This study was designed to investigate the effect on skin temperature of different methods of use of a hydrogel dressing. Twelve volunteers had temperature measured under a hydrogel dressing with different combinations of air movement and bandaging. A large drop in skin temperature was only achieved when the dressing was left exposed with air movement over the surface of the dressing. A temperature that gives effective analgesia is not reached if the dressing is used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions (covered with an insulating layer). This explains the authors' observation that paramedics and patients often leave these dressings uncovered.