Discharge Instructions: Caring for Your Acticoat Dressing

You are going home with an Acticoat dressing in place. This dressing will allow your wound to heal and decrease the chance of infection. An Acticoat dressing has 3 layers: 2 outer mesh layers and an inner absorbent layer. The outer layers are coated with silver and help prevent bacteria from getting into your wound. The inner layer keeps your wound moist. You will need to change your dressing every 3 days.

You were shown the proper way to change your dressing at the hospital. If you are unsure how to change the dressing, ask for clarification before you are discharged. This sheet will help you remember those steps when you are at home.

Applying an Acticoat dressing

Remember to keep the dressing damp, but not soaking wet. Use sterile water in a spray bottle to dampen the Acticoat at least once every 24 hours.

  • Clean and dry your wound with soap and water.

  • Remove the Acticoat from the package.

  • Use a clean pair of scissors to cut the Acticoat dressing to fit the shape of your burn or wound.

  • Wet the Acticoat with sterile water (do not use normal saline).

  • Place the Acticoat on the wound surface.

  • Cover the Acticoat with a gauze dressing.

  • Roll a gauze wrap loosely around the dressing to hold it in place.

  • Wrap toward your body. If you are wrapping your arm, start at your hand and wrap toward your shoulder.

  • As you wrap, overlap the previous layer of gauze by about ½ inch.

Removing an Acticoat dressing

In addition to changing the dressing every 3 days, you will also need to remove an Acticoat dressing if you have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

  • Moisten the Acticoat if it sticks to your wound when you change it. Moisten only with sterile water.

  • Remove the Acticoat very gently. Never pull hard or rip the dressing. You could damage the wound and slow your recovery time.

  • Dispose of waste materials in a plastic bag.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.


When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increased redness, swelling, or warmth in the skin around the wound

  • Bad odor coming from the wound

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C) or chills

  • Increasing pain

  • Bleeding from the wound