Moist Wound Healing with Occlusive Dressings: A Clinical Focus


  • W.H. Eaglstein, MD has indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: William H. Eaglstein, MD, University of Miami Department of Dermatology, 1600 NW 10th Ave., Room 2023, Miami, FL 33136.


The concept of moist wound healing, which is facilitated by the application of occlusive dressings, dates back to 1615 bc, and the technique is currently supported by a relatively large volume of data. It is clear that occlusive dressings are in many cases associated with more rapid reepithelialization, a reduced risk of infection, and more rapid wound healing than the alternatives. Nevertheless, many clinicians have been slow to accept this therapeutic technique. This article traces the history of moist wound healing from its earliest inception, examines the theoretical mechanisms of its effect, and explores its advantages and disadvantages. It also reviews the literature supporting the use of occlusive dressings in a variety of wound settings and examines the possible reasons behind the apparent reluctance on the part of the medical community to accept a potentially valuable therapy.