Moisture in the wound is essential for healing; however, excessive moisture is harmful. Normally, the fluid coming from the wound is very rich in protein-melting enzymes which help to remove dead tissue from the wound bed. Because these enzymes can melt protein, they can also melt the normal skin around the wound. The melting of skin around the wound opening by the wound fluid is called “skin maceration”. Moreover, excessive wetness of the wound can also promote yeast and fungus growth. When excessive wound fluid is an issue, the normal skin around the wound opening should be properly protected by skin barriers such as zinc oxide, petroleum jelly, dimethicon, or film-forming skin barriers such as Skin Prep, Cavillon or Marathon.
In addition to applying a skin protectant, more absorptive wound dressing material should be used to control excessive wound fluid. Calcium alginate (seaweed extract) or foam dressings are useful for highly draining wounds. In extreme cases, we even recommend using baby diapers or female pads.