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Tube gauze is a soft cotton fabric comprised of loosely woven threads. The material is used to line the interior of a flexible tube, or hollow cylinders of pliable material such as foam. The gauze is almost always made from cotton that has been exposed to special chemicals, which dissolve all traces of waxes, fats, and other moisture-repealing elements. This permits the cotton to both protect skin and absorb liquid quickly, pulling it away from open wounds to minimize the risk of infection.
Bandages with an inner gauze lining, also called tubular bandages, come in a variety of sizes, lengths and widths. This flexibility provides an efficient way to protect open wounds from aggravation, as well as cushions them without fear of lost mobility. Tube gauze can be used in a variety of areas, including the tips of fingers and toes, between fingers and toes, on knuckles, or around joints, where adhesive bandages or simple wrapping gauze cannot bind securely or stay in place for a prolonged period.
The exterior of a tubular bandage is usually foam or tightly woven cloth. These bandages are crafted strongly enough that they can also be used to protect corns, bunions, and blisters in order to cushion against harmful friction and wear from shoes, clothing, or tools. The tube gauze permits air to pass between the skin and the outer material, as well as providing the skin with a layer of protection from the exterior casing. Once used, the tube and gauze should be disposed for medical and hygienic safety.
The foam tubes encasing tube gauze can be cut to conform to almost any shape required to encase an injury in a difficult area. These tubes can slide on manually or via an applicator, sometimes included in the packaging. If ointment or other medical salve is required to treat an injury, the medicine can be applied either to the gauze or directly to the affected area before the tube is settled into place and the applicator removed.
Some types of tube gauze resemble a sleeve of fine white netting, which can be drawn over a foot, hand, arm, or leg. The pre-made gauze cylinders may also be applied to joints like knees and elbows, where they provide protection without rigid binding that can hinder motion. This type of bandage is useful in protecting burns, skin disorders, rashes, and injuries which require more air against the skin than what a foam covering would permit. Most of these types of bandages can be found in stores or are sold by pharmacies for use by private consumers.