How to Use Iodosorb Gel Ointment to Heal Wounds

Iodosorb represents the latest iteration of iodine technology in wound healing ointments. It is most often used for infected wounds that are difficult to heal including venous stasis ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure sores, and infected traumatic and surgical wounds.

It works by killing bacteria, absorbing fluids and pus, and debriding the wound. The gel turns white when the dressing needs to be replaced and is easy to rinse off, minimizing discomfort during bandage changes.

Index:

How Does Iodosorb Gel Work?

For wound care, not all iodine is created equal. Iodine will kill both bacteria and body tissues at high enough concentrations, but at the right concentration it kills bacteria without harming the cells involved with wound healing. To take advantage of this, Iodosorb gel attaches iodine to large molecules that release iodine slowly. When the gel gets wet from fluid in the wound bed, water molecules slowly pull iodine off the gel, releasing it into the wound area.

This slow release of iodine is important for two reasons. Number one, the iodine at the wound site reaches high enough levels to kill bacteria but won't damage your body tissue. Number two, the iodine stays at constant levels over a long period of time, so your repair cells have a stress-free environment to work in.

Medihoney gel actually works in a very similar way, but it releases hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal instead of iodine. If you can't use iodine for medical reasons, Medihoney may offer a useful alternative.

Besides its antibacterial properties Iodosorb gel provides the perfect environment for cell growth and wound repair. It promotes increased healing and skin regrowth because it keeps the area moist, passively debrides the wound, and removes slough and necrotic tissue.

How to Use:

  1. Cover the wound bed liberally with Iodosorb gel.
  2. Cover the wound with sterile gauze and hold it in place with medical tape. Alternately use a secondary dressing to cover the area.
  3. Change the dressing when the gel turns from brown to white. The white color means that all of the iodine has been absorbed out of the gel. To change the dressing, rinse the gel off the wound with water or saline solution and reapply as before.
  4. Treat the wound until it is completely healed.

The most common use for Iodosorb gel is in wounds that will not heal by themselves or are slow to heal like leg ulcers, wounds infected with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), full thickness wounds or wounds where skin needs to regrow, and diabetic injuries.

While scientific studies confirm that it works well with MRSA, leg ulcers, and full thickness wounds, there is still a lack of solid scientific evidence for accelerated healing of diabetic injuries[1,2,3,4].

When Not to Use Iodosorb Gel:

When using Iodosorb or other iodine-based products keep in mind that iodine is being absorbed into your blood stream. This is perfectly healthy and normal for most individuals, but those with thyroid problems like goiters, Graves disease, hyperthyroidism, or thyroiditis should talk to their doctor before use.

Iodine products can also produce complications when taken at the same time as lithium, Sulphafurazoles, or Sulphonylureas.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not use iodine products because iodine can enter breast milk and cross the placenta, affecting your baby.

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About Peter Oldani - Author of Inside First Aid

About the author

Peter Oldani graduated college with a B.S. in biomedical engineering, worked as an EMT to gain hands on experience in emergency medicine and completed active shooter training as part of New York State’s initiative to prepare civilian organizations for disaster response.