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Alternatives to Band Aids

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Does anyone have any ideas for substitutes for Band Aids? It seems that certain parts of my skin, i.e. inside forearm, tummy, back of hand, etc., have become very sensitive to the adhesive. I actually have one place that looks like the sticky part has left a scar. I'm hoping it will eventually go away, but who knows.

Thanks for any help.

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Best Answers

These answers have been rated the best for this question.

By Jackolyn Smith [14]01/27/2006

I, too, am allergic to regular Band-Aids. I use the stretch gauze with gauze pads. Works great! And, yes, the marks you have from the Band-Aid will go away eventually.

By Leigh Ann (Guest Post)01/27/2006

Try New Skin. It's a product in a tiny little brown bottle with an applicator in it. You will find it uncomfortable at first, but blow on it to dry the liquid and you will never use a band aid again. True to the name, it acts like new skin. Ask your local pharmacy or discount store.

By Pat Giles01/27/2006

You can buy paper tape designed especially for adhesive-sensitive people. I've never seen a Band Aid made with it, though. I just use gauze with it.

By Jen (Guest Post)01/27/2006

I use the Band-Aids that are designed to stay on for up to a week. Their adhesive is different, so it doesn't cause me discomfort. I also make sure I buy latex-free bandages; you might have a latex sensitivity.

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By taylor.petti05/15/2013

I'm allergic to Latex from my bandage. I have itchy bumps that won't go away. I went to my school's nurse and she had no clue what it was. So I decided to research and I found out that it was an allergic reaction from the Latex.

By jmzhbz09/14/2011

I am allergic to all adhesive band aids, cloth ones as well. What I have found that works in 2 inch clear tape, with a small square or circle of gauze or pad in middle. Biggest plus I found; no Blisters or welped up spots. Second plus, very very economical. The down side, no breathing holes are in tape unless you put them there some way before application.

By Roo04/07/2011

I am not allergic to latex, but I am allergic to the adhesives used on most bandages. I can use the Tegaderm, and some of the NexCare bandages, but everything else gives me a rash. The worst offender is the adhesive on the little round patches they use for heart monitors. My heart is very healthy, but since I'm overweight, all emergency personnel automatically stick me all over with those things anytime I have to go to the emergency room. The last time, it took eight weeks (!!!) for the itchy red circles to finally go away.

But here's the worst thing, I'm allergic to the adhesives in feminine sanitation products. I can't find any that don't have adhesive, so now I have gone with cloth, whether I like it or not. At least it's cheaper, since I found patterns on the 'Net and make my own from my sewing scraps.

Whenever I give blood, I just tell them ahead of time that I will need a wrapped gauze bandage. For an arm, I can't apply it myself, but it's simple to fold a bit for the actual site, then wrap long gauze around and around. Cut it and split the last 18 inches up the center, twist them around the arm in opposite directions, then tie. This stays on and is very comfortable.

By Ellen04/27/2010

I think it is formaldehyde that is causing the reaction. I had a very violent allergic reaction to formaldehyde when I had to disect a pig in high school. In recent years, I have had blisters and sticky red irritations with sandals, dry cleaned clothes, and bras from Victoria's Secret. When I had searched for allergic reactions to those items, I found that shoes, clothes, and newer VS bras shipped from China and other Asian countries are often sprayed with formaldehyde to prevent molding in transport. Dry cleaning chemicals also sometimes include formaldehyde.

Knowing I am allergic to formaldehyde, this seemed to explain my reactions. I just recently started having the same reaction to bandaids. I did a little research and the adhesives in bandaids have a formaldehyde based resin.

By Andrea L. Cook09/11/2009

I've had pretty good luck with duct-tape and either sterile gauze pads or Kleenexes. Apparently it's a different kind of adhesive. I've had allergy tests for everything known to man and I only have hay-fever from my cats.

By Bronwyn06/16/2009

I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I just recently started having this problem with bandaids too! The first time I had a reaction I had a simple paper cut and becauseIi did not know the bandaid was the primary source to the red blistery and itchy bumps, I continued to cover the wound with the bandaid. I had no idea what it was nor did my doctor:( I was given an antibiotic the first timeIi went to the doctor for this problem and it worked right away. Whenever I come in contact with the adhesive, I immediately go to the doctor for the same antibiotic and my wound usually heals within a few days, a week at the most. Good luck to everyone! This allergy to bandaids is definitely a disadvantage to all of us:(

By Emily (Guest Post)03/02/2009

I've been having this problem since I was 12 or so (I'm 23 now). I've asked both my primary care physician AND my dermatologist about bandages with ALTERNATIVE adhesives, even under the counter stuff, and they haven't been very helpful suggesting alternatives. Maybe I need to pretend like it's a life or death situation!

Almost every band-aid or bandage I try to use gives me a red, swollen, EXTREMELY itchy and sometimes blistery/pus-filled area in addition to the piddly paper cut I was trying to heal. I recently burned my forearm on hot water at work, and within a day of wearing a band-aid you could see my skin swelling, in addition to an itchy rash, where the burn was. It's very frustrating and I'm realizing that it's more of a serious problem than I thought - or at least one that I'd like to have a solution for besides just not using band-aids!

I had stitches on my upper leg when I was 16 or so, and the band-aids I used were 3M Nexcare Bandages - which I thought would be safe, since they supposedly use silicone as an adhesive. I had a bad allergic reaction to these, too.

I know I'm not allergic to latex, as I've never had any problems with rubber gloves, etc.

I have used paper tape and/or medical tape made especially for "sensitive skin" - but even those can sometimes make me break out in a rash.

I'm glad there are other people going through the same struggle. I've learned to deal with it i.e. if it's a small enough cut, I slather on the triple antibiotic ointment and let it heal itself. This method, unfortunately, tends to produce more scarring on my skin.

