Liquid Bandage vs Band-Aids: Is Liquid Bandage Cheaper?
Should You Glue Yourself Together With Liquid Bandage?
I first encountered the concept of a bandage alternative in Dr. Jerri Nielsen's book Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole. As a physician, she described the body's reaction to the extreme environment at the South Pole station and described using superglue to treat cuts that would not heal otherwise. But superglue is somewhat toxic. If only there was something very sticky like superglue, but less toxic to tissue. Something that people less adventurous than Jerri Nielsen could handle...
The Trouble With Band-Aids
Band-Aids, or bandages in general, have several issues:
- Band-aids trap moisture under the adhesive material and your skin gets wrinkly. Mesh bands are better, but this is still an issue.
- Every time you wash your hands or get your hands wet (washing a car, watering grass, etc.) the gauze part absorbs water and stays wet for a long time. Seems like a good place for germs to grow...
- The exterior surface of the band-aid gets dirty. The longer you wear it, the dirtier it gets. Normal hand washing does not seem to get the surface of the band aid clean as it has lots of pores and places to hold germs.
- The band-aid can come off while preparing food, creating a situation that can range from bad to worse...
- Some places are difficult to apply a bandage, such as between your fingers. Bandages on the fingertips are bulky and can make it difficult to type or do other tasks.
- Swimming and band-aids go together like oil and water. The band-aids do not stay on long while swimming, unless you use the REALLY sticky "sport" ones that hurt when you take them off. Plus the band-aid could come loose in the water and create a choking hazard.
- Band-aids don't stay on during exercise or even in hot weather. if you skin is sweating. The super sticky ones are better, but still come off.
- Band-aids tend to come off when you need them most- when you are doing dirt work such as gardening, cleaning a chicken coop, working on a car engine, etc. The time you need to protect your wound from dirt the most is when the band-aid is likely to come off
There must be a better way to protect a wound and promote healing...
Liquid Bandages: A Better Way
Liquid bandages can be applied to almost any area. It is a sort of glue based on polymer dissolved in a solvent. The solvent evaporates, leaving a thin polymer layer to protect the wound. Once cured, the liquid bandage becomes hard and can get wet without any problem. I have used liquid bandages while swimming and exercising- works much better than band-aids because it does not come off. Also it can be washed thoroughly since the surface is smooth- you can actually wash your hands with a liquid bandage on and get clean hands.
Another advantage is that you can use only the amount of liquid bandage that you need to cover the wound. It is liquid when it is applied, so it is easy to use just the right amount. There is no easy way to use a fractional band-aid. You need to use a whole band-aid even to cover the smallest of cuts.
So liquid bandage works great and stays on well. Occasional re-application is required as the thin film does gradually wear away. But it does not come off suddenly like a band-aid on a hot day.
Is Liquid Bandage cheaper than band-aids?
Now for the bottom line. Cost per band-aid vs. cost per application of liquid bandage.
As you can see, liquid bandage is only about as expensive as generic band-aids. Any of the brands of liquid bandage is a good deal compared with band-aids. The cost of liquid bandage is 8 cents or less per application. This cost is based on getting 100 applications from a 1 fl. oz bottle. The number of applications you get from a bottle will depend on the size of the area you cover. I have had my bottle of liquid bandage for several years- I would expect to get more than 100 applications if you mainly treat small cuts and wounds.
Some brands of liquid bandage have antiseptic built-in, another advantage.
- Liquid bandage can save you money compared with using band-aids.
- An application of liquid bandage is cheaper than a band-aid.
- Liquid bandage provides good value, and is effective for treating wounds.
© 2013 Dr Penny Pincher