Traditional wound care practices have been followed since the earliest of human civilizations. These practices were not complete, as these did not provide adequate condition for the growth of new skin cells. It was recently discovered by modern science that moisture and proper aeration is necessary for adequate growth of underlying epidermal or endoderm cells. This not only helped the wound heal faster, but also decreased discomfort to a large extent. Currently, consumers of wound care products are not limited to trauma patients or household accidental cases, but include the diabetic geriatric populations with ulcerative complications. Skin ulcer and tissue necrosis are leading global concerns among the rural and diabetic population with inadequate access to medical care. This major driver led to innovations in wound care technology, which is presently provided by advanced wound management products across the world.
The wound dressings market has been categorized based on types of products and geography. The product segment has been further sub-segmented into traditional wound dressings and advanced wound dressings. The traditional wound dressings segment includes wound closure products (gauze tapes, sponges, surgical cotton swabs and others), basic wound care products, and anti-infective dressings. The advanced wound dressings segment includes emerging and advanced wound dressings such as films, foams dressings, hydrofiber, hydrocolloids, hydrogels, collagen and alginates. Foams is the leading sub-segment of the advanced wound dressings segment in terms of revenue. This is because foams are versatile, in terms of applicability and healing, and are readily available in stores. Foams also witnessed the fastest growth due to faster healing and advances within the basic design, thereby offering wide range of wound coverage. Films, collagen, hydrogels and alginates would witness slow growth during the forecast period. Products such as hydrocolloids and hydrofiber would demonstrate impressive growth potential and are expected to continue growing in the near future with increasing prevalence of trauma wounds, burns, injuries, chronic medical conditions such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes and other skin ulcerative diseases.
Basic wound care was the leading segment of the traditional wound dressings segment in 2013. Basic wound care products such as cotton gauze and sterile cotton are witnessing strong sales growth in developing countries, as these are easy to use and require minimal training. On the other hand, anti-infective dressings such as iodine-based dressings and plant-based antiseptic dressings are expected to witness highest growth rate during the forecast period. This is attributed to the growing geriatric and disabled populations diagnosed with chronic wounds and related skin ulcer complications in the developing world.
Geographically, Asia Pacific was the largest market for traditional wound dressings in 2013. RoW recorded the highest growth in the traditional wound dressings segment and is expected to lead the segment by the end of the forecast period. This is attributed to the price sensitive markets in this region and the strong traditional backgrounds that dictate the healing procedures. Large populations of patients are not able to afford advanced wound care or are simply unwilling to adapt to newer wound dressing technologies due to poor education. North America, particularly the U.S., was the largest market for advanced wound dressings in terms of revenue in 2013. Asia Pacific witnessed the fastest growth rate and is expected to lead the global market by the end of the decade. The presence of a large number of advanced wound management products manufacturing units in Asia, higher social awareness and increased diabetic populations is likely to ensure steady market penetration and growth in the near future.
The overall wound dressings market is highly fragmented, with the presence of large numbers of big and small players. These include 3M Healthcare, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Coloplast A/S, ConvaTec, Inc., Derma Sciences, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Kinetic Concepts, Inc., Mölnlycke Health Care AB, PAUL HARTMANN AG, Smith & Nephew plc and Systagenix Wound Management Ltd. Smith and Nephew plc, Mölnlycke Health Care AB, and ConvaTec, Inc. had the largest global presence, offering a wide range of wound care products worldwide. Large market presence in developed and emerging markets and expertise in providing state-of-the-art wound care technology has enabled these companies to have a strong hold in the industry. However, the wound dressings market is highly fragmented and several companies other than those mentioned above have a strong hold in individual product segments and regions of operation.