An extensive review has failed to find any evidence that modern dressings may outperform standard traditional materials.
Experts reviewed 99 studies that investigated the efficiacy of modern dressings for the care of acute and chronic wounds.
Recently developed modern dressings such as dextranomer and silver-coated dressings were found to be no better than standard saline or paraffin gauze dressing materials.
The authors found no evidence that specific dressing outperformed others for haemorrhagic or malodorous wounds, fragile skin or the protection of infection.
However, there were some exceptions. Alginates were found to better than other modern dressings for necrotic wounds while hydrofibre and foam dressings reduced healing time more than traditional dressings.
The authors say their review stresses the need for more good quality wound care.
Tissue viability nurse Una Adderley told nursinginpractice.com: ""This review again confirms the lack of robust information regarding the relative effectiveness of dressings.
"It is worrying that so much NHS money is being spent in an area where clinicians have so little reliable information to inform their decision making. Independent, high quality research is desperately needed."