What? Yes a product review of sticking plasters, that is to say plasters you put on yourself when you’ve cut yourself, hopefully by accident. Why? Well lately, what with Hackspace, kite flying (it’s the line) and the allotment I’ve cut myself or made a big blister a little more than once. I’ve not been terribly impressed with sticking plasters. They tend to fall off. I am a bit of a sticky plaster fiddler I’ll admit, un-sticking and then re-sticking them, which they can’t really take. I like my plasters tight and non-moving. I tend to un-stick and re-stick when they start to peal away… sometimes this is almost as soon as you put one on. Not all plasters and made equal.
I want to regularly carry some plasters about with me. I want to be sure that they’ll do what I want when I need them. What I need is for them to not fall off my skin after a few seconds. Our contenders on this test (based on what I could find in the places I looked) are from left to right of the above picture:
1. ELASTOPLAST – EXTRA TOUGH Pack of 12 Priced £2.28 (or 19p each) Fabric plaster pack purchased from Wilkinsons.
2. WILKO PLASTERS – FABRIC PLASERS Pack of 40 Priced £1.07 (or 2p each) Fabric plaster variety (various size) pack purchased from Wilkinsons.
3. BOOTS FABRIC Pack of 20 Priced £1.69 (or 9.5p each) Fabric plaster pack purchased from Boots the Chemist Ltd.
4. Unbranded FABRIC STRIP 1m roll Priced £0.49 (or 24p equivelent size plaster) Fabric plaster strip for cutting to size purchased from Boots the Chemist Ltd.
5. HANDY – MINI FIRST AID KIT Pack of 25 plasters and dressings Priced £1 (or 4p each) Dressing and plaster pack purchased from Tesco Home.
First I cleaned the back of my hands with an alcohol medical wipe and let them properly dry. I then applied one of each of the plasters of about an equivlent size to the backs of my hands. I also numbered them as above.
There isn’t a lot to say about application. All the plasters came in their own little packaging with the exception of the 4. the Fabric Roll which I cut to a similar size to the others. I’m not sure what a nurse or the medical world says about sticking plasters and letting air in or keeping the plasters hygenically sealed from the world… so I looked it up. NHS direct just says to stem the bleeding before applying a sterile, adhesive dressing. I’m not sure how much risk there is from the fabric roll, I assume that the gauze part which is covered up is sterile and not at that much risk. You can find out more yourself at these links, NHS direct on First Aid kits and NHS direct on cuts and grazes.
I applied the plasters at about 10:45 in the morning and continued my normal work and a trip into town and removed them at about 14:00.
1. The ELASTOPLAST felt very secure for the whole test really wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t especially hard to remove but did pull a little at my skin. The skin below the plaster did feel a bit clammy and sweaty so I’m not sure how good that would be for a cut. One thing I really liked was that it maintained it’s look, never peeling at the edges or starting to come away. It didn’t look dirty even at the end of the test.
2. The Wilko fabirc plaser was frankly next to useless. I had high hopes for this Wilko own brand hoping to be able to say something like “Elastoplast wasn’t even as good as Wilkos” but that just isn’t true. The plaster started to lift almost instantly and never felt tight or properly adheared to my skin.
It was so loose and flopsy after about an hour that it just fell off. The worst of it was that it actually left an adhesive mark on my skin. Now it might just be that I have a weird skin type or something but for me this plaster was a waste of money and frankly useless.
3.The BOOTS FABRIC did okay. I put it in a tricky possition near my knuckles on my right hand so before the end of the test it started to peel a little bit at the knuckle end. Generally though it compared well with the Elastoplast and whipped the Wilko plaser. It was easy to remove too and did not leave much adhesive on my skin. It did start to look tatty and dirty fairly quickly
4. The FABRIC STRIP mentally feels like a NO FUSS plaser, the sort of thing I might imagine a rough person would say “This is all you need, you can’t beat fabric strip, non of your fancy indivdually wrapped plasers!” and it does fit a variety of situations. The downside is that you need scissors or a very sharp knife to cut a bit off. Of course you could cut some up ahead of time and pop them in a little baggy. It stuck well and has the open sides so has the advantage that it will let a little bit of air in that “might” be better for the cut to help it dry out. Obviously it doesn’t really stop it getting wet and on open skin like and arm or the palm of your hand it doesn’t really apply any pressure to your cut.
5. The “Keep it Handy” Mini First Aid kit was a bit of an outsider. It was in amoungst those £1/£2 boxes of tat you get these days in some supermarkets, usually with glasses mending kits, a spare set of sink plugs, a duster that sort of thing. I was really surprised that the plaster in this kit out shon the Wilko’s own brand plaster and stayed in place till the end of the trial. For a handy little kit to thow in the glove box this kit is ok. This was a surprise.
So it was a bit mad of me to do this but I though, why not! When I was out and about in town I bumped into some old work colleagues who definately noticed the numbered plasters (at this point 1 on my left and 3 on my right) but didn’t mention them. They probably think I’m a druggy now. I’d probably rather they think that than me having to explain I’m the sort of bloke who thinks doing a sticky-plaster review is worth doing.