Why you need to cover wounds when swimming
Summer is the best time for swimming, whether you go to your local pool, take a trip to the beach or even enjoy some wild swimming. Whether you’re swimming in the great outdoors or in a sterilised pool, doing so safely is vital. One of the things to keep in mind is how to care for wounds when swimming, and protect them from infection or further injury. Waterproof plasters and bandages are essential items to have in your first aid kit if you love spending time in the water during the summer. Covering a wound that is still healing protects it while you swim or splash about in the water.
Why You Need to Cover Wounds When Swimming
An open or still healing wound is at risk of getting infected if you don’t care for it. It’s important to keep it clean, which includes covering it up to keep bacteria out. When you go swimming with a healing wound, microorganisms in the water can cause infections, especially when you’re not swimming in a clean, chlorinated pool. Spending a long time in the water can also cause your skin to swell, which affects the ability of wounds to heal properly. Sometimes it might be painful to expose a healing wound to water too, even if it’s only a small sting. Covering your wound, even when swimming in a treated pool, is the best thing to do.
Covering Your Wound
Using waterproof plasters and bandages to cover wounds will help to protect them while you swim so that they can heal properly. Before applying a plaster or bandage, it’s essential to clean the wound so that you’re not trapping any bacteria underneath the plaster or bandage. Use clean water, an antibacterial spray or antibacterial wipe to clean the wound, then make sure to dry it too. Once the wound is clean and dry, you can use your choice of waterproof cover for swimming. Make sure that your hands are also clean when you clean the wound and cover it.
There are lots of different plaster sizes and shapes that can help you to keep a wound covered while you’re swimming. It’s necessary to get a good seal on a plaster and try to avoid any wrinkles, where the water and bacteria might find their way in. That’s why selecting the right plaster can make a difference. You can find small and large waterproof plasters, different shapes, and some plasters designed for specific areas, like your fingers. Waterproof fingertip plasters are the perfect size to protect an injury on your finger as you swim.
About Waterproof Plasters
If you use a waterproof plaster for swimming, it is usually made using a flexible and waterproof material. They are often transparent, so you don’t have to think about matching the plaster to your skin tone. They’re durable and also breathable so that your wound can continue to heal even when covered up. Some waterproof plasters for wounds feature a wound pad with antiseptic silver, which helps to protect your wound even more. Another bonus of a waterproof plaster is that it’s not just water that it protects your wound from. If you’re off to the beach, you can make sure to keep sand away too – you definitely don’t want to get sand into a cut or scrape.
When Not to Swim
Although swimming with cuts and scrapes is fine if you cover the wound, it’s best not to go swimming when you have larger injuries. Keeping them clean and avoiding infection is vital, and it can be more difficult to do if you have more than a small or superficial wound that’s already starting to heal. If you still want to swim or spend some time on the beach, there are some options such as film dressings. But before jumping into the water, it’s best to consult with a pharmacist. If you want to protect your wound from infection, you also need to make sure you still allow the skin room to breathe.
Check the Water Condition
Before you go swimming, it’s also a good idea to think about the water you will be swimming in. A chlorinated pool is no different to normal water when it comes to its effect on wounds, although the chlorine helps to keep the water clean. Some public pools might ask that you don’t swim with an open wound or will request that you make sure it’s covered with a plaster. If you’re swimming outdoors, the quality of the water can make a difference too. You can check the water condition if you’re planning on going to the beach.
Swimming with an open wound should be ok if it’s small and you protect it with a waterproof plaster. Before you dive in or start paddling, make sure you protect any wounds that you have.