How Often Should You Change Bandages?
With so many different types of bandages and every variation of injury, how often you change your wound dressing will be unique to each injury. The general rule of thumb is to change bandages every day, or once a dressing becomes wet. Hydrocolloid bandages, however, create a seal that draws liquid out of your injury so they need not be changed as frequently, nor do many adhesive bandages that serve to create a longer-lasting barrier between your wound and the outside environment. Many bandages also promote faster healing by fostering a moist environment, negating the need to change dressings so often. Ultimately, you will change your dressing based on your wound severity and bandage type.
What Are Bandages Made Of?
As you can see from the above, there are many different types of bandages, all made from different materials and used for different purposes. Cotton, muslin, wool, bleached cotton, synthetic, treated, waterproof, and latex-free bandages are all designed to treat various kinds of injuries.
What Are Bandages Used For?
Bandages are primarily used in the wound care of a skin injury and in the prevention of further infection. Bandages can also be applied to keep a laceration moist to hasten the healing process, or to hold an antibiotic ointment or salve in place.
Bandages are an essential first aid item to have on hand. Bandages, sometimes referred to as "bandaids" or adhesive bandages, are designed to protect minor cuts and scrapes by keeping them clean. Small wounds can be treated with at home methods, but if you are concerned, you should not hesitate to call your doctor or go to your local clinic. If there is a lot of pain, if the wound is large, or if the bleeding won't stop even after gentle pressure has been applied for a significant period of time, call 911.
Types of Bandages
There are many types of bandages. You should select the appropriate type based on your needs. It can be helpful to keep a variety of bandages at home, so that you always have the right kind of adhesive bandage on hand. Many people choose to purchase a variety pack band aid box for this reason, but you can also pick and choose to create your own assortment.
If you are going swimming or will need to expose the wounded area to water frequently, such as in the case of a cut on your hand, you’ll want to look for waterproof bandages. Waterproof bandages are designed to be extra sticky, so they won't slip off in water. Waterproof bandages also create a heavy duty seal to protect your wound from exposure to water, dirt, and germs. Because they are extra sticky, however, you should not use them on delicate skin, as removal could be painful or harmful to the area.
For cuts on your hands or blisters, you may like to try a liquid bandage. A liquid bandages is not an adhesive. Instead, it is a clear liquid that forms a barrier directly on your skin to seal dirt and irritants out of your cut or blister. Liquid bandages are applied directly to the skin using either a paintbrush-like applicator, or with a spray. Ideal for small cuts, liquid bandages are also great for blisters - many people find that applying a thin layer to areas of the skin that you know are prone to developing blisters before starting out on that long run or cello recital can be very helpful.
Hydrocolloid bandages are helpful for many wounds, but they also benefit blisters and acne spots. Hydrocolloid dressings look similar to adhesive bandages, but have a soft, active surface that is capable of absorbing liquid from wounds, acne, and blisters. As it absorbs these liquids, the hydrocolloid bandage swells. This cushioned barrier is especially helpful for blisters, which can be painful when they touch or rub up against external items such as shoes or clothing. In fact, hydrocolloid dressings are sometimes called blister band aids for this very reason. In addition, the ability of hydrocolloid dressings to actively draw out fluids is also helpful for treating acne, as it pulls the pus and oil out without causing damage to the skin. Hydrocolloid bandages can also be left on longer than regular bandages so that the area is not disturbed, which may also help to support healing.
Latex Free Bandages
Finally, it is important to remember that if you are allergic to latex, you should always be sure to purchase latex free bandages. Allergen information should be clearly printed on the box. Latex free bandages come in many sizes and styles, so you can still put together an assortment that works for your needs.
From small round band aids to large bandages and everything in between, CVS has you covered with a wide assortment of these first aid essentials. Stock up on a variety of medical bandages today to be prepared for whatever tomorrow may bring!