Use this 3M material, called Tegaderm, for applying dressing over a bleeding injury. It’s much better than adhesive tape or a big band-aid. Tegaderm is an air-permeable plastic film, as thin as cling film, but stronger and with an adhesive. I’ve found it adheres perfectly and because it is so thin it’s unnoticeable, especially on joints. You don’t even remember it’s on. Because of its thinness Tegaderm works really great under clothing. It’s breathable, too, and won’t come off in water. And since it is transparent, the dressing is not as visible, and you can see what’s going on underneath. It comes in sterile packaging about the size of a playing card, so you can apply it right over the injury, with the option to include some gauze underneath at first. I’ve cut smaller pieces for finger cuts, but I’ve found that waterproof bandaids work better for this.

-- KK


Nexcare Tegaderm Waterproof Dressing

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Nexcare

Know of a better tool, or need a recommendation? Submit a review or request!


  1. I use tegaderm film over my (subcutaneous) blood glucose sensor, to help keep it in place. I agree with all you’ve said above – although I’ve found that tegaderm tends to really pick up fuzz and things from your clothing, whereas the alternate film I use, IV-1HAND, does the same job without leaving blue circles on my skin when I wear my blue sweatpants. (I know that sounds like a player name from Paranoia, but I didn’t name the product!)

  2. FWIW, on a recent visit to the UK, I got a raging blister on my heel (never wear new shoes when traveling).  I purchased from the local Boots pharmacy a “hydrocolloid dressing”, which is also a clear dressing, but is different from what’s shown above.  It was pretty miraculous. My blister was all but healed in about a day.  I just checked, and these things are also available on Amazon, thank goodness.

    This explains it pretty well.

  3. My wife was very allergic to the adhesive in these bandages.  It took us a few weeks of trial and error and puss oozing rashes forming under the bandage before our nurse was willing to admit it was an allergic reaction and switch us to gauze only.  This cleared up everything in a matter of days.  Your individual mileage may vary.

    1.  I’m also allergic to Tegaderm – but I have psorisis and have a severe psoriatic reaction to just about everything you can stick on my body except Hypafix paper tape (I actually react worse to “hypoallergenic” bandages than regular ones).

      My reaction to Tegaderm wasn’t particularly different from my reaction to regular old sticking plasters or surgical tape, though. Unfortunately I still have the scars from a few bad encounters…

  4. I have an allergy to these also. From what I have been told by various nurses over the years, it is pretty common. IV3000 is a good alternative for people will allergies to tegaderm

    1. Posting to agree with Bjorn & Lonnie.  Be careful with these if you have any skin sensitivities.  A post surgical nurse, after a recent surgery, commented on my wound as nicely except for the “tegaburn”.

      1. I’m allergic to the adhesives on some brands of plasters, but not to this stuff, thank god – if you can use it, it’s brilliant. Allergies are annoying as hell til you can find what works, that’s for sure!  I guess adhesive allergies are pretty common?

      2.  For folks with sensitive skin and problems finding something sticky to keep bandages on at all, look into Hypafix. My anecdotal tolerance doesn’t mean much, but my wound-care nurses couldn’t stop saying nice things about how nobody ever has a bad reaction to it.

        Unfortunately it’s not airtight, and while it’ll still stick pretty well if it gets wet, it won’t keep water in/out much on its own. And of course they don’t have Hypafix pre-made sterile gauze plasters :P

  5. I use these daily to cover my PICC line (Lyme Disease).. great stuff. Keeps the port site protected and dry.

    1. Unfortunately those come with the side effect of a millenia-old creature that hunts humans for sport. If decapitation persists for more than 24 hours, contact your family physician.

  6. Had these on my surgical incisions.  Very clean and tight dressings.  They cling so well and are so thin that trying to get a fingernail under the edge to remove them was a bit difficult.

    1. Tegaderm is my go-to solution for road rash!  Remove debris in the shower, clean with saline, air dry, then use Tegaderm.  Replace as needed.  Protip:  Get it from a medical supply like Grogan’s.

  7. Hand Model: So what’s the product?
    Photographer: It’s this bandage that protects bleeding injuries.  Let’s get you prepped.
    Hand Model: Bleeding wha-
    Photographer: *stab*

    1.  Yes! I thought it was . . . odd that they chose a site more commonly associated with, um, really bad things.  :(

  8. Thanks for this! I was just about to go get some Liquid BandAid for a painful burn on my elbow, but this would work even better. Hope the drug store has them…

  9. +1 This stuff is absolutely great for backcountry injuries, particularly when water is abundant. The clear film means you can stick it and leave it for days and days – no need to peel back to check on progress. 

  10. I’ll stick to 3M duct tape. One of the few adhesives that I don’t have a reaction to. If you can’t fix it with duct tape, you might need to go to a professional. 

  11. yeah, tegaderm is fantastic unless you’re allergic – then it’s all rashes, blisters and patches of skin ripping off when they remove it. IV 3000 is the way to go. or good ol’ paper tape.

    1.  On the other hand, it contains no latex, so is kinda nice for those with anaphylaxis to latex.
      I believe IV3000 has also phased out latex in their packaging. Yay :)

  12. I’ve used these for most of my life (yay Doctor Mom!), and I found that for things like skinned knees and blisters anywhere, not only do they stay out of the way and make healing quicker and cleaner, but they also seemed to significantly decrease the pain. It’s like putting on a temporary second skin. Great for kids who think it’s the end of the world when they get all bloody falling off their bikes :)

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