First Aid

The Butterfly Bandage: When and How to Use it

There are many kinds of bandages out there, for almost any kind of wound imaginable. One such bandage is the butterfly bandage. This kind of bandage is extremely useful, but only in certain circumstances.
Should the need arise, do you know when and how to use one?

When to Use a Butterfly Bandage

A butterfly bandage is used to seal up cuts that are usually fairly small, but short and deep. When this happens, the wound can gape open somewhat. The butterfly bandage is used to close the gap together, to lessen scarring and quicken healing. A butterfly bandage is best used for cuts that are less than two inches long. For a longer cut, you can sometimes use multiple butterfly In an emergency, larger ones can be made as temporary bandages until stitches can be applied.
Do not use a butterfly bandage is the cut is ragged or irregular.

How to Make a Butterfly Bandage

It’s possible to get premade butterfly bandages. In fact, you should probably have a couple of these in your first aid kit, anyway. It is possible to make a butterfly bandage by cutting one out of a larger adhesive bandage. Take the larger one and cut a curve or wide wedge out of either side of its width. Be sure to leave enough room in the middle to comfortably cover the wound. When viewed from above, it should somewhat resemble a butterfly.
It’s possible to make a temporary butterfly bandage without a premade adhesive one. In this case, apply a pad of gauze down over the wound, to the the absorbent part of the bandage. Then apply medical tape across it in an X formation.

How to Use a Butterfly Bandage

After cleaning and disinfecting the wound, you can apply the bandage. Apply it width-wise, along the length of the cut. Start on one sit of the cut. One that side of the bandage is applied, press the skin together so that it seal the wound shut. Apply the other side of the bandage tightly, to prevent any stretching. You may want to cover the bandage with some kind of gauze and adhesive to keep it clean and in place.

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