Hydrocolloid bandages are wound dressings that contain an adhesive compound of gel-forming agents attached on a flexible, water-resistant outer layer. The biodegradable, non-breathable bandages are usually self-adhering and offer a clean, moist healing environment and autolytic debridement of the wound.
Hydrocolloid dressings are used on a variety of ailments including blisters, facial acne, pressure ulcers (bed sores) and eczema. Some brand names of hydrocolloid bandages include Duoderm, Granuflex and Comfeel Plus.
Hydrocolloid bandages are generally safe to use on non-infected wounds with low exudation of discharge as long as they are changed about once a week (or depending on the manufacturers’ guidelines). However, diabetic patients are advised to avoid this type of wound dressing, especially if signs of infection are present.