AmeriGel: An Alternative To Soaking?
Why aren’t more DPMs using the AmeriGel Wound Dressing for post-matrixectomies? After all, it is a product that reportedly promotes faster healing and, as a no-soak alternative, facilitates higher patient compliance. Well, it turns out that people are catching on to the benefits of the AmeriGel Wound Dressing. According to the manufacturer AmerX Health Care, over 1,000 podiatrists are using the product to treat their patients.
“AmeriGel has worked well for most of my patients,” says Gerald Travers, DPM. “AmeriGel seems to speed the post-op recovery and reduce the tenderness involved with the post-op process.”
As far as the pharmacology goes, AmeriGel is antimicrobial (biostatic), antifungal, antiinflammatory and is an autolytic debriding agent. AmerX Health Care says the primary ingredient of AmeriGel is oakin, an oak extract (tannins) which acts locally by proliferating proteins to the wound site and decreases cell membrane permeability.
“For post-op matrixectomies, (AmeriGel) works extremely well,” notes Mark Johnson, DPM, who has used it on post-op nails for the last few years. Dr. Johnson has tried other products such as Silvadene and collagen, but he says AmeriGel gives him the best results.
“AmeriGel is the best of everything I’ve worked with in terms of healing,” claims Dr. Johnson, who also cites the product’s cost-effectiveness, ease in handling and its once-a-day application.
The combination of quicker healing and better patient compliance appears to be big factor in the emergence of the AmeriGel Wound Dressing.
“The advantages seem to be faster healing without the drudgery of soaking the toe(s) twice a day,” explains Dr. Travers. AmerX Health Care claims what once took four to six weeks to heal now takes two to three weeks when DPMs use the AmeriGel Wound Dressing.
While he believes the cost of AmeriGel is a disadvantage, Dr. Travers says the no-soak convenience is a big plus. He says most patients prefer applying a medication and bandage once a day as opposed to soaking 15-20 minutes a day and applying topical medication and a bandage. George Merritt, DPM, agrees that a big advantage to using AmeriGel is its lack of a soaking requirement.
Other Key Considerations
Also be aware that occasionally, patients may experience allergic reactions to the product. Dr. Johnson has found that 1 to 2 percent of his patients have hypersensitivity reactions to it, possibly due to an allergy to oakin, the main ingredient in AmeriGel. Dr. Travers adds that one of his patients was allergic to one of AmeriGel’s components and he had to revert back to the soaks. He also notes that another patient became infected so he had to stop using AmeriGel and initiate soaks and oral antibiotics before the problem resolved.