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What are Some Different Types of Bandages?

Sherry Holetzky
Sherry Holetzky

No matter what type of minor injuries you might sustain, there are bandages available to help treat them. From simple gauze held on with medical tape to specially sized or shaped ones with their own adhesives, you can find an appropriate way to cover and protect an injury.

A common type of adhesive bandage is usually made from a simple strip of plastic or fabric with gauze in the center. It has adhesive on both sides of the padded area. Generally, the shape is rectangular, often with rounded ends. It may also be square and some come in tiny round shapes. The latter type is often used to cover an injection site or to dress a small cut such as a shaving cut.

Bandaging can help provide support for an injured joint.
Bandaging can help provide support for an injured joint.

Which type of bandages you choose will depend on not only the injuries but also on where the injuries are on the body. For example, injuries in awkward places where it is difficult to get adhesive backed bandages to stick may require stretchable, flexible, or specially shaped bandages. These types are usually made of stretchy fabric rather than plastic and some are even waterproof.

An adhesive bandage.
An adhesive bandage.

There are also special latex-free bandages for people who suffer from an allergy to latex. You can even find antibacterial or medicated options that come with medicine already applied to the padded area. As far as other specialty versions go, there are many different styles available in different colors and cute characters, including your children’s favorite trademark characters. Be aware that children will likely want one for even the tiniest scratch when they see them.

Elastic bandages, also known as compression bandages, are made of stretchable fabric and used to wrap injuries such as sprains. This gives support to the affected area.

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Discussion Comments


Some liquid bandaids have an antiseptic mixed in, even if if it is just some alcohol. This is supposed to disinfect the area, and like hydrogen peroxide, it will sting after application. Hydrogen peroxide is not for minor scrapes and cuts because it kills skin and will scar more easily.


Be careful if you're opting for gauze bandages. Sometimes they say that they are non-stick, but they always stick on me for some reason. That makes pulling them off even worse! I thought before that it was because I always use Neosporin under them, but either way - using it or not - they still stick.


@anon63478 - There is a type of liquid bandage nowadays that you can literally just paint on and peel off. Most brands that provide this bandage are waterproof so you shouldn't have any problems. I tried the Skin Shield brand and it actually stung when I put it on, though it worked great after that.


@anon63478 - I actually like the Nexcare brand, but I don't ever really need to wash my hands when I have bandages on simply because I refrain from doing things with my hands if I have to have my fingers bandaged. It only makes sense to me. Also, have you tried the waterproof bandages for that purpose? Sounds like they might suit you better.


I do a lot of work using my hands without gloves, therefore I get a lot of small cuts. I need to put about ten band aids on my fingers each day.

I went to the store to buy some more band aids, but the brand I use was out, so I thought I would try "Nexcare" Bandages. I bought the Nexcare Bandages Comfort Fabric Latex Free brand.

Well, I got home and needed two this time, and as soon as I washed my hands, they started to come off, so I thought I would take them off and put another one on.

It wasn't too easy taking them off -- it took about 25 minutes for each band aid to get them off; they kept ripping. The glue that they have on them was a dark black that would not come off. I had to use a sharp knife, I used baby oil, and I tried to wash them of using Comet. I did everything I could think of. All I have to say about this brand, is: "Don't use them!" Not worth the hassle of trying to get them off. Thanks, Lisa

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    • Bandaging can help provide support for an injured joint.
      By: Gennadiy Poznyakov
      Bandaging can help provide support for an injured joint.
    • An adhesive bandage.
      An adhesive bandage.
    • A first aid kit should contain a variety of bandages.
      By: lucato
      A first aid kit should contain a variety of bandages.
    • Portable packets of bandages may be handy for finger cuts.
      By: Iosif Szasz-Fabian
      Portable packets of bandages may be handy for finger cuts.
    • Gauze is a type of bandage.
      By: rikaphoto
      Gauze is a type of bandage.