (silicone, hydrocolloid)
- compression changes structutre of foam, reduces water uptake

fine foam:
- high water uptake, different moisture vapor tramsmission rates (MVTR),
- poor uptake of exudate, less wound adhesion, less pain

coarse foam:
- higher uptake of exsudate, reduction of slough
caution: ingrowth and adhesion may cause pain on removal (soak well)


- moderate to heavier exudation
- contact layers on sensitive wounds (e.g. split skin donor site)
- assistance on autolytic debridement (coarse foams)
- environment for healing (damp, warm, protected)


- edge maceration (due to horizontal transport of exudate)
- infection (more frequent change of dressing)
- PAD grade IV
- pain on removal (coarse foam)


- overlap wound edge well
- achieve contact to wound bed, by filling
- some are self adhesive
- some need additional fixation by bandage or foils
caution: additional foil coverage reduces gas permeability of semiocclusive foams, just cover the edges of the dressing with strips of foil for attachment

Change of dressing

- change before edge is reached (beware of maceration)
- on demand every 2 to 7 days

Link to producers

ketchup uptake of fine foam

ketchup uptake in coarse foam

exudate uptake bx coarse foam

Die WundUhr© bietet einen orientierenden Überblick über die Grundlagen der modernen, phasengerechten Wundbehandlung. Informationen zum Gebrauch der Verbandstoffe und zu deren Einschränkungen sind den jeweiligen Herstellerinformationen vorab zu entnehmen. Bei fehlender Besserung binnen 14 Tagen ist stets eine übersehene Wundursache ärztlich abzuklären.

WundUhr® Design und Text: Gunnar Riepe, Anke Bültemann
Webdesign: Gunnar Riepe, 56076 Koblenz, mail:, © 2011