Wound Care Basics

Use this chart and consult with your doctor to help you choose the right dressing for your specific wound type. 


 Wound Type


 Product Type


 Example Brands


Stage I Pressure Ulcer

  • Constant redness
  • Skin remains intact
  • Specific, defined area

Transparent Film
(no exudate)

Has a thin, waterproof membrane. Allows gas and vapor to pass through while sealing the wound from contamination. Flexible and protects from friction and shearing. Indicated for superficial, clean wounds

Thin Hydrocolloids
(minimal exudate)

Hydrocolloid material combines with exudate to form a moist, gel-like substance.


Transparent Films

3M™ Tegaderm™
Mölnlycke Health Care Mepore®
Smith & Nephew OPSITE*
Systagenix BIOCLUSIVE®

Thin Hydrocolloids

Coloplast® Comfeel®
ConvaTec DuoDERM®
Hollister Wound Care, LLC Restore®
Smith & Nephew REPLICARE*


Stage II Pressure Ulcer

  • Open wound, may reach down to second skin layer
  • Red or pink
  • May be closed or opened blister
  • No slough (yellow/white stringy or thick tissue)

Hydrocolloid Dressings (medium exudate)

Hydrocolloid material combines with exudate to form a moist, gel-like substance.

Foam Dressings
(medium to heavy exudate)

Allow exudate to pass through the surface, where it is absorbed and held safely away from the wound. Help maintain a healthy, moist environment. Soft; can be used as secondary dressing for cushioning and protection.



3M™ Tegaderm™
Coloplast Comfeel®
Convatec DuoDERM® CGF
Smith & Nephew REPLICARE*


Coloplast Biatain®
ConvaTec AQUACEL® Foam
Ferris PolyMem®
Mölnlycke Health Care Mepilex®
Smith & Nephew ALLEVYN*


 Stage III Pressure Ulcer

  • Open wound that breaks through all skin levels
  • Can see fat layer but not bone, tendon or muscle
  • Wound may begin expanding under adjacent, intact skin (undermining)

Foam Dressings
(heavy exudate):

See above

Alginate/CMC Dressings (medium/heavy exudate)

Calcium in the dressing mixes with salts in the wound to form a gel that can absorb heavy exudate and stops the bleeding. Help maintain a healthy, moist environment. Remove easily.



See above


Hollister Wound Care, LLC Restore®
Smith & Nephew ALGISITE*


 Stage IV Pressure Ulcer

  • Open wound that exposes bone, tendon or muscle
  • May contain slough or dark, dead tissue (eschar)
  • Often produces undermining

Alginate/CMC Dressings (medium/heavy exudate)

See above

Amorphous Hydrogel

Has a very high water content to help rehydrate dry wounds and provide a healthy, moist healing environment. Helps body naturally remove slough and dead tissue. Provides a cooling effect for burns. Can help reduce the risk of scarring.



See above

Amorphous Hydrogel

Amerx AmeriGel®
Coloplast® Woun'Dres
Hollister Wound Care, LLC Restore®

Hydrogel Dressings

Southwest Technologies Elasto-Gel™


 Infected Wounds

  • Inflamed or tender
  • Produce pus or other infectious material

Silver Dressings
(medium/heavy exudate)

Silver is naturally toxic to bacteria, algae and fungi, which hinder wound healing.


Dressings for Infections

3M™ Tegaderm™ AG
Coloplast® SeaSorb® AG
Hollister Wound Care, LLC Restore® Silver
Smith & Nephew ACTICOAT*
Systagenix SILVERCEL™


Chronic Wounds

  • Do not follow normal repair process or respond to treatment
  • Healing has stalled

Collagen Dressings

The body produces a substance (MMPs) that helps wounds heal naturally. In chronic wounds, too many MMPs are created, and this disrupts the healing. Collagen attracts excess MMPs and allows normal healing to resume.


Collagen Dressings

Covalon Technologies ColActive®
Southwest Technologies Stimulen
Systagenix FIBRACOL®

                  *Trademark of Smith & Nephew

Specialty Dressings

In addition to the wide range of advanced wound care dressings above, Edgepark also carries many popular brands of products for diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers and more. Call a customer care specialist today at 1-888-394-5375 to learn what specialty foot dressings, bandage systems and unna boot products we have available.