Growth of wound care product sales worldwide

Wound care product sales are growing at wildly variable rates around the world, with extremes spanning from the emergence of new technologies in rapidly growing economies to the technologies with low innovation in sluggish economies.

MedMarket Diligence’s global analysis of wound care products, technologies, companies and markets reveals the full spectrum of growth rates for well established to rapidly emerging products.

Below is illustrated the high growth country/product segments in wound management, reflecting the rapid adoption of new technologies such as growth factors and bioengineered skin, as well as older products such as alginates that are gaining sales in rapidly developing economies.


Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S249, “Wound Management, Worldwide Market and Forecast to 2021: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Rest of World.”

At the other end of the extreme are those very well established products growing at less than anemic rates in countries where the economy is not as robust and/or where the growth has been superseded by sales of more novel products. Conventional dressings and bandages offer considerably less demand than do growth factors, bioengineered skin and skin substitutes and similar new products.


Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S249

Of course, growth of sales in wound management products (and any product) is defined as the percentage change in sales volume over time. Smaller markets (typically soon after they have formed as a result of their initial commercialization) tend to grow on a percentage basis much faster. Indeed, a $1 dollar sale in year 1 followed by a $2 sale in year 2 represents a 100% growth rate, while a $1 increase in sales from year 1 to year 2 for a $100 million market represents virtually zero growth. Conversely, a 1% increase in a $1.75 billion market is a $17.5 million increase. This is indeed obvious, but must be kept in mind when considering the growth rates discussed above.

Worldwide Wound Management, 2009-2018

Wound management demands globally are as considerable as the range and diversity of therapeutic options to deal with them. Surgical, traumatic, burn, ulcer and other wound types are highly prevalent, growing in caseload and expensive when they fail to promptly heal.  epidermisNew products are steadily impacting the market, while development continues on many fronts including novel wound closure, debridement, dressings, physical therapies and others. MedMarket Diligence's 2009 report, "Worldwide Wound Management, 2009-2018:  Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Rest of World" (see link) is a thorough analysis of the current and forecast market for these products. 

See report description:

This report details the complete range of products and technologies used in wound management and wound care, from dressings, bandages, hydrogels, tissue engineered products, physical treatments and others. The report details current clinical and technology developments in this huge worldwide market with high growth sectors, with data on products in development and on the market; market size and forecast; competitor market shares; competitor profiles; and market opportunity. (Continued at link.)

Prevalence of dermal applications for sealants and glues

Skin securement has always been an essential final step in surgical procedures. In early years, the skin surface was sutured; in recent years a number of advances have been made, including new tapes, sutures, staples, hemostats, and glues.


Approximately 24,000 burn victims in the United States received skin grafts every year. These represent the very worst burn cases; in fact, approximately 25% of this group will die from their injuries. Glues and sutures are used to secure skin grafts in place and hemostats are used to prevent bleeding and to prepare the new skin for repair. Skin grafts provide an immediate covering for the patient that prevents further cell death, stimulates repair, and reduces fluid loss through the burnt skin. Products in this category may also be required to treat the skin after donor site material is taken from an intact region on the patient’s skin for skin grafting. Advances in sealant, hemostat, and closure technologies offer the potential to accelerate repair by creating the right environment to accelerate the healing process and provide better repair.

Pressure Ulcers

About 1.5 million pressure ulcer patients were treated in the United States in 2008. These wounds develop in immobile patients who often suffer from underlying biochemical deficiencies that lead to inadequate skin healing. Prevalence is highest in the old and infirm, and incidence is increasing in line with aging of the population. Sealants, hemostats, and closure products provide opportunities for a radical surgical method to treat these life-threatening wounds, which normally would be treated with conservative (though often sophisticated) wound healing products designed to reduce points of pressure, mask smell and absorb excess moisture while the body repairs itself. The strongest opportunity for use of surgically oriented products for repair of pressure ulcers is among young paraplegics and short-term acute care patients who are immobilized but otherwise healthy (approximately 5% of all pressure ulcers).

Diabetic Ulcers

Diabetes causes many abnormalities in tissue biochemistry and nutrition, many of which lead to impaired tissue healing. In addition, diabetes leads to conditions of hypoxia and peripheral neuropathy that can directly cause ulcers. Approximately 800,000 diabetics in the United States have diabetic foot ulcers; closure and securement products offer a surgical route to aiding repair that may offer potential to accelerate repair in a number cases.

Venous Ulcers

There are approximately one million venous ulcer patients in the United States today. Prevalence is increasing in line with aging demographics exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle. Venous ulcers are caused by underlying vascular and venous flow abnormalities, which can often be treated by knowledgeable application of pressure bandaging and, in some cases, appropriate topical wound care. However, this treatment is largely symptomatic and many physicians believe surgical intervention to repair the underlying vascular abnormalities is required to effect a cure and avoid tissue breakdown. Sealants, hemostats, and closure products offer a surgical route to aiding repair that may offer potential to accelerate repair in a number cases.

Plastic Surgery

About 2 million cosmetic augmentation procedures are performed in the United States every year. The most popular procedures are liposuction (455,000) and breast augmentation (365,000). Most of the latter use synthetic materials and biomaterials for augmentation purposes. Other procedures where sealant products may be relevant include rhinoplasty (200,000), abdominoplasty (170,000) and eyelid surgery (230,000).

