"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Do Band-Aids Really 'Heal Cuts Twice as Fast'?

Everyone wants a wound to heal quickly, whether it's a paper cut or a scraped knee. So it's easy to be swayed by marketing claims on adhesive bandage packets and signs at your local pharmacy, which promise faster healing.

Band-Aid's pack of fifty plastic adhesive strips, for instance, shows claim Products:

Heals cuts twice as fast.

And in a pack of ten so-called “advanced healing” adhesive bandages from Band-Aid claim They promote “fast healing”.

In the shop, chances are you'll see promotional displays that promise that Band-Aids are:

Clinically proven to speed up wound healing.

But twice as fast, or faster than what? And whether it is medically proven, who proved it?

How do wounds heal?

Wound Heals himself Because of 1 Complex process At the location of injury. There are three predominant stages: inflammation, proliferation and maturation.

Think of cutting your finger. The very first thing that happens is that the wound bleeds and eventually a blood clot forms and the bleeding stops. The injured area is swollen and tender to the touch. This is the inflammatory phase.

Band-Aids Pack of Ten 'Advanced Healing' Adhesive Bandages Where's the Evidence for 'Promoting Faster Healing'?
Johnson & Johnson

Then that is the diffusion phase. Over the following few hours, the blood clot hardens and the surface becomes scabby.

Beneath this rash, your body begins the strategy of healing the injury by sending cells to fight the infection.

This is when your body begins to put down collagen fibers (structural protein fibers). They act like an easy scaffold to stabilize the damage and pull the edges of the wound together. This phase also occurs when recent blood vessels form within the wound.

The third stage of healing, maturation, takes about 4 to seven days after injury for a small, uncomplicated cut. It involves continuous strengthening of the already damaged area and substitute of damaged areas with recent tissue.

The final result is that the wound heals, the scab falls off and there is generally little or no scarring.

This final phase can last greater than a yr for extensive wounds as our body continues to rebuild the wound by breaking down the initially deposited collagen and replacing it with a structure that more closely resembles the unique tissue. .

This is why you frequently see a scar shrink over time to look less raised and difficult.

Can band-aids speed up the method?

Band-Aid's recent in-store display at Chemist Warehouse says its products are 'clinically proven to speed up wound healing'.
Courtesy of Professor Ken Harvey, The writer provides.

This brings us back to the unique query of whether Band-Aids can speed up the healing process.

Is there something about these adhesive plasters that may speed up the strategy of inflammation, proliferation and maturation that we now have described?

And where are the trials to support what they're “clinically proven” to do?

The answer is we don't know.

In correspondence with the supplier, Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd, seen by the writer, the corporate says:

Regarding the claim of “heals twice as fast”, we stand by our position that there's evidence to support the claim.

The supplier doesn't specify what his evidence pertains to, i.e. whether he's comparing Band-Aids with other adhesive bandages or using no bandage in any respect.

But the corporate describes the evidence as “aging,” so it says it's scrapping the claim. Until it does, it's prone to remain on old stock on pharmacy and supermarket shelves.

How a few “clinically proven” claim?

We stand by our judgment that our 'clinically proven' claims are supported by robustly designed clinical trials.

But the corporate says these trials are unpublished and, again, the corporate says it's debunking the claim.

The company goes on to say that such studies are “commercial in confidence,” meaning we don't have access to them, so none will be independently verified.

What do you have to do with a modest cut?

There are easy things you'll be able to do. Help heal a minor cut..

  • Wash the wound with clean water.
  • Apply light pressure initially to assist stop bleeding.
  • Cover the wound with a clean dressing, and
  • Protect the wound from additional trauma or mechanical force.

This is where Band-Aids and other brands of adhesive tape can turn out to be useful. They protect the realm from additional injuries and limit exposure to dirt and other potential contaminants.

But as for “clinically proven” amputations to assist “heal twice as fast,” within the absence of any peer-reviewed evidence, that is an unsubstantiated claim at best and doubtless only Marketing is promoting. Science or snake oil? Verdict: Snake oil.