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What is a Spray Bandage?

J.L. Drede
J.L. Drede

A spray bandage is a special liquid version that is sprayed on via a pump much like a hairspray container. Spray bandages have a variety of uses, but they are most often used to cover and protect small cuts and minor scraps, and not major wounds. It is often found in first aid supplies like many other cohesive bandages.

Spray bandages are similar to liquid or gel bandages and only really differ in delivery method. All contain a special polymer that is dissolved in alcohol and sometimes additional antiseptic chemicals. The polymer material is usually made of extremely strong adhesives, similar to the chemicals used in powerful super glues. Because of this they should be used carefully to prevent accidental sticking.

Spray bandages block out dirt and germs.
Spray bandages block out dirt and germs.

There are several advantages to a spray bandage over a fabric bandage or Band-Aid®. Spray bandages are usually waterproof, and can protect minor cuts and scrapes even when a person is in the rain or swimming. They are also invisible to the naked eye after drying and are incredibly flexible as well. The coating of a spray bandage is usually antiseptic as well and helps to reduce the chance of infection. While bandage sprays block out germs, dirt and other possible infecting materials from getting into a wound, they still allow air to get in the wound, which helps the healing process. Adhesive spray bandage products are also often used to remove skin tags.

Spray bandages are most often used to cover and protect small cuts and minor scraps.
Spray bandages are most often used to cover and protect small cuts and minor scraps.

Over-the-counter stray bandage products have been available for several years, but as the technology behind spray bandages improves the possibilities within them increase. Military application for these liquid bandages could be great, as the advantages of spray bandages are even more vital in the battlefield. A soldier with a serious wound will be able to use a spray bandage to cover his or her would quickly, helping reduce the risk of an infection on the battlefield.

Spray bandages may be used in place of traditional adhesive bandages.
Spray bandages may be used in place of traditional adhesive bandages.

Tests are also underway to add peptides and other chemicals to liquid bandages that will be able to stop bleeding quickly and with less chance of infection than a traditional sterile bandage. More powerful spray bandages are also seeing use as replacements for stitches and staples, and the possibility for spray bandages to be used in burn treatment is also being tested by scientists and doctors. These spray bandages are even more advanced. For example, adhesive formulas could actually include skin cells, which when sprayed onto a burn area with the liquid bandage testing has shown that they can significantly decrease healing time.

Discussion Comments


Do spray bandages work well on dry and hard skin on the fingers?


@LisaLou – I use spray bandages in the winter, too. My knuckles and the skin in between my fingers tends to dry up and crack, and sometimes it will even bleed. I found out that spray bandages can protect the area from further damage.

Once I notice the little red lines appearing on my hands, I reach for the spray bandage bottle. I simply have to wash pots and pans, and this product protects my damaged skin from cracking.

It can be very painful to deal with bleeding knuckles, especially when you have to have your hands in water. Spray bandages provide both relief and protection from the environment.


For me, the best thing about spray bandages is their ability to let air through to the wound. That was an issue I always had with using regular bandages.

With a plastic bandage, moisture gets trapped underneath it, making the area pruned. It takes longer for the wound to heal this way, and it makes the skin more vulnerable when you do take the bandage off.

When you are wearing a spray bandage, you can actually watch your cut heal slowly. You don't have to deal with moist, weakened skin, and you will heal up much more quickly.


Spray bandages sound awesome! I wish I had known that they existed years ago, because I would have used them exclusively.

I hate using plastic or fabric bandages for many reasons. I wash my hands often, and if I have a bandage on them, I have to keep replacing it after it gets wet. Also, if the wound is on my finger, it is hard to bend it to do things like typing or grabbing items.

Plus, it hurts to rip them off. A spray bandage sounds like a dream come true for me. I'm going to use this product next time I injure myself!


@andee – To me, regular bandages also smell like plastic. However, they have a sort of odor like a used shoe, too, and the spray bandages don't have that offensive aroma.

If you are able to step outdoors before using the spray, then you will be able to avoid getting that smell in your house. I figured this out the first time that I sprayed it in my bathroom. The smell did linger for quite awhile.

Having a weird smell on your cut is not as bad as having it throughout your house. As long as you don't hold it up to your nose, you can forget that it smells funny.


Has anybody had good results using a spray bandage to get rid of skin tags?

I have some annoying skin tags on my neck and chest that I would like to find an easy, safe way to get rid of.

In the past I have used some methods that either didn't work very well, or were kind of painful. It sounds like a spray bandage would be worth a try to get rid of these.

The ones on my neck are visible, so having something clear like this would be much better than sticking a bandage on the area after I have tried to get rid of them.

Since I started using spray bandages, I hardly ever keep traditional Band-Aids around the house.

In the winter time when my hands and nails get really dry, this is great for hangnails. A hangnail can get caught on things and tear and make matters worse.

I don't really like having small bandages on my fingers, so the spray bandage works great. It stays on long enough for the hangnail to grow or soften so I can take care of it.

I also love the fact that they are waterproof. These work great for my kids in the summer when they spend many hours at the pool. I don't have to worry about the bandage coming off in the water.

I have also used these to cover up blisters on my feet. This small layer of protection from the spray bandage gives me relief and yet I can still wear my sandals and nobody knows I have a bandage on.


My son is in the military, and they use spray bandages quite often. For many of the situations they are in, this is a quick and easy way to deal with a wound.

Many times this is just a temporary situation if this is a major wound until they can get proper treatment. It helps keep the area clean and free of dirt that might cause infection in the wound.

Because antiseptic properties are in the spray, you only have to mess with one product. It is also easier to keep a bottle of spray around than a package of bandages that need to be opened and peeled back one by one.


@dfoster85 - I have used both the liquid and the spray bandage, and found both of them to be effective. I think one advantage to the spray bandage, is you don't have to touch anything and it is pretty quick if you are in a hurry.

I have found that both of them sting though, and my kids don't usually like either of them because of this. Another thing I don't like about the spray bandage is the smell.

I think it smells like new plastic and this smell doesn't go away very quickly. One brand I used had a clove/cinnamon type scent to it, but you could still smell the plastic.

I keep some of this around mostly for myself, because I would rather use something like this than have a Band-Aid showing. As far as my kids go, they still like the colorful, kid friendly Band-Aid's.


@dfoster85 - I like the Curad spray bandage and always keep a bottle around. I find the little brushes hard to use, personally.

Another nice thing about the spray is that it doesn't touch the wound. I mean, I guess the little brushes are designed to be used over and over again, but I just don't like the idea of using it to cover a cut on my sons's knee and then the next day using it on my hand. It seems cleaner to use the spray. I have no idea whether there are any medical issues or whether it's just my personal preference.


I haven't tried the spray-on bandage, but I love the liquid kind that you put on with a little brush. (It's a lot like nail polish, and I checked the ingredients - the inactive ingredients are very similar!)

It's really good for those tiny little cuts you get on your hand during the winter when your skin is dry, or for any cuts on the hand, really - it's so hard to keep a bandage on a finger. I hear that medical professionals use it a lot.

The only problem with the liquid bandage is that it stings like nobody's business. I'm assuming that the spray bandage does, too. Does the spray kind have any advantages over the liquid?

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    • Spray bandages block out dirt and germs.
      By: Nikki Zalewski
      Spray bandages block out dirt and germs.
    • Spray bandages are most often used to cover and protect small cuts and minor scraps.
      By: wellphoto
      Spray bandages are most often used to cover and protect small cuts and minor scraps.
    • Spray bandages may be used in place of traditional adhesive bandages.
      By: Gang
      Spray bandages may be used in place of traditional adhesive bandages.