The basis of silicone is silicon. Silicon is the second most prevalent element on earth. The surface of the earth consists up to 28% of silicon, it can be found in stones, clay and sand. Silicone is a silicon molecule.
In medical science, silicone is used as a component of numerous products, e.g. probes, catheters, coatings of puncture needles and pace makers, gloves and wound dressings. In soft-tissue surgery, silicone implants are used for body contour correction.
The first production process for silicone polymers was patented in 1958. Silicone or, as chemists call it, polydimethylsiloxane, is produced as silicone elastomer, silicone gel and silicone oil.
We encounter silicone every day: as anti-foaming agents for cooking, as water-repellent for clothing, as electrical insulation, as anti-acids for the stomach, as carrier spray in antiperspirants, as the shine in cosmetics, etc. Silicone does not contain any additives, especially softeners. Intensive studies have not provided evidence of allergic reactions to silicone.
The use of silicone material is widespread and we are constantly exposed to silicone in every day life. Silicone is used in food processing (for example, canning and ready meals), as sealants and in domestic and personal products such as cleaning solvents, hand cream, hair and skin products, and antiperspirants.
Silicone is also incorporated into medicines and in a wide range of medical devices. For example, silicone oil is commonly used as a lubricant in syringes and blood giving sets. Silicones are also used during surgery to repair retinal detachment and are used as implants in ears, noses, breast etc.
On removal, the soft silicone adhesive distributes the forces over a large area of skin under the dressing. This property minimises damage to surrounding skin and even after repeated removal, no stripping of epidermal cells will occur.
The silicone used in the dressings with Safetac® has the following properties –
- Low surface tension
- Soft and flexible· “Tacky”
- Inert and non-toxic
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