When To Use Liquid Bandages Instead Of Band-Aids

When To Use Liquid Bandages Instead Of Band-Aids

When I get bored at the chemist, I buy gimmicky stuff I don’t need. That’s how I finally discovered liquid bandage, which it turns out I do need, because it’s great for small cuts, blisters, and any cut on my hand. Liquid bandage replaces a normal bandage with a layer of clear liquid applied directly to the wound.

There are multiple brands using different chemicals, and they come in spray-on or paint-on forms. Just like regular bandages, you’ll find your own favourite.

Tiny cuts and bug bites

In the past we’ve recommended covering bug bites with tape or nail polish, or sealing cuts with superglue. Liquid bandage is just an optimised version of that stuff, with an added antiseptic. It’s less likely to irritate the wound, and it’s easier to apply. (The Mayo Clinic often uses skin adhesive instead of stitches because it’s quicker and less painful.)

You can still see the wound through the liquid. So if you’ve got a visible gnarly wound, you might prefer to hide it with a Band-Aid.

Hand wounds

Most of us use our hands all day, and regular bandages tend to fall off. For finger wounds, we have to use those funky knuckle and fingertip bandages. But now that we all use touch screens, bandages are annoying. Most of them don’t work on your smartphone. They’re not great for normal typing either.

A liquid bandage is small and unobtrusive (which makes it great for faces too), and it doesn’t make your finger invisible to touch screens. It will mess up Touch ID, so activate a different fingertip and stop Touch IDing through the pain, Rambo.


Just like regular bandages, liquid bandages are useful for treating and preventing blisters. (Andrew Weil mentions musicians using superglue to protect their fingers from stringed instruments.) If all you need to do is reduce friction, but regular bandages keep coming off, slather on that liquid bandage.

Like self-adhesive postage stamps and better cereal box tops, liquid bandage is one of those tiny advances in technology that feels life-changing the first three times you use it, then becomes part of the beige background noise of life. But for now, it makes me feel like a self-healing mutant. I’m cool, like Wolverine, not a schlub who got an owie on my mouse-clicking finger.

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