Adjunctive products for securement and closure offer potential to improve surgical procedure, reduce infections, and improve aesthetic and physiological properties of newly repaired tissues, as well as offering more rapid rehabilitation and the avoidance of donor site morbidity in approximately 27,000 of these operations involving the use of donated tissue from another region of the patient’s body.


dermal applications of sealants

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S175, "Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues and Wound Closure, 2009-2013."


Wound Management: Wound Prevalance, Treatment Trends

From Report #S245, “Wound Management, 2007-2016: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Rest of World,” published by MedMarket Diligence, LLC (November 2007).

Wound types fall into four general categories — surgical, traumatic, burns, and chronic — yet there is a wide variety of specific types, with different prevalence and growing at different rates. The exhibit below illustrates the current patient population (prevalence) and the compound annual growth rate for each wound type over the 2005-2014 period.

Wound Prevalence by Etiology Worldwide

Wound Management Trends

Surgical Wounds

Surgical wounds account for the vast majority of skin injuries. We estimate that there are over 100 million surgical incisions a year, which require some wound management treatment. Approximately 80% of these wounds use some form of closure product (sutures, staples, and tapes). Many employ hemostasis products, and use fabric bandages and surgical dressings.

Surgical wounds are projected to increase in number at an annual rate of 3.1%, but overall the severity and size of surgical wounds will continue to decrease over the next ten years as a result of the continuing trend toward minimally invasive surgery.

Surgical procedures generate a preponderance of acute wounds with uneventful healing and a lower number of chronic wounds, such as those generated by wound dehiscence or post-operative infection. Surgical wounds are most often closed by primary intention, using products such as sutures, staples, or glues, where the two sides across the incision line are brought close and mechanically held together. Surgical wounds that involve substantial tissue loss or may be infected are allowed to heal by secondary intention where the wound is left open under dressings and allowed to fill by granulation and close by epithelialization. Some surgical wounds may be closed through delayed primary intention where they are left open until such time as it is felt it is safe to suture or glue the wound closed.

A significant feature of all wounds is the likelihood of pathological infection occurring. Surgical wounds are no exception, and average levels of infection of surgical wounds are 7 to 10 percent dependent on the procedure. These infections can be prevented by appropriate cleanliness, surgical discipline and skill, wound care therapy, and antibiotic prophylaxis. Infections usually lead to more extensive wound care time, the use of more expensive products and drugs, significantly increased therapist time, and increased morbidity and rehabilitation time. A large number of wounds will also be sutured to accelerate closure, and a proportion of these will undergo dehiscence and require aftercare for healing to occur.

Traumatic Wounds

There are estimated to be 1.5 million cases of traumatic wounding every year. These wounds required cleansing and treatment with low adherent dressings to cover them, prevent infection, and allow healing by primary intention. Lacerations are a specific type of trauma wound that are generally more minor in nature and require cleansing and dressing for a shorter period of healing. Lacerations occur frequently (approximately 19 million cases a year) as a result of cuts and grazes and can usually be treated within the doctor’s surgery and outpatient medical center and hospital accident and emergency department.


Burn wounds can be divided into minor burns, medically treated, and hospitalized cases. Out-patient burn wounds are often treated at home, at the doctor’s surgery, or at outpatient clinics. As a result a large number of these wounds never enter the formal health service system. We estimate that approximately 3.3 million burns in this category do enter the outpatient health service system and receive some level of medical attention. These burns use hydrogels and advanced wound care products, and may even be treated with consumer based products for wound healing. Medically treated burn wounds usually get more informed care to remove heat from the tissue, maintain hydration, and prevent infection. Advanced wound care products are used on these wounds. Approximately 6.3 million burns like this are treated medically every year. Hospitalized burn wounds are rarer and require more advanced and expensive care. These victims require significant care, nutrition, debridement, tissue grafting and often tissue engineering where available. They also require significant aftercare and rehabilitation to mobilize new tissue, and physiotherapy to address changes in physiology.

Chronic Wounds

Chronic wounds generally take longer to heal and care is enormously variable, as is the time to healing. There are approximately 7.4 million pressure ulcers in the world that require treatment every year. Many chronic wounds around the world are treated sub-optimally with general wound care products designed to cover and absorb some exudate. The optimal treatment for these wounds is to receive advanced wound management products and appropriate care to address the underlying defect that has caused the chronic wound; in the case of pressure ulcers the causal effect is pressure and a number of advanced devices exist to reduce pressure for patients. There are approximately 11 million venous ulcers, and 11.3 million diabetic ulcers in the world requiring treatment. Chronic wounds are growing in incidence due to the growing age of the population, and due mostly to awareness and improved diagnosis. At present these factors are contributing to growth of this pool of patients faster than the new technologies are reducing the incidence of wounds by healing them.

Wound management products are also used for a number of other conditions including amputations, carcinomas, melanomas, and other complicated skin cancers, which are all on the increase.

See wound report #S245 description, table of contents here. This report may be ordered for immediate download online or may be purchased via Google Checkout, below.