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Your Band-Aid: Yank, Tug, Or Coax?

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Band-Aid (credit: Dr Dave Hnida)

Band-Aid (credit: Dr Dave Hnida)

Dr. Dave Hnida By Dr. Dave Hnida
CBSDenver.com Blogger
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This one’s been debated for time eternal — or at least since someone invented adhesive bandages … what’s the best way to get one off?

The quick, yank as hard and fast as you can? Tug it along with a nice steady pull? Or baby it off millimeter by slow millimeter?

Researchers have actually studied the issue and, although it really is a matter of personal preference, came to some conclusions on the best way to most painlessly get that bandage that seems welded to your skin … off of your skin.

They stuck three bandages on 65 people, then tried a variety of speeds and muscle to get the things off.

Important to note: these bandages were on healthy people without major or delicate cuts or wounds.

The results: slow seemed to be consistently the most painful way to extricate a bandage from you — up to 72 percent more painful than just gritting your teeth and giving a hard and fast rip.

As a side note, being the wimps we are, or perhaps the hairier species, men whined and complained with all techniques — but overall did best with the quick kill.

A couple of hints for bandage removal, if appropriate:

Soaking a dressing a tad with warm water can make removal easier.

If you hate the idea of the quick yank, the best way to go slow is to grasp the edge of the bandage with one hand (or fingers), then with the other hand press down on the margin of the skin where you are peeling the thing off. That way the skin doesn’t get painfully torqued upward as you coax the bandage off. (You may need some help if bandage is on an arm or hand).

The report comes from Stone Health News on a study conducted on volunteer medical students in Australia. (In other words, it seems, volunteer for this painful experiment or your grade will suffer).

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