The skin is our protection from the environment. The skin is a complex organ, providing protection against chemical, biological and physical insult, keeping organs and tissues in their place, and regulating various secretions including sweat (to control temperature), and pheromones (to act as sexual attractants). It is constantly renewed and maintained. Injuries to the skin cause the potential for infection and significant disruption to the healthy functioning of the tissues beneath. Healing of the skin has been an essential pre-requisite for evolutionary and individual survival, and complex biochemical systems have evolved for repair of the skin.
Injuries to the skin are caused primarily due to surgical incisions (acute wounds), whether for treatment of disease or trauma to underlying tissues or for treatment trauma to the skin. Injuries may also be the result of burns and chronic wounds (e.g., ulcers).
Treatment of these wounds is accomplished by a wide array of product types. Wound dressings can be divided into categories using a number of different classification systems. In this report we focus our product, marketing, and technology review on the category known as Advanced Wound Management. This includes Film dressings, Hydrocolloids, Foam dressings, Alginate Dressings, Hydrogels, Non-Adherent Dressings, Antimicrobial dressings, Cleansing and debridement products, Tissue engineered products, Pharmacological products, (including Pain control, Antibiotics, Growth Factors, Non-Growth Factor Modulators, Gene Therapy, and Scarring Modulators), Physical treatments (like pressure devices, hydrotherapy, electrical stimulation, electromagnetic stimulation, ultraviolet therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, mechanically assisted wound closure devices, ultrasound, laser and information systems. Some of these product categories are well established; others are in development.
Significant growth will occur in specific market segments like the use of growth factors, physical therapies, and tissue engineering. See the current distribution of revenues by product segment, with expanded shares of those specific segments through 2016.
Source: MedMarket Diligence report #S245, "Worldwide Wound Management, 2007-2016: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Rest of World."
See also the 2009-2013 report #S175 on surgical sealants, glues, hemostasis, wound closure and anti-adhesion.