How to Use Butterfly Bandages

Replenish first-aid supplies as needed.
Replenish first-aid supplies as needed. (Image: Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images)

Butterfly bandages are helpful when small cuts need closing. Air is allowed greater access to the cut, which promotes faster healing. There is also less likelihood of a scar developing because scabbing is reduced. Home first-aid kits should include assorted bandages and antiseptic for a quick response to emergencies. Butterfly bandages work well on knuckles, elbows and knees to keep the skin in place while it heals.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Antiseptic
  • Clean cloth

Clean the open wound under running cool water. Allow the water to run for several minutes to remove dirt or particles.

Wash the skin around the cut with soap and water. Apply an antiseptic to the cut and then dry the skin surrounding the cut with a clean cloth.

Place one end of the bandage alongside the length of the cut and press onto the skin to secure. The width of the butterfly bandage will cross over the length of the cut.

Hold the skin together so the cut is closed. Secure the loose end of the bandage to the skin on the opposite side of the cut.

Press both ends of the bandage securely to the skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Longer cuts may need more than one butterfly bandage to secure the wound.
  • Deep cuts should be monitored and may require medical attention and stitches.

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