How Do I Choose the Best Gauze?

Patti Kate

When choosing gauze, you'll have several options that meet various needs. Regardless of the type you choose, if you are treating an open wound, the gauze must be sterile. If the package does not guarantee sterility, do not purchase it. For treating open cuts, burns or wounds, a good option might be the individually wrapped gauze pads. For cleaning a closed wound, rolled gauze is a good choice. To ensure quality, look for a product that is labeled as hospital grade.

Gauze must always be sterile.
Gauze must always be sterile.

Deciding what type of gauze to buy will typically depend on what you will be using it for. To cover an incision site after surgery, you'll most likely require something super absorbent. This is because most post-operative wounds will need to drain. In such a case, choose a gauze pad with several layers. The thicker the pile, the less likely it will be to leak.

Gauze pads may offer wound protection.
Gauze pads may offer wound protection.

Choose your sterile pad in the appropriate size. If you are going to cover a wound with medical tape, the pad will need to cover the wound completely. Allow some extra room for the tape, as you do not want it to touch the wound. If you have a very large wound or burn that needs to be covered, you might need to use two pads side by side.

Roll gauze can be wrapped around wounded areas.
Roll gauze can be wrapped around wounded areas.

You also have the option of choosing a self stick first aid pad. The self stick pad is designed like a large bandage with adhesive around the edges. This is convenient when you do not wish to use additional first aid tape. Additionally, you can choose an antimicrobial pad designed to kill germs and prevent infection.

Gauze may be used for cleaning wounds.
Gauze may be used for cleaning wounds.

In some cases, a gauze pad might stick to an open wound, burn blister, or abrasion. To prevent this from occurring, choose a pad that is labeled as non stick. The non-stick pad typically is made with adhesive and does not require additional first aid tape for securing to the skin.

If you require extra security for holding a first aid bandage in place, choose rolled gauze. This type of product is typically available in sterile and non sterile varieties and various sizes. Read the packaging label to be sure you obtain the correct width for the area to be covered.

To cushion a callous or bunion on the bottom of your foot, you probably won't require a sterile pad. As long as you do not place it on open skin, it is fine to choose a non sterile pad. Choose a pad that is thick enough to provide proper cushioning.

Individually wrapped gauze packs are sterile until opened.
Individually wrapped gauze packs are sterile until opened.

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Discussion Comments

literally45

I use non-stick gauze. For some reason, whenever I use regular dry gauze, the fibers always stick and dry with the scab. So when I remove the gauze the next day, it pulls away the scab and causes it to bleed. It's painful, slows down healing and increases the risk of a scar. So I only buy non-stick gauze now. I think it works great, although I have noticed that the cut breathes less due to the ingredients used to make it non-stick. For example, the one with petroleum jelly does prevent air flow to the area.

ZipLine

@candyquilt-- Yes, there is. It's called a quick clot gauze. Some people call it a combat gauze because it's often used in combat. This type of gauze has a powder medication on it that interacts with proteins in blood and encourages clotting. It does help stop bleeding.

Aside from this, gauze that has some thickness and stretch to it can help stop bleeding by applying light pressure on the wound. If there is bloody discharge which can sometimes be normal as a wound heals, you can also use gauze pads or gauze strips to absorb the discharge and keep the wound cleaner and drier. In this case, the gauze is packed into the wound.

candyquilt

Is there a type of gauze that helps stop bleeding?

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