Background: Tissue trauma associated with the removal of self-adhesive wound dressings and tapes is a well-documented phenomenon that can delay healing, increase wound size, and cause pain. Both acrylic and silicone dressings are widely used in advanced wound care settings. Acrylic based dressings provide high tack and adhesion to the skin whereas silicone dressings have lower tack and less adhesion to the skin. Higher tack acrylic dressings are desired for robust securement as well as providing a bacterial and viral barrier whereas silicone dressings are desired for ease of removal.
Objective: In this study we investigate some simple modifications to acrylic based wound dressing designs that can provide high skin adhesion yet mitigate tissue trauma upon removal.
Methods: Two commonly used acrylic adhesive-based wound care dressings were modified by the addition of a trauma-mitigating skin contact layer, and their peel adhesion characteristics were compared to their unmodified counterparts. These dressings were also studied in conjunction with various commercially available skin barrier products. Comparisons in adhesion performance were based on measurements of the force required to peel the dressings off of a model material which mimics human skin more closely than conventional surfaces like polyethylene or stainless steel.
Results: Peel adhesion to skin can be dramatically modified by manipulating the topography and/or chemical composition of the adhesive interface. The modifications result in atraumatic removal at dressing change without sacrificing important properties like secure attachment, high MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate), transparency, etc. thus improving patient care.