Know Your Dressings: Antimicrobial Foams

Although not well known, an estimated 6.7 million Americans are living with chronic wounds, impacting approximately 1 in 4 families.1,2 Caring for a chronic wound may include the use of absorbent dressings to manage wound drainage. Because chronic wounds often have higher levels of bacteria, they may also benefit from the use of an antimicrobial dressing as part of the overall plan of care.3 Studies have shown reduced signs of infection and bacterial contamination when using an antimicrobial dressing.4

Foam Dressings
Foam is an easy-to-use type of absorbent wound dressing. Foam can absorb moderate to heavy amounts of wound drainage, keeping moisture at the right level for a wound to heal. A foam dressing can provide other benefits as well, by insulating, cushioning and protecting a wound. Foam dressings come in a variety of forms, including adhesive, non-adhesive and antimicrobial versions. Most foam dressings can stay in place for several days at a time.

Antimicrobial Dressings
“Antimicrobial” describes the ability of an agent to kill, inactivate, or slow the growth of microbes such as bacteria and fungi.3 Antimicrobial dressings help in the prevention and management of wound infection by preventing the growth of bacteria within the dressing.3 Some of the antimicrobial agents used in foam dressings include silver, methylene blue and gentian violet. Runze et al. found that combining safe doses of silver and methylene blue is more effective at killing bacteria than either agent acting alone.5

DermaBlue+Foam™ and DermaBlue+Foam Transfer™ are flexible, ready-to-use absorbent foam dressings infused with Methylene Blue, Gentian Violet, and Silver. The combination of these three antimicrobial agents provides broad spectrum antimicrobial and antifungal protection within a highly absorbent foam dressing.

The DermaBlue+Foam™ Dressing Advantage

  • Three effective ingredients, Methylene Blue, Gentian Violet, and non-cytotoxic silver provide broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity.
  • Absorbent foam supports moist wound healing.
  • The flexible foam may be cut to fit, and may be used for wounds with tunneling or undermining. Either side may be placed in contact with the wound.
  • Ready to use and easy to apply – no need to wet the product before use.
  • Gentle and effective for use during all phases of wound healing.
  • Safe for use with current enzymatic debriding agents.8

Learn More

In addition to the DermaBlue+Foam dressings, DermaRite offers a full line of antimicrobial silver dressings:


  1. 1) L.E.K. Consulting 2014 Market Analysis “Market Sizing and Assessment of Outsourced Outpatient Wound Care”
  2. 1) US Census data
  3. 1) Antimicrobials Made Easy. Wounds International 2011; Volume 2; Issue 1: Available from http://www.
  4. Mosti G, Magliaro A, Mattaliano V, et al. Comparative study of two antimicrobial dressings in infected leg ulcers: a pilot study. J Wound Care. 2015;24(3):121–2;124–7.
  5. Runze Li, Jie Chen, Thomas C. Cesario, Xin Wang, Joshua S. Yuan, Peter M. Rentzepis Synergistic reaction of silver nitrate, silver nanoparticles, and methylene blue against bacteria
  6. International consensus. Appropriate use of silver dressings in wounds. An expert working group consensus. London: Wounds International, 2012.
  7. Edwards K.(2016). New Twist on an Old Favorite: Gentian Violet and Methylene Blue Antibacterial Foams. Advances in Wound Care, 5(1), 11-18.

Deeper Dive

Want to learn more about this topic? In addition to the reference links above, here are some great articles and resources that you can explore.

  1. Sibbald R. Gary, Elliott James A., et. al. Update: Topical Antimicrobial Agents for Chronic Wounds. ADVANCES IN SKIN & WOUND CARE & VOL. 30 NO. 10, 438-450.
  2. International consensus. Appropriate use of silver dressings in wounds. An expert working group consensus. London: Wounds International, 2012.
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