Advanced Wound Dressings
Most doctors are still using standard surgical gauze for wound care, but let us introduce you to the amazing products out there which may speed healing, reduce chances of infection, or at the very least make your packing changes easier. Most of these dressings are not cheap, but they should be covered on insurance if your doctor prescribes.
A dressing is available on the market that one of our consultant surgeons has been using for about a few years now. It was approved by the FDA just a few years ago. He first started using it on open wounds like diabetic ulcers and pressure ulcers etc. Lately he has used it on unhealed Pilonidal wounds. The results have been almost miraculous. Healing usually takes place in a few weeks. It also has an anesthetic property to help reduce pain.
Our surgeon suggests to simply cut a piece to cover the entire open wound and then place a 4×4 or 2×2 (depending on the size) over it and leave it on for 24 to 72 hours. He then has the patient remove it, shower, dry and the replace it. You’ll need another person to help replace it as hte product needs to be in contact with the whole wound and the patient can not see the wound well enough to do that. Product can be left in place up to 3 days. Hydrofera Blue on Amazon
This is a Silver Hydrofiber dressing that can be used as both a topical dressing and cavity wound packing. The silver reduces bacteria formation and speeds healing time. The “ribbon” form of the dressing can be tucked inside an Open Healing wound in place of standard gauze packing. AQUACEL on Amazon
More info on AQUACEL.
Other High-Tech Dressings
There are literally hundreds of products used by Wound Care Specialists. Some of them are showing up more regularly with the more progressive surgeons. These fall into two uses for Pilonidal excision patients: cavity dressings and topical dressings. Cavity dressings go inside the wound during the primary healing phase. Topical dressings are for healing surface problems, such as would that keeps splitting or won’t completely close.
Extensive lists of the most current dressing products on the market are at WoundSource.com
- Alginate Dressings: These are derived from seaweed and can be gently laid in the wound bed, where they will absorb exudate and produce a hydrophillic gel, so creating a moist, warm environment (Sorbsan, Kaltostat, Kaltogel, Tegagen, omfeel, SeaSorb)
- Foam Dressings: There are two dressings which are designed for cavity wounds, Cavi-Care and Allevyn Cavity. Both fill the wound and absorb Exudate but need to be changed far less often than gauze. Allevyn is a pre-formed pad that fits inside the cavity and is changed daily. Cavi-Care is mixed and then poured into the wound, where it conforms to the wounds shape.
- Hydrocolloid Dressings: These products absorb wound exudate to produce a gel, which provides a moist environment and reduces pain at removal of dressing. According to an article in the European Journal of Surgery (March 2000) the “Hydrocolloid dressings lessen pain and increase comfort for patients after excision of Pilonidal sinus, though time to healing is no shorter than when a conventional gauze dressing is used.
Topical Silver – has been demonstrated to possess broad-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity. There are number of wound dressings in the category above that utilize silver as an antimicrobial agent at WoundSource.com
As noted on other pages, antibiotic ointments like Neosporin or Bacitricin are not recommended because they can cause contact dermatitis reactions, the exception being Polysporin (which has much less risk of contact dermatitis reaction). Antibiotics are used in the presence of infection, not to simply limit the possibility. What is really called for in care of Pilonidal wounds are antimicrobial agents and healing accelerators. These products are not considered “necessary”, but the are definitely options to consider if you are on a mission to get your wound healed quickly and completely. Insurance may cover them if your doctor writes a prescription.
Zinc has been found very helpful in stimulating healing. See the list of current topical products with Zinc at WoundSource.com
Multidex Powder – many of our forum users have had good luck with Multidex Powder to help in the final stages of healing or when healing has slowed. This product forms a protective “coating” to create and maintain a moist environment beneficial for granulation tissue growth and epithlial proliferation. Multidex Powder on Amazon
More info on Multidex Powder.
Manuka Honey – the current rage in antimicrobial ointments. We have had many reports on the forums that Manuka Honey works well and is easy to use. When shopping for products, look for UMF Manuka Honey, this is the preferred product for wound care. UMF is the scale of antibacterial qualities of the honey. UMF of 10+ is the mimum, the highest we’ve seen is 20+. Obviously, the higher the better. Derma Science’s line of MediHoney Products.
UMF Manuka Honey is also showing great signs of reducing the likelihood of MRSA infections, reasearchers have found that Manuka Honey inhibits protein production within MRSA cells, which leads to their death. It has also been found that bacteria could not form resistance to medical grade honey the same way it does antibiotics.
Additional Reading on Manuka Honey
The main overview page for our Surgery Aftercare section where you’ll learn all about wound care and healing after surgery.
The world of wound care products is extensive. You may not need any of these, but it’s helpful to know what is available over the counter.
Find support from your fellow Pilonidal sufferers around the world.
This page last updated: January 5, 2019