After my last accident, I spent a good time researching bandages amid dressing and cleaning my wounds. The interesting part is, never had I known that bandages could come in such a wide range of varieties!

I have, therefore, decided to give an account of the different types of bandages here, in this article…

In a broad spectrum, bandages are of 3 major types -

Roller bandages - They are commonly known ones. They come in long (very long and hence rolled up) strips of breathable material. The ease and comfort of using them are based on its elasticity as well as thickness.

Tubular bandages - They are used for certain specific purposes and hence, are not easily available in the common first aid kits. Tubular bandages serve to -

• Compress and support joint sprains and strains

• Apply pressure in heavily bleeding wounds

• Keep dressing in place, etc.

Triangular bandages - You have certain areas in your body where it is difficult to apply a roller or a tubular bandage. They are used to construct slings for tissue injures, joint dislocations, or broken bones. They are available with safety pins too for construction of the sling.

The broadest range among the above 3 types is that of roller bandages. Most households have one, in the form of crepe bandages. They are mostly used to -

• Compress and support a sprain or a strain

• Hold a dressing in place

• Apply pressure to reduce bleeding from a wound site

• Compress the wound in case of a poisonous snake bite

However, the lesser-known type among roller bandages is conforming bandages.

A basic difference between the conforming and crepe bandages…

The conforming bandages are comparatively light-weight and thin, however, they are again segmented into 3 types - light, medium, and heavy.

A few of the basic characteristics that are beneficial for wound healing and make conforming bandages a preferred dressing material are -

They are permeable - This implies that they allow the moisture from the wound to evaporate and air to aerate the wound bed cutting down infection and inflammation too.

Absorbency is high - Thus, they are good for wounds with medium to heavy exudates. Their cotton fibers are soft and comfortable for the patient as well.

Self-adhesive - This bandage is wrapped with some tension and therefore, does not require sticky adhesives or clips and fasteners.

Re-usable - As they are washable and reusable, they are cost-effective too. Their extended durability is rarely hampered by reuse and washing.

Why are these bandages called ‘conforming’?

Conforming bandages are commonly used for retention dressing as they conform to the shape and temperament of the wound area. Since they are highly stretchable, lightweight, and durable too, they can most effectively be used for sprain supports and for applying compression.

The popularity of these bandages is hence proven. They conform to the requirements of your wound (that can be mostly managed at home). To add to their virtues, conforming bandages come in different widths too!