SMTL Dressings Datacard

Product Name: Spenco 2nd Skin
Classification Name: Dressing Hydrogel Sheet
Manufacturer: Spenco Medical (UK) Ltd


Spenco 2nd Skin is a hydrogel sheet, consisting of cross-linked polyethylene oxide, and containing 96% water, supported upon a net of low density polyethylene, which provides strength. The gel, which is capable of absorbing approximately its own weight of wound exudate, is permeable to water vapour and oxygen, but impermeable to water and bacteria. The dressing provides a moist environment upon the surface of the wound and provided that it is not allowed to dry out, the dressing will not adhere to the underlying tissue upon removal.


Spenco 2nd Skin may be used in the treatment of a variety of wounds in which there has been limited epidermal damage, such as dermabrasions, minor burns, radiation damaged skin and superficial pressure areas. The dressing is cool and soothing to the touch and is said to reduce local pain and discomfort in some types of injury.


Spenco 2nd Skin should not be used on wounds that are exuding heavily, or as a covering for cavities or sinuses.

Method of use

When Spenco 2nd Skin is removed from the pack, it is covered with one clear and one blue sheet of polyethylene film. Prior to use the blue film is removed, and the gel placed directly in contact with the wound. The second transparent sheet (on the outer surface of the dressing) may be left in position to conserve moisture, if the wound is relatively dry but on more moist wounds the second sheet should be removed to facilitate the passage of water vapour through the gel and prevent tissue maceration due to excessive fluid build-up. Once applied, the dressing is usually covered with an absorbent pad held in place with tape or a bandage, as appropriate.

For lightly exuding wounds on areas that are difficult to dress with Spenco 2nd Skin, such as the sacral region, a dressing retention sheet (such as Hypafix or Mefix ) may be used to form an island dressing. On dry wounds, there is sometimes a possibility that the dressing will dry out. If this occurs, Spenco 2nd Skin may be readily rehydrated with sterile water or normal saline prior to removal.

Frequency of Change

The frequency of dressing changes will depend entirely upon the nature and condition of the wound. On clean, lightly exuding wounds, the dressing may be left undisturbed for 3-4 days, or sometimes longer; but on more heavily exuding wounds, daily changes may be required.


Spenco 2nd Skin should not be applied to wounds that have been found to contain Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or that show evidence of clinical infection.


Spenco 2nd Skin is presented in a plastic pouch, sterilised by ethylene oxide, inside a non-sterile aluminium peel pouch.


Spenco 2nd Skin should be stored in a cool place.


2 in 3 in

3 in 4 in


1. Pickering DG, et al., The management of desquamative radiation skin reactions, Dressing Times, 1992, 1, 1-2.

2. Thomas S, et al., Examining the properties and uses of two hydrogel sheet dressings, J. Wound Care, 1993, 2, (3), 176-179.

Revision Details

Revision AuthorDr S. Thomas
Revision No 1.3
Revision date1997/12/16

This datacard has been prepared from data provided by the manufacturer and/or from published literature.

All materials copyright © 1992-2007 by the Surgical Materials Testing Lab. unless otherwise stated.

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Last Modified: Thursday, 28-Mar-2002 10:23:17 GMT