Significance: Injury to the skin provides a unique challenge, as wound healing is a complex and intricate process. Acute wounds have the potential to move from the acute wound to chronic wounds, requiring the physician to have a thorough understanding of outside interventions to bring these wounds back into the healing cascade. Recent Advances: The development of new and effective interventions in wound care remains an area of intense research. Negative pressure wound therapy has undoubtedly changed wound care from this point forward and has proven beneficial for a variety of wounds. Hydroconductive dressings are another category that is emerging with studies underway. Other modalities such as hyperbaric oxygen, growth factors, biologic dressings, skin substitutes, and regenerative materials have also proven efficacious in advancing the wound-healing process through a variety of mechanisms. Critical Issues: There is an overwhelming amount of wound dressings available in the market. This implies the lack of full understanding of wound care and management. The point of using advanced dressings is to improve upon specific wound characteristics to bring it as close to "ideal" as possible. It is only after properly assessing the wound characteristics and obtaining knowledge about available products that the "ideal" dressing may be chosen. Future Directions: The future of wound healing at this point remains unknown. Few high-quality, randomized controlled trials evaluating wound dressings exist and do not clearly demonstrate superiority of many materials or categories. Comparative effectiveness research can be used as a tool to evaluate topical therapy for wound care moving into the future. Until further data emerge, education on the available products and logical clinical thought must prevail.
Sood, Granick, Tomaselli, , , , , , (2014). Wound Dressings and Comparative Effectiveness Data. Advances in wound care, 2014 Aug;3(8):511-529. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25126472