4 min read

I Forgot I Bought These Hydrocolloid Bandages But My Big Toe is Thankful

I spent my entire weekend excited to email you all on Monday about a bandage and then Monday came and I got roiled in ennui and forgot.

So, anyways, here we are.

As mentioned last newsletter, I was in Mexico. And my last night on Isla Mujeres, I was drunk on a boat and somehow arrived home with a bloody, sandy wound on the side of my big toe.

I had to ask my host for a bandage because I was worried about my toe getting stepped on during a full day of air travel and whatever bacteria that would be interested in crawling aboard. I wasn't trying to lose a toe because I got too into singing "Friends in Low Places."  She gave me an off-brand Band-Aid from a first aid kit that looked like it was out of the 70s and was absolutely not my skintone.

All the awful things that happen when you put a bandage on your toe happened: It's awkward two wrap a bandage around something that's not quite completely round, it was crooked and uneven and there was bandage overhang that created a toe tunnel of sorts, it got dirty, there was sticky residue, and you could see the blood through the bandage. Not my finest look.

Which doesn't explain why, the next morning, I hopped out of bed, put on a fresh 70s knock-off Band-Aid and then went grocery shopping where the cute cashier checking me out glanced all the way down to my flip-flops-in-November feet and the raggedy bandage on my toe and I yelped, "I just got back from vacation!"

So, when I got home priority number one was to figure out a better solution. I have a hodge-podge assortment of Band-Aids I've bought over the years and was thinking at least maybe I'd have one that was a smaller size that would call less attention to itself and be closer to my skin tone. That's when I came across these hydrocolloid bandages I completely forgot I bought.

Amazon.com: All Health Advanced Fast Healing Hydrocolloid Gel Bandages, Assorted Sizes, 10 ct | 2X Faster Healing for First Aid Blisters or Wound Care : Health & Household
Buy All Health Advanced Fast Healing Hydrocolloid Gel Bandages, Assorted Sizes, 10 ct | 2X Faster Healing for First Aid Blisters or Wound Care on Amazon.com ✓ FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders

You can get a box of 10 for $6 on Amazon, but for some reason Wal-Mart only sells a box of 20 and they charge $15 for them. And nowhere else appears to sell this brand, but it does look like you may be able to buy a similar version from CVS affordably?

If you've ever used one of those acne stickers, you've used a hydrocolloid bandage. The same thing that makes them so good at sucking all the gunk out of your pimple, also (or rather, originally) makes them so great for wound care. They suck up blood and the fluid the wound weeps and holds them inside their gel-like texture, so the wound can dry out. Instead, of that warm, sweaty, humid, still moist environment a traditional bandage creates. This also means, nothing's getting inside your wound and you can wear them in the share.

In fact, the bandage can stay on for up to 7 days! I wrapped my first one around my toe and a few days later got curious, so I took it off early. The wound was noticeably improved, but clearly still healing, but no more bleeding or weeping. And it looked clean and just not messy and painful overall. I did learn that wrapping the bandage around my toes was a mistake though because it was adhering in a weird way to my toe nail and was uncomfortable to peel off and would have likely been an even bigger after a week.

When I put the new bandage on, I was careful to not getting any on my toenail and I trimmed off any excess. Because the bandages are gel-like they adhered really and cleanly and didn't get fiddly because I trimmed it. It's almost not noticeable at all on my toe, unless you know to look for it because the material it's made of out is clear with a slight tint.

I've had no issue wearing this bandage under tights or socks and it kept my wound protected and pain-free during my workout and hasn't loosened in the shower. I frequently forget I have a cut on my toe, which if you've ever injured a toe, you know is not typically the case because every little bump hurts and you're worried about all matters of things getting into the cut and the odds of infection seem high because feet go so many places.

So, yes they're a little more expensive, but based on the peace of mind, the sped-up healing factor and that you get a week out of each bandage, they're well-worth the price.

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