Wound Awareness on Moist Wound Environment

Published in Wound Care on June 08, 2022

By Heather Trumm, Director, VGM Wound Care

Heather TrummWhen thinking about wound care awareness month, all the common topics that affect wound healing come to my mind - good nutrition, offloading, managing the disease state, debridement, compression, etc. But when focusing on the word “awareness,” moist wound healing popped in my brain! Keeping a wound moist during the healing process is one of the most important aspects of wound healing.

Dr. Winters wrote an article in 1962 titled, “Hanging wet to dry dressings out to Dry!”  He explained in his research that moist wounds healed two to three times faster than those that were allowed to dry out. I still find it fascinating when I hear of physicians who prescribe wet to dry dressing changes. In light of wound care awareness month, if you are using or prescribing a wet to dry wound treatment regiment, PLEASE STOP!!! There have been multiple articles and literature reviews written since Dr. Winters’ time that support a moist wound environment backed by evidence-based research to produce positive outcomes in wound care. Advanced wound dressings that support moist wound healing lead to positive outcomes and also save money for our healthcare system versus wet to dry dressings. I’d like to review some of drawbacks of wet to dry dressings and highlight the benefits of advanced wound care dressings, which are available to us as healthcare professionals today. 

Negative Implications for Wet to Dry Dressing Usage

Wet to dry dressings can be painful for the patient and we know that pain affects wound healing in a negative way. It may increase infection rates because bacteria can travel through gauze rapidly. Wet to dry dressing changes may disrupt and damage the good granulation tissue during dressing changes. It delays wound healing because when changing the dressing multiple times a day, the temperature in the wound bed decreases, which slows the rate of healing. Many healthcare professionals think wet to dry dressings are cost effective because gauze is so inexpensive versus advanced wound dressings. In fact, the opposite is true. When you add up all the nursing time plus three daily dressing changes a day, advanced wound dressings are actually more cost-effective. They can stay on the wound from three to seven days and the healing rate is faster.  

Benefits of Using Advanced Dressings

Okay, now the benefits of advanced dressings. Advanced wound dressings aid in keeping a wound bed optimally moist. Key features of a physiologic wound environment are temperature control, pH regulation, control of bacterial burden, and keeping an adequate moisture level. The benefits of an advanced wound dressing include how they eliminate and minimize pain, protect the wound and the skin around the wound, remove nonviable tissue without compromising the good tissue, maintain an appropriate moisture level, maintain normal body temperature, control odor, and prevent and mange infection. They are also cost-effective.

The fifth principle in wound healing is to provide a moist wound environment. This means that we don’t want the wound dry, but we don’t want it sopping wet either. It should be optimally moist and many of the semi-occlusive dressings in the marketplace today help the wound achieve that goal. 

Based on the advantages of advanced wound dressings and the drawbacks of wet to dry dressings, there’s no doubt we should be supporting advanced wound care dressings for improved outcomes and savings. 


  1. wound care

From Our Experts

How Does DMEscripts Solve Everyday Challenges for Healthcare Providers? thumbnail How Does DMEscripts Solve Everyday Challenges for Healthcare Providers? Prescribing DMEPOS orders is the most prevalent and long-standing challenge within our HME industry. HME providers must assess how they engage ePrescribe. Growing Your DME Business: What is an Ostomy? thumbnail Growing Your DME Business: What is an Ostomy? Many times, we as DME businesses work with patients that have an ostomy and may not know exactly what it entails or the reason for the ostomy. VGM Wound Care: News at Your Fingertips thumbnail VGM Wound Care: News at Your Fingertips VGM Wound Care publishes blog posts and articles on a regular basis to keep you informed on the latest in wound care. Here are the top three blogs published for wound care providers in 2022. Therapeutic Support Surfaces: Diving Into the Business of Group 3 Air Fluidized Beds thumbnail Therapeutic Support Surfaces: Diving Into the Business of Group 3 Air Fluidized Beds If Group 3 air fluidized beds are so needed, why isn't anyone diving into the business? If you are providing wound care in your DME business, adding air fluidized therapy beds to your mix is a great way to help serve your patients as well as increase your revenue. CGMs and the Diabetic Market thumbnail CGMs and the Diabetic Market Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) continues to be a hot topic in the wound care space. In a podcast by Industry Matters, Wayne van Halem, president of The van Halem Group, and Joseph Ault, sales manager for GEMCO, discuss CGM audits, qualifications for reimbursement and documentation, as well as the opportunities in the diabetic market. Wound Care and Compression: The Basics thumbnail Wound Care and Compression: The Basics Within the wound care space are many different types of compression that can be used to manage wounds. When looking at which type to use, it depends a great deal on the person's disease state. The disease state we see most is venous disease. Emerging Market Trend: Bariatrics thumbnail Emerging Market Trend: Bariatrics Providers don't have to offer everything at once. They are likely already serving bariatric patients. Simply asking them about the areas they need assistance will determine the best starting point. From there, just keep listening to the patients and focus on serving their needs. That's where the opportunity is. Nutrition: One Factor that Aids in Positive Outcomes for Wound Healing thumbnail Nutrition: One Factor that Aids in Positive Outcomes for Wound Healing In wound care, we look at many factors to move positive outcomes to the goal of patient healing. Some factors we cannot change, but some we can change, which can actually aid in wound healing. Nutrition is one of those factors.