Chronic wounds affect millions of people worldwide. In the UK alone, the cost of their treatment is estimated to be between £4.5bn and £5.1bn. The implementation of wound-bed preparation strategies remove the barriers to healing and wound debridement is a key component in preparing the wound bed for wound progression. This article aims to review one of the several debridement methods available to clinicians: autolytic debridement. Autolysis (i.e. autolytic debridement) uses the body's own enzymatic mechanisms to remove devitalised tissue in order to remove the barriers to healing. This review aims to provide clinicians working in wound care with a better understanding of the mechanisms and implications of autolytic debridement.