Do Waterproof Bandages Work?


Yes, waterproof bandages do keep water out of wounds providing they are correctly applied.

do waterproof bandages work

Do Waterproof Bandages Work for Swimming?

If you’re an athlete, especially a swimmer, scars and wounds probably won’t be strange to you.

When you’re swimming in the pool, your wounds can sting because of the exposure to chlorine. So, it’s best to cover up the wound with a sturdy plaster. 

That is why waterproof bandages are ideal for swimming.

wateproof bandages & swimming

That said it is important to be aware that not all waterproof bandages are equal when it comes to swimming.

A study conducted in 2010 found that while bandages like Nexcare Clear and Band-Aid Clear managed to keep all water out of a wound at least 60 percent of the time, other brands performed far worse. 

The study was conducted in 2010 and no similar studies have been done since, hopefully waterproof bandage technology has hopefully improved over this time period.

Also, be aware if you have a cast on your arm you will need to do more than just cover it with waterproof bandages to make it sufficiently watertight to swim with.

Do Waterproof Bandages Work for Tattoos?

If you’re a swimmer who has just gotten a fresh tattoo, you’ve probably been told to keep the tattoo away from water until it fully heals. 

Does that mean you need to put a pause on all your important daily activities just because of the tattoo? Definitely not. 

waterproof bandages & tattoos

Waterproof bandages can keep your tattoo dry while you swim, but only certain brands, and you need to apply them in a certain way. 

Saniderm and Tegaderm Dressings are special brands of bandages that are fully clear. They’re specifically made for tattoos so your tattoo is guaranteed to stay safe. 

Before applying the bandage, cover the tattoo in plastic wrap to make sure not a single drop of water gets to your tattoo. 

The bandage is built to last up to seven days, but it is best to change it every four to five days if you perform intense physical activity or spend many hours a day in the pool. 

By doing so, you can trust that the bandage will keep your tattoo secure.

Do Waterproof Bandages Work For Acne?

There’s an amazing remedy for acne that reduces the redness and size overnight and all you need are hydrocolloid bandages. But will waterproof bandages do the same? Probably not. 

However, waterproof bandages do keep your pimples protected from other bacteria and germs. This gives you time for your acne to heal and cleanse itself. 

waterproof bandages & acne

If you do put a waterproof bandage on your pimples, make sure to remove it before you go to bed. If the pimples are covered for too long, your body won’t get a chance to cleanse the pimple of the trapped bacteria without air.

That is why it is advised to give your acne a chance to breathe at night and protect it from other germs throughout the day. 

Make sure your skin is properly cleansed before applying the bandage to the acne.

Are Waterproof Bandages Actually Waterproof?

As the name implies, yes, waterproof bandages are waterproof.

The bandage is usually a piece of cotton or tape surrounded by clear plastic that is coated with a layer of adhesive. 

The stickiness of the adhesive ensures that nothing will get past the bandage and the plastic ensures that water won’t soak through it. 

waterproof bandage

After some time, the adhesive will be less effective, especially if exposed to water for long periods, which will make the bandage overall less effective.

So as long as you change the bandage twice a day, it’s guaranteed to remain waterproof. 

Brands like Nexcare and Band-Aid are noted for their longevity. 

Do Waterproof Bandages Prevent Infection?

A bandage’s main purpose is to protect a wound from germs and bacteria your body will inevitably come across. Waterproof bandages take that concept to the next level by offering extra protection and coverage. 

Why do bandages need to keep the germs and bacteria away? Because these things can cause serious infection, making the wound much worse. 

Since waterproof bandages provide extra protection from most things, they definitely do prevent infections. As long as you cleanse the wound before you put on the bandage, you don’t need to worry about getting any infections.

How Long Should You Leave a Waterproof Bandage on?

Another thing you need to do to ensure that you don’t end up infecting the wound is changing the bandage routinely until the wound heals. 

Waterproof bandages last a long amount of time because of their material. However, over time, the bacteria will build up, so you need to change it once in the evening and once in the morning.

Keep using the bandages until the wound dries out. Once it dries out, the wound is no longer vulnerable to infection. 

Generally speaking, a waterproof bandage lasts around 12 hours until it needs to be changed.

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