All About the Different Types of Bandages


Bandages are common items that can be found in every Pharmacy and First Aid Kit. But do you really know the difference between the different types of bandages and how to use them correctly and effectively?

Here are some of the different types of Bandages available:

Crepe Bandages

These bandages are typically used to provide light to medium support soft tissue injuries, compression for joints and strained muscles, and to apply pressure to bleeding or poisonous bite sites. They can also be used to secure dressings and protect open wound injuries.

Crepe Bandages are washable and reusable, but heavily soiled bandaged are best discarded in an appropriate disposal unit.

Conforming Bandages

These bandages are mainly used to secure dressings on limbs due to their high stretch properties. Because they mould (conform) to every curve and bump on the body they are ideal for the retention of dressings. They can also be used for general light protection of an injured limb or body area.

Conforming bandages are also washable and reusable, but care should be taken with older bandages that have become frayed or unravelled and these should be discarded safely and replaced.

Triangular Bandages

These bandages are ideal for use as a sling to support an injured limb. They can also be folded and used to secure splints, and they can also be used for general padding and protection, such as making a ring pad to protect open wounds with embedded objects. Because Triangular Bandages are a non-sterile item, care should be taken when using them near open wounds.

Depending on the nature of the bandage, Triangular Bandages are either single-use disposable items or they can be reused once they have been washed and sanitised properly.

Plaster of Paris (POP) Bandages

POP bandages consist of a cotton bandage that has been combined with plaster of paris, which hardens after it has been made wet. Plaster of Paris is roasted gypsum that has been ground to a fine powder by milling. When water is added, the more soluble form of calcium sulfate returns to the relatively insoluble form, and heat is produced.

These bandages are used to encase a limb (or, in some cases, large portions of the body) to stabilize and hold anatomical structures, most often a broken bone (or bones), in place until healing is confirmed. It is similar in function to a splint.

Once the affected site has healed POP bandages are removed and discarded – they can never be used again.


Bandages are essential items that must be present in every First Aid Kit and which can be extremely useful in many different types of situations. Make sure that you not only have the right kind of bandages available, but that you also know about the various types of bandages and how to use them correctly.

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