Last update May 25, 2022

Hydrocolloid dressing, patch (Carmellose Sodium)

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Dressings for moist wound-healing may contain polyurethane, polyurethane foam, glycerin, silicone, hydrogel (synthetic polysaccharide), surfactant, hydrocolloid (carmellose), alginate (algae polysaccharide), gelatin, collagen, pectin or activated carbon. These dressings tend to absorb water and wound exudates (except polyurethane ones). Polyurethane ones are also used in scar reduction and keloid prevention.

Its components are non-toxic and are not absorbed into the systemic circulation so they cannot reach breastmilk.

Some have been used in the treatment of cracks and irritation of the nipple.

Hydrogel dressings on the nipple showed lesser efficacy than the application of protective shields and lanolin in one study (Brent 1998), while in another they were superior to the application of lanolin. (Dodd 2003)

The application of multi-purpose nipple cream had worse results than lanolin. (Dennis 2012)

A Cochrane study of research with good methodology found no evidence of greater efficacy of glycerin gel dressings, lanolin with or without protective shields or multi-use nipple cream against the simple application of squeezed breastmilk (Dennis 2014). The application of breastmilk cured irritation and cracks of the nipple sooner than the application of lanolin (Mohammadzadeh 2005). In another study, highly purified anhydrous lanolin was found to be more effective than expressed breast milk. (Abou 2011)

Dressings that contain silver compounds should not be applied over large areas or for long periods since they release silver that is absorbed and raises its plasma levels. (Brouillard 2018, Choi 2018)

See below the information of these related products:

  • Lanolin ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Carmellose ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Collagen ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Glycerin (Moderately safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.)
  • Magnetotherapy ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Seaweed (Moderately safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.)
  • Silicone ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Silver Nitrate ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Sulfadiazine Silver (Moderately safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.)


We do not have alternatives for Hydrocolloid dressing, patch (Carmellose Sodium) since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


Hydrocolloid dressing, patch (Carmellose Sodium) belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Hydrocolloid dressing, patch (Carmellose Sodium) in its composition:


  1. Brouillard C, Bursztejn AC, Latarche C, Cuny JF, Truchetet F, Goullé JP, Schmutz JL. Silver absorption and toxicity evaluation of silver wound dressings in 40 patients with chronic wounds. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 Dec;32(12):2295-2299. Abstract
  2. Choi H, Castillo B, Seminario-Vidal L. Silver absorption in patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis treated with silver-impregnated dressings. A case series. Int Wound J. 2018 Dec;15(6):1049-1051. Abstract
  3. Dennis CL, Jackson K, Watson J. Interventions for treating painful nipples among breastfeeding women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Dec 15;(12):CD007366. Abstract
  4. Dennis CL, Schottle N, Hodnett E, McQueen K. An all-purpose nipple ointment versus lanolin in treating painful damaged nipples in breastfeeding women: a randomized controlled trial. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Dec;7(6):473-9. Abstract
  5. Abou-Dakn M, Fluhr JW, Gensch M, Wöckel A. Positive effect of HPA lanolin versus expressed breastmilk on painful and damaged nipples during lactation. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2011;24(1):27-35. Abstract
  6. Mohammadzadeh A, Farhat A, Esmaeily H. The effect of breast milk and lanolin on sore nipples. Saudi Med J. 2005 Aug;26(8):1231-4. Abstract
  7. Dodd V, Chalmers C. Comparing the use of hydrogel dressings to lanolin ointment with lactating mothers. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2003 Jul-Aug;32(4):486-94. Abstract
  8. Brent N, Rudy SJ, Redd B, Rudy TE, Roth LA. Sore nipples in breast-feeding women: a clinical trial of wound dressings vs conventional care. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998 Nov;152(11):1077-82. Abstract

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