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6 Best Waterproof Wound Dressings

by Jessica Hegg July 24, 2018 0 Comments

Hand with bandaged index finger

Wounds can take a long time to heal, especially as we get older, and making sure you have the right wound care is a key part of recovery. The best waterproof wound dressing will provide a comfortable, protective layer to give your wound the best chance of healing. Waterproof wound dressings are effective and inexpensive—here are seven of the best.

Top 6 Waterproof Wound Dressings

Model Brand Lowest Price
1. Transparent Film Dressing 3M
2. Transparent Dressing Tegaderm
3. Tegaderm Roll 3M
4. Waterproof Transparent Dressing Nexcare
5. Transparent Adhesive Dressing Areza Medical
6. Silicone Foam Dressing Areza Medical

1. Transparent Film Dressing by 3M Transparent Film Dressing by 3M

This film dressing gets our seal of approval for durability, value for money and ease of use. The transparent film is waterproof and sticks firmly to skin, making it ideal for protecting affected areas, as well as securing non-waterproof patches or dressings in place. The transparent film also makes it possible to observe how wounds are healing, which is great if you want to keep an eye on rashes or vaccination spots.

  • Comfortable against skin
  • Ideal for long term wear
  • Thick and durable
  • Works less effectively if it comes into contact with lotion

2. Transparent Dressing by Tegaderm Transparent Dressing by Tegaderm

This thin, transparent dressing keeps dirt, germs, and water out, while allowing oxygen to reach the wound to help it heal. Measuring six by eight inches, it’s especially suited to minor skin abrasions, pressure ulcers and closed surgical wounds. Recommended by doctors, this dressing will stay firmly in place, without compromising on comfort.

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to put on
  • Great for protecting tattoos as well
  • May need to be cut down to size

3. Tegaderm Roll by 3M Tegaderm Roll by 3M

This eleven yard long Tegaderm Roll is perfect for wounds that don’t conform to traditional dressing sizes. Prevent waste or discomfort by cutting the exact length of dressing you need, meaning you can take care of your wound neatly and efficiently. The breathable, transparent film allows air to permeate, but will remain completely waterproof.

  • Can be used to hold down devices or tubes
  • Contours the body naturally
  • Cut to a perfect fit every time
  • Can be fiddly to prepare

4. Waterproof Transparent Dressing by Nexcare Waterproof Transparent Dressing by Nexcare

This compact, waterproof dressing is the perfect go-to product for minor wounds such as burns, abrasions or cuts. The dressing is easy to apply and remove, but can be trusted to stay in place once secured, even through bathing or water activities. Measuring under three inches in height and width, this feels comfortable against tender skin.

  • Lets you monitor the progress of a healing wound
  • Discreet and comfortable
  • Flexible for a natural feeling fit
  • May irritate very sensitive skin

5. Transparent Adhesive Dressing by Areza Medical Transparent Adhesive Dressing by Areza Medical

This transparent dressing acts as a barrier to dirt, germs, and moisture, while still allowing skin to breathe. Measuring four by four and three-quarter inches, it works perfectly as a primary dressing or to hold bandages and catheters in place. Once carefully applied, this dressing will stay in place even when fully immersed in water.

  • Ample size to cover most minor wounds
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Great value for money
  • May not last longer than 24 hours at a time

6. Silicone Foam Dressing by Areza Medical Silicone Foam Dressing by Areza Medical

This foam dressing contours to the natural shape of your body for a flexible, comfortable fit. The self-adherent patch is padded and fully waterproof, providing you with maximum protection from germs and environmental damage while your wound heals. Easy to take on and off, this is a quality product, without the hefty price tag.

  • Lasts at least 24 hours
  • Durable against wear and tear
  • Large enough to cover most minor wounds
  • Not transparent


How to Choose the Best Waterproof Wound Dressing

Waterproof wound dressings are a great choice if you need to protect a minor wound while bathing or swimming, to secure another dressing in place, or to protect and stabilize IV catheters. All the waterproof wound dressings on this list will meet these needs, but which will be the best for you?

Here are three factors to consider when making your choice.

  • Size

When applying a dressing to a wound, it’s essential that the affected area is safely covered, and that it doesn’t come into contact with any adhesive. Measure the area you need to cover and double check that your chosen dressing is large enough. If in doubt, opt for larger dressings that can be trimmed to size.

If you need to protect a larger affected area from water, adhesive dressings aren’t always an option. Why not try a waterproof leg cast cover to protect larger injuries while bathing?

  • Transparent or Opaque?

Most waterproof wound dressings are transparent, but not all are, so consider whether this is important to you. Do you need to be able to monitor the progress of a wound, without disturbing it? If so, transparent may be better. For an added layer of protection, foam may be better suited, as there is more padding with this option.

  • Value for Money

Protecting a chronic wound may require multiple waterproof wound dressings to be purchased. If this is the case, consider how much you’re able to spend on wound care. There are some high quality options on this list that are great value for money—check the quantity per purchase to find an option that suits your budget.

Wound Care FAQs

See the tips below, for a quick guide to effective wound care.

  • What are the benefits of transparent film dressings?

Transparent film dressings promote wound healing by providing a sterile, germ free environment which is moist while preventing water leakage. Their thin design makes them flexible and able to contour to the body, acting as blister roofs or a layer of protection in awkward areas, such as the elbow.

  • Are there any risks associated with waterproof dressings?

A waterproof dressing isn’t always the best option for you. First, there is no drainage, so wounds with exudate may not suit this dressing type. If the skin is very fragile, this type of dressing may cause damage to the affected area. Finally, this type of waterproof dressing is not suitable for third degree burns or wounds with bacterial or fungal infections.

  • How do I apply a waterproof dressing?

If you are trimming your dressing for your wound, make sure there is at least a one inch border around the affected area to fully protect it. Remove the liner of the adhesive and smooth over the skin to create a skintight protective layer.

  • How often should I change my waterproof dressing?

A waterproof dressing can last from one to seven days, but it’s usually around three to four. The dressing needs to be changed if the corners have started to roll up or have lost contact with the skin. It should also be removed if the skin is irritated in any way.

  • Can I use these dressings for bed sores?

These dressings can absolutely be used for bed sores. For more information, see our full guide to bed sore treatment.

  • How can I protect myself from minor injuries?

Minor wounds may not be a matter of life or death, but they can be painful and irritating, especially in awkward, hard to reach areas. If you sustain minor injuries while out walking or running, consider wearing compression leg sleeves for an added layer of protection. If blisters or calluses cause you pain, wearing toe sleeves can prevent uncomfortable rubbing in the feet while walking.

Feel Secure with the Best Waterproof Wound Dressing

The best waterproof wound dressing will give you peace of mind that minor wounds are protected, helping you continue day to day life carefree. Find the best waterproof wound dressing, and get back to enjoying your freedom.


Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager at Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle. Through her writing she works to share valuable information aimed at overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for others.

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