All about plasters: choosing the right one
We have all used plasters during our lives. They cover scrapes and cuts, helping to stem bleeding and offer some protection to wounds to prevent infection. While plasters might seem like a simple product, getting the right wound plaster for different situations is important. You might be able to settle for any plaster, but choosing the most appropriate option can make a big difference in comfort and convenience. There are various types of plaster for different situations and using the best style for different wounds or even activities can help to protect your wound further and help it heal faster.
Plasters come in various shapes, which can be very helpful for covering wounds in different areas. The typical plaster shape is a long strip, designed for covering small injuries. But you can also discover a variety of sizes, squares, circles and more to suit different areas. Regular plasters are fine for many wounds, including on your arms, legs or heels, but they can be awkward for certain body parts. For example, H-shaped plasters are designed to fit better on fingers and toes, which standard wound healing plasters aren’t always great for.
Small and round plasters can be a good choice for little wounds that might not require a big plaster, like an injection site from a vaccination or a small cut. A plaster sheet or roll allows you to cut a plaster that’s the right size and shape for any wound.
A choice of materials for plasters also helps you find the right plaster for the right application. A fabric plaster offers a durable and flexible option, although it’s not waterproof, so it’s not great for keeping a wound dry. Waterproof or washproof plasters are an alternative if you need something for swimming or perhaps for using on your hands. Not having to worry about your plaster coming off when you wash your hands or do the washing up is always convenient. If you have sensitive skin, you might also like plasters designed with that in mind. They’re gentler and avoid using the glue and other materials that might irritate your skin.
You can also choose plasters in different colours, sometimes for practical reasons or just for fun. You might consider plasters in different colours to match your skin tone. Many plasters are made in a beige colour designed to match the skin, but they’re generally only suitable for people with white skin. More fast healing plasters in various shades are becoming available so that people with darker skin can also choose plasters that match. Clear plasters are also an option and can be good for swimming. A clear plaster is suitable for any skin tone and won’t stand out too much.
You can choose plasters in fun colours and patterns too, especially if you’re looking for kids’ plasters. Getting hurt can seem a lot less upsetting if it means getting a plaster in a favourite colour. Children’s plasters don’t just offer fun patterns, though. They’re also usually washproof and gentle on delicate skin, so they’re practical too.
Some plasters are designed for specific purposes. Blue plasters tend to be used in catering and other work environments, particularly in food preparation areas. The blue colour makes it obvious that you have a wound and makes the plaster easy to spot, preventing it from accidentally getting into food. They also have a metal strip that can be detected to make doubly sure they can be spotted. Maintaining hygiene in a food-preparation environment is essential and blue plasters help to make it easier.
Blister plasters are a slightly different product compared to other plaster types. They’re designed to fit over a wound, just like other plasters for cuts, but they feel a lot different. A blister plaster tends to have a gel padding, which relieves pressure on the blister and protects it from further irritation. Blisters are fluid-filled wounds that can occur from lots of rubbing and friction. Many people get them when wearing a new pair of shoes or doing a lot of walking. Blister plasters can not only help a blister to heal but could also help to prevent blisters from forming.
There’s a lot more to plasters than you might think. Having a selection of plasters in your first aid kit means that you can select the appropriate plaster for different wounds and situations (See our full range of plasters here). The right plaster can offer you comfort and protect your wound more efficiently, whether you’re working in a kitchen, planning on going for a swim or need to give your feet some TLC after a long hike.