Should the Liquid Bandage Be A Part Of Your First Aid Kit?
Liquid bandages (AKA Adhesive Bandage) are first aid supplies that you might know much about. When used correctly, they can be a valuable addition to your disaster, first aid kit. This article will explore the pros and cons of the liquid bandage and also guide you when and where to use either first aid supply.
Disclaimer-I am not a doctor. So, do not use this information for medical advice. If you have any questions, consult a medical professional.
What Is A Liquid Bandage?
A liquid bandage is a colorless substance sprayed or directly applied to a wound. It has many applications ranging from a stitch replacement to treating a blister. One significant advantage of the liquid bandage is that they stay there until the wound is healed or the liquid bandage falls off.
Types of Liquid Bandages
There are two types of liquid bandages. The first type is labeled as a “Skin Protectant.” Skin Protectants are OTC spray and topic gels that can help with everything from minor scrapes to bedsores.
The second type of liquid bandage is used by the healthcare professional and is called suture (“Stitch”) replacements. Suture replacements, as the name implies, are a replacement for sutures. As such, a suture replacement is used to close serious cuts. (Some suture replacements are even used to close up body organ lacerations)
What are Liquid Bandages Good For?
A liquid bandage can be used effectively for minor and severe injuries on both humans and animals. Adhesive bandage uses, though, specifically, depend upon the type of bandage that is used. For example, an OTC skin protectant will have fewer applications than a suture replacement.
Skin protectants have been successfully used for the following:
- Minor Cuts-It can be used to stop bleeding and close minor cuts.
- Blister Care– When applied, like a regular bandage, an adhesive bandage will help reduce friction.
- Lower Infection Rates-Compared to a traditional bandaid, the adhesive bandage can lower the chance of an infection as it closes the wound.
- Stich Substitute-Medical-grade liquid bandage solution can replace surgical sutures and staples. Some surgeons have even used adhesive bandages to seal off or repair internal organs.
When to Use Liquid Bandages Vs. The Traditional Bandage?
The liquid bandage accomplishes several tasks better than the traditional cloth or plastic bandage. However, it cannot do specific jobs that old-school bandages can accomplish. So, don’t throw out your bandaids and cloth bandages just yet.
Below is an overview of the advantages of the liquid bandage over traditional stitches. I will also inform you of where you should stick with traditional stitches, staples, or bandages.
Why Would You Choose The Liquid Bandages?
- No Anesthesia-An adhesive bandage does not require you to repeatedly poke your skin with a sharp instrument. Therefore, the liquid bandage does not require anesthesia before application.
- Convenience-You can go swimming, wash dishes, bathe, and get wet with a liquid bandage.
- More Secure-A liquid bandage is more secure than your everyday, traditional bandage. For example, they attach better on hard to attach body areas on your body like in between your fingers, knuckles, etc.
- Cheaper-A liquid bandage residue will fall off in 10 to 20 days. Therefore, for many cuts, a return trip to the doctor to remove stitches is not necessary.
- Reduced Chance of Scarring-As you will not be puncturing your flesh with a needle; there is less chance of permanent scarring.
- Less Trauma-A liquid bandage application can be applied quickly and with less pain.
Why Would You Stick With Traditional Bandages
- Limited Use-The OTC liquid bandage is only designed for minor, shallow wounds. So, they cannot be used on deep or wide cuts.
- Limited Application-The liquid bandage cannot safely be applied to sensitive areas. I.E., Near Eyes, Ear, nose, or for cuts in the mouth.
- Problems If Not Applied Correctly-If not applied correctly, liquid bandages can be more harmful than helpful. One of the issues is that the liquid bandage might have to be pulled out of infected wounds.
- Allergic Reaction-They can have side effects caused by an allergic reaction. These side effects are itching, stinging, skin irritation, and skin redness.
- Ointments-The liquid adhesion can interfere with topical ointments.
Does Liquid Bandage Expire?
Liquid bandage, like the traditional bandage, does expire. And, to find the expiration date, you need to look at the package. After the expiration date has passed, the liquid bandage still might stick and close up the wound. However, there’s a good chance that any antiseptic agents in the liquid adhesive substance will be either eliminated or reduced.
If that occurs, and the adhesion works otherwise, use it as your only option or until you can apply a traditional bandage or non-expired liquid adhesion over the wound.
If the liquid bandage is way past the expiration date, it might be too thick to be applied, and then it must be discarded.
As liquid bandages do not work on all body parts, do not throw away your sterile bandage, gauze pad, bandaids, and your regular bandages. An adhesive bandage though works better than a regular bandage for treating certain types of wounds. Therefore, as long as you do not use liquid bandages around your eyes and other sensitive areas, I would defiantly include some in your first aid kit.
Why Not Just Use Superglue?
Superglue has been used for years now to close up cuts, and it can be just as effective as adhesive bandages to do just that. The Mayo Clinic, in fact, endorses the use of superglue if the wound is not too severe.
However, as they do not contain antiseptics, straight superglue isn’t the best substitute for the adhesive bandage. Therefore, when able, I would personally only use adhesive bandages.