Thank you for the suggestion to try New Skin - I've never gone that route but I plan to a.s.a.p.!

By Jill (Guest Post)02/13/2009

I too am allergic to Bandaids. All brands. I believe it's the adhesive and not the latex that is the problem. I usually use gauze and wrap or just plain nothing. I've been this way since I was a child.

By Dan (Guest Post)01/17/2009

I was allergic and developed the same symptoms when I was younger. It seems though now, I can wear them for a day or two without a rash appearing. Can't say how this happened. I don't try to wear them for any longer than that for fear of having a rash.

By KK (Guest Post)01/09/2009

Yesterday I had a cyst removed from my shoulder and the doctor applied 2 bandaids to cover it. Just a few minutes after leaving the dr office, the itching started but I didn't realize what was happening until I took the bandaids off this morning. There was a cluster of blisters and you could see the outline of the bandaid and it was very red and raised. I called my doctor and they said I'm allergic to bandaids but not necessarily latex. They told me to put polysporin on it and use paper bandaids from now on.

By Stacey (Guest Post)11/19/2008

This problem just started for me too. I have no reaction to regular band-aids but just recently the butterfly closures are a different story. I used them for two days and nothing happened, and I changed them every day. Then on the third day it began hurting very badly only three hours after I changed them. I took them off and some of my skin ripped off. Now its all red and blistery. Just what I wanted right next to the cut I was trying to heal. I will probably search around for other brands of butterfly closures, but the regular band-aids haven't caused any problem so far.

By Kim (Guest Post)10/20/2008

My dermatologist calls this 'band-aid burn'. It is becoming very common. It is in the family of the latex allergy, even if you are not allergic to anything else. You really need to avoid contact with all kinds of rubber, latex gloves, and adhesives, at least as far as contact w/ the skin and mucous membranes, because this is an allergy that may escalate over time. It is wise to stay clear of it, where possible, without becoming 'paranoid' about it.

The best recommendation is (and I've tried everything known to man thus far !) is to use gauze and tape the gauze, never the skin. This is only impossible on the face or where you need to use butterfly closures or steri strips to close a cut.

My question to anyone out there is, what might dry up the blisters and stops the itching, because that can go on for weeks (3-6 at worst) and I have found nothing over the counter that works and the derm hasn't recommended anything stronger.

All the best in your search !

By Bridgett (Guest Post)08/02/2008

Wow! I thought I was going crazy with this band-aid allergy but I guess its not just me! I have been having reactions (red, raised itchy area right where the adhesive was or a circle of small itchy bumps) for maybe 7 years now, and not until about the last 2 have I pin pointed it down to the band aid.

Before, I thought I was having a reaction to the injection or what-ever caused the band aid to be applied. I do not think mine is a latex allergy though. Does anyone know what is it about the band aid that causes the reaction?

By travis. (Guest Post)04/13/2008

I have never been allergic to anything until these past couple months. Every time I use a band aid anywhere, whether on my fingers, legs, arms I get a horrible patch of blisters around where the adhesive was. Very painful and itchy. They usually take about 1 1/2-2 weeks to clear up. when they do the skin peels and takes another week or so to heal. It was nice to hear how all of you have been dealing with it.

By Cin (Guest Post)11/05/2007

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I got a flu shot on Friday evening and I STILL have the mark from the Band-Aid (which I removed around midnight that night). It's super itchy, too. I've been using a cortisone cream on it and it's SLOWLY fading...but this sucks! This was the HOSPITAL-style band-aid and the adhesive was much stronger than the ones I've used before. Something odd is that I've never had this problem until about a month ago! Ugh.

By Jessica (Guest Post)10/11/2007

I have the same allergy I have just had my worst reaction yet my mom says it looks like a burn. I was tested for an allergy to the antiseptics on the bandaid but no luck. My skin on my finger is still peeling and I have no idea what on the bandaid I'm allergic to.

By med rep (Guest Post)03/18/2006

Tonya from Tyler, Tx--forgot to add: for the allergic red areas that do not seem to be going away, search the web for the nearest melaleuca rep. This is a salve made from an Australian tree, and really heals skin quickly. Also, "No Crack Cream" helps--available through Restoration Hardware, and you can use their website: restorationhardware.com.

By med rep (Guest Post)03/18/2006

To Tonya from Tyler, TX. My husband has the same problem, and has found Curad Wet-Proof tape to be non-problematic as far as causing skin damage or allergy. If on a limb or finger, he will also simply wrap with gauze covered with a dab of antiseptic or salve, and then tape over the gauze so that the tape never touches his skin.

By Jenilee (Guest Post)02/10/2006

I'm also allergic to bandaids and its a pain! I was put in the hospital for second degree burns from the adhesive. I find that the only thing I can use is paper towel, and hope that the cut will heal by itself.

By Kelly [15]01/29/2006

If you have a nut allergy of any kind, then you are probably latex sensitive.....new skin is good, like glue. Or guaze and tape is next best. The only brand I can use is Curad, but it sounds like your's is more severe.

By MamaJude (Guest Post)01/28/2006

Check with your pharmacist. There are band-aids specially made for your skin problem.

By Paula [14]01/27/2006

I just tried the New Skin product and it works great. My hands are in water a lot and bandaids are always getting wet and needing to be changed; the New Skin is water proof and if it wears off after a few days I just reapplied.

By NANCY (Guest Post)01/27/2006

I have very thin skin which bruises easily and regular band aids or tape rips the skin right off. I have found that Curad makes a bandaid for sensitive skin that works great for me.
Good Luck

By Carol (Guest Post)01/27/2006

I think you can buy bandaids with hypoallergenic adhesive. I like to use a product called New Skin... or my pharmacist told me I could also use super glue, but I'm too afraid to try that.. lol

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