We’ve all had that moment when we desperately need a Band-Aid, only to encounter a box that seems to contain every imaginable size and shape – except for the one that’s needed at that moment. There’s a simple solution, and it comes in the shape of a simple, rectangular 2” by 3” bandage. With a few simple hacks, this bandage, previously an oversized leftover, becomes a versatile star of your medicine cabinet. For cut on the tip of your finger or thumb, a standard butterfly bandage is often too small to securely cover the wound and also fasten securely over more than just the nail.
Take the 2” by 3” bandage, however, and cut a wide, but not terribly large, triangle along the longer end of the bandage on both sides, resulting in something shaped somewhat like an hourglass. Apply the bandage part over the finger or thumb’s tip, and the wide edges will wrap nicely around, fully covering the injured digit, protecting it from further injury with a fully secure bandage. Besides being painful and slow to heal, cuts on the knuckles present a different problem to properly bandage, due to most protective measures restricting the finger’s ability to properly bend. Taking that same rectangular bandage, however, and this time making sharper triangular cuts at each end, rather than along the sides, we solve that problem.
Apply the bandage area over the cut with the cut out areas along the side of the finger. Secure the bandage, and the area of the finger on the opposite side from the injured knuckles should be bandage free, allowing the finger to easily bend as normal while still keeping the knuckle protected. While Band-Aid and other manufacturers do make bandages that follow these general shapes, the advantage of cutting the 2” by 3” is twofold. First, even after being cut, the bandage is larger then the commercial shapes, offering greater protection and more surface area to adhere securely to the skin. Also, rather than keeping a number of different shapes on hand, this way you only need to keep a single bandage to solve all your problems.
Of course, for a standard injury on an arm, leg, or anywhere else that doesn’t require a specialized shape, the rectangular bandage will offer more protective area than a regular adhesive strip. Before you run off to the drugstore to get a few boxes of 2” by 3” bandages, remember that any brand will do. Just make sure to keep a nice sharp pair of scissors nearby, and never touch the cloth areas before applying the bandages so they stay sterile and don’t infect the wounds. Happy healing!