How to Choose the Right Gauze Dressing for Wounds Healing?

Factors to consider while choosing a gauze dressing for wounds.

Gauze is a common and versatile medical material. It has been used for centuries and is familiar to people working in different medical facilities like hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, etc. It is a thin, translucent fabric made of cotton or other synthetic materials like rayon and polyester. It is most commonly used for cleaning and dressing wounds. 

Gauze helps keep wounds clean while allowing ventilation, which is essential for facilitating the healing process. It is flexible and comfortable to wear for prolonged periods and offers protection to injured areas without restricting mobility. It comes in multiple sizes and forms like rolls and pads. It may also be saturated with petroleum, antibacterial ointments, or other healing agents.

The choice of gauze dressing for wounds would typically depend on the application. Common applications may be:

  • Cushioning to an injured body part
  • Protection of wound site
  • Cleaning wound
  • Absorption of exudate
  • Preventing infection
  • Securing other bandages or dressings

While choosing gauze for wounds is a tricky process, there are a few things that you may consider in order to make an appropriate selection for your injury.

Different Types of Gauze

Gauze is available in the market in multiple forms, the most common being rolls and pads. Gauze rolls are gauze in the form of rolls of different widths. Gauze pads are gauze in square-shaped layers in varied sizes the most common being 2”x2”, 3”,3”, and 4”x4”.

The choice between pads and rolls would depend upon the initial assessment of the wound and the size and type of wound would be the most important factors to determine which of the two to use.

  • For scrapes or abrasions, gauze can be wrapped around the wound to protect it. This will help keep the wound site dry and prevent infections.
  • For bruises, they should be cleaned gently with gauze and if they spread, they should be compressed to mitigate the underlying bleeding.
  • For cuts, gauze can be used to keep the wound site clean and dry, preventing infections.
  • Gauze should not be put directly on burns, but it can be used to secure a non-adhesive bandage over the wound in place.
  • Stitches are particularly prone to infections and need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly while the wound heals. Gauze Dressing for Wounds is an effective tool for covering stitched wounds and keeping them free from contamination.


Gauze usually consists of multiple layers of woven fabric, referred to as “ply”. The ply number indicates the thickness of the gauze. The higher the ply number, the higher the thickness and subsequently the absorption.

  • Standard woven gauze is usually 8-ply, and premium woven gauze is 12-ply.
  • Standard non-woven gauze is usually 3-ply, and premium non-woven gauze is 4-ply.

Depending upon the injury and type of wound, gauze of a certain ply number may be chosen. Higher the exudate, the higher the number of layers the gauze should have to ensure proper absorption.

Woven Vs. Non-Woven Gauze Dressing for Wounds

Gauze is found in woven and non-woven forms. The choice between the two types of gauze dressing for wounds depends upon the nature of the wound and the purpose of the treatment. 

  • Woven gauze is a loosely woven fabric, generally made from cotton fibers. It is a natural and low-cost dressing option.
    Woven gauze can be used for packing and cleaning wounds. It is ideal for the debridement of wounds and can also be used as dressing for wounds like scrapes or cuts. However, it should not be used for wounds that require non-adherent dressing like burns and surgical wounds because it might stick to the wound or produce lint.
  • Among the different types of gauze, Non-woven gauze is a type of gauze made from fibers that are pressed together to resemble a weave but are not actually woven together. Generally, non-woven gauze is made from synthetic materials like polyester, rayon, or a blend of these. Non-woven absorbent gauze roll is stronger, softer, and more absorptive. Non-woven gauze produces less lint than woven gauze and is used in cases where it is important to keep wounds clean like surgical procedures, dialysis, and dermatology. In the absence of proper non-adherent dressings, it may be used to dress wounds since it is less sticky than woven options.

Woven gauze

Non-woven gauze










Lint production






Risk of an allergic reaction






Sterile Vs Non-Sterile Gauze Dressing for Wounds

In medical terms, sterile gauze is gauze that has gone through a sterilization process while non-sterile gauze has not. Sterile gauze is usually individually wrapped in sealed packaging to offer protection from environmental contaminants and maintain sterility.

  • Sterile gauze is free from contaminations like dirt and microorganisms. It is ideal to use on open wounds as it is the best dressing for open wounds and reduces the risk of infection after the wound has been thoroughly cleaned. 
  • Non-sterile gauze is not ideal for use on open wounds and would present a risk for infections. It can instead be used on closed wounds like bruises or as a secondary dressing to hold the primary dressing in place. It is generally cheaper than sterile gauze, which makes it more convenient and cost-effective, particularly for health facilities that do not regularly deal with open wounds.

Sterile gauze pads

Non-sterile gauze pads




Individual packing

Stopping bleeding

Cleaning open wounds




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