The evolving clinical practice of wound management

The skin is our protection from the environment. Far from being just a physical barrier, the skin is a complex organ, protecting our bodies from 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.

Approaches to wound management span a range from simply providing a protective barrier to enable the wound to heal to complex biological, biochemical and physical means to accelerate wound healing or otherwise optimize wound healing results.

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.

The relative share and variable impact of new wound management technologies over the coming years will result in a different market landscape for wound products.  Below is illustrated, for 2008 and 2017, the global wound management market by type of product.

Global Wound Management Market, by Product Type, 2008 & 2011

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC, Report #S247, "Worldwide Wound Management, 2008-2017: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Rest of World."