Can Zinc Oxide Have An Impact On Wound Healing?
- Volume 16 - Issue 9 - September 2003
- 44334 reads
- 1 comments
Key Practical Considerations
Practically, zinc oxide is an affordable option that even your most non-compliant patients can easily apply at home. By actively facilitating absorption of moisture and odors within the wound, indications for zinc oxide are broad, including:
• post-inflammatory skin following surgery;
• post-matrixectomy/nail surgery;
• draining wounds;
• venous/arterial ulcers (with compression);
• interdigital wounds (does not cause maceration);
• vesicular dermatitis (eczema/tinea pedis);
• full thickness wounds;
• partial thickness wounds;
• heel fissures; and
• puncture wounds.
There are several commercially available products that have zinc oxide, including Dermagran wound cleanser/hydrogel/moisturizer, zinc paste bandages (Unna boot), Double Guard Skin Guard, Zinc Oxide adhering tape, Derma 50 and many diaper rash ointments.
Keep in mind that zinc oxide must be used in conjunction with good overall wound care that includes but is not limited to debridement, compression (venous stasis ulcerations), appropriate offloading, antibiotics and surgical intervention.
Clinically, zinc oxide keeps wounds moist and clean while facilitating wound healing. After cleansing of the wound with saline (along with indicated debridement), one may apply zinc oxide onto the wound in a thick layer followed by a non-adherent dressing or gauze.
Wounds are in constant evolution and though zinc oxide is an excellent and inexpensive tool for your armamentarium, keep in mind that wounds have different needs at different points in time.
Dr. Moore is a former University of Texas Diabetic Foot Fellow who currently practices in Somerset, Ky.
Dr. Steinberg (pictured) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics/Podiatry Service at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
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