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An elastic bandage, also known as a stick plaster, simple bandage, medical plaster, or just bandage in British English, is an absorbent dressing usually used for skin injuries not life threatening enough to warrant a full size bandage. They're also referred to by the generic names of bandage or Elastoplast. Their generic names don't follow a scientific system, so you may find bandages under these names that contain ingredients such as colloidal silver, colloidal copper, colloidal oatmeal, aloe, acetic acid, aluminum chloride, borax, baking soda, calamine, chromic acid, and even potassium nitrate. These substances are added because they help make them absorbent. Some bandages have an extra ingredient to increase their permeability, and these are called permeable sutures. Whatever you use will depend on what the medical problem is, whether it's a mild or serious injury.
Bandages have been around since ancient times. They have actually been used to heal wounds and slow bleeding in wars when bandages aren't practical. Today they are still widely used. The most common skin problem that bandages are used for is insect bites, since they can easily stop the flow of blood and keep the area clean and dry. They can also be used to treat burns and cuts.
While bandages are used mainly for topical treatments, they do have some minor uses in other medical conditions. For example, if you're allergic to medicine injected into your body, bandages can be used to prevent exposure. If you're having fluid buildup in your stomach or intestines, bandages placed directly on the inflamed area can help relieve some of the blockage. You can even put bandages on and around a surgical site to protect the area from contamination. Finally, some bandages can be used as sutures when stitching up wounds.
There are two kinds of bandages: adhesive and nonadhesive. Adhesive bandages consist of a thick paper or cloth that sticks to your skin with glue. They are used mostly in hospitals and are relatively cheap. Nonadhesive bandages, on the other hand, consist of paper folded into tight shapes. They aren't as comfortable to wear and are less sanitary, but they last longer.
Another type of bandage is the polyethylene sheeting bandage, which protects against bacteria, fungi and viruses. They come in protective sheets that need to be applied on your own. The sheeting needs to stay in place for a few days, so it's not something you want to be wearing all day. It's also a good idea to regularly change these bandages, as they tend to get dirty and worn out. Another interesting type of bandage is the Intarsia patch bandage, which is applied using tiny needles and usually left on overnight.
In general, bandages are needed to protect your body from infection, although they do little in the way of cures. Medical uses of bandages go back to the beginnings of the medical profession, when they were first used to bandage wounds during the Middle Ages. Today, they are commonly used as sanitary and aesthetic coverings for whatever medical conditions you might have, although they're not necessary for treating any real disease. However, if you find yourself in need of one, it's best to call your doctor right away, just in case. After all, bandages are one of the most important things you can use to help protect your body.