Applying a clean plaster is an important hygienic treatment for cuts or scrapes. However, removing them is not always fun. Don't skip this process just because of the pain. Try one of the following methods to make this process less painful (or even painless).
Method 1 of 2: Loosening the Plaster
Step 1. Soak the plaster in water
You've probably seen plaster floating in public swimming pools. This happens because water weakens the adhesiveness of the plaster on the skin.
- However, do not go to public swimming pools. Soak in the tub for a while or take a relaxing bath. Then, try to remove the plaster.
- You can also apply a compress (such as a clean washcloth soaked in warm water) over the tape and wait for the water to absorb.
Step 2. Use oil or soap to weaken and lubricate the plaster
Various products can be used; olive oil, petroleum jelly, shampoo or baby oil. However, regardless of the product used, the process is almost the same. Try different variations and choose the product that is best for you and your family.
- Use a cotton swab, cotton swab, or finger to apply the product to the adhesive area of the plaster. Leave it on and let the product soak the area.
- Remove one end of the tape to see if the adhesion has weakened or not. If not, apply more oil or soap.
- If so, remove the remaining plaster quickly. If needed, use the other hand to gently press the surrounding skin.
- A good tip for kids is to add food coloring to baby oil so you can "paint" the mixture with cotton on the tape. Make this process a pleasant and less worrying one.
Step 3. Lubricate the hard-to-remove plaster again
Instead of jerking it, make the adhesive weaker as described in the previous step. After that, remove one end of the tape, and apply the moisturizer to the area of the skin where the plaster is applied while gently pulling it off.
Step 4. Dissolve the adhesive with alcohol
This technique is the same as previously described, but the ingredients used are pure alcohol or, in an emergency, alcoholic beverage (such as vodka). The adhesive will slowly dissolve and the adhesive remaining on the skin will be able to be rubbed off with a damp cotton swab.
There are also adhesive-removal products sold to remove plaster. These products can be purchased at pharmacies or medical supply stores
Method 2 of 2: Gluing the Plaster Correctly
Step 1. Don't avoid the pain of removing the plaster by not using it
One of the growing myths is that small wounds will heal faster if they are cleaned, and allowed to dry on their own (without plaster). However, this myth is wrong.
- Minor wounds heal faster in a moist environment, so blood vessels can be renewed faster and cells that cause inflammation grow more slowly. So, preventing the formation of scars actually helps the healing process.
- While it might be seen as promoting a company that manufactures plaster, the information is based on research.
Step 2. Prepare the wound before applying the plaster
Sometimes, the worst part about removing the plaster is not the adhesive, but the dried blood/scar that comes off with the plaster and opens the wound again. Proper preparation can prevent this from happening.
- Stop the bleeding of minor cuts or scrapes by pressing them with gauze, tissue, a clean cloth, etc. Gently press the wound for 15 minutes until the bleeding stops.
- For wounds that are large, dirty, or don't stop bleeding, call a medical professional.
- Rinse the area with clean water and clean the wound with soap and water. Rinse again and dry the wound with a clean cloth or similar material. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or unreliable old-fashioned wound cleansers. Clean the wound only with water and soap.
Step 3. Consider moisturizing the wound
Antibiotic ointment is not very successful in helping the wound heal faster, but it can help keep the wound moist and make the bandage less difficult to remove.
- Petroleum jelly also has the same moisturizing/lubricating benefits.
- Gently press only the top of the wound, so that the tape sticks to the area where it should be.
Step 4. Cover the wound with a plaster
Choose a bandage that is large enough so that the padding (the part that doesn't stick) can cover the entire wound area. Try not to touch it when gluing it to prevent infection.
- Make sure the tape adheres tightly and that there are no gaps between the pad and the wound, especially when the tape is used to cover fingers (or on hands and feet). However, don't stick it so tightly that it interferes with blood flow. The plaster is too tight if the finger feels itchy or becomes purplish
- Apply new plaster if the old plaster is wet or dirty.
Step 5. If needed, shave the area around the wound
If you have to apply the tape to a hairy area (for men; hands, feet, or even the chest and back), you may need to shave the area first to prevent pain when the tape sticks to the fur.
- Use warm water and a new, clean shaver. Do not shave the wound area.
- This is to prevent the appearance of uneven hairless spots on the scar. It's a good idea, before doing this step, try another procedure for removing the plaster that is described in this article.
Step 6. Believe in medical science
Removing the plaster is not a trivial thing. Each year, 1.5 million people in the United States (mostly infants and the elderly with sensitive skin), suffer from scarring or irritation from plaster removal. However, new plasters with a "quick-release" layer between the backing and adhesive are currently being developed.