What are Band Aid&Reg; Bandages?

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  • Written By: Jason C. Chavis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Band Aid® bandages are a product line owned by Johnson & Johnson. Generally, the term refers to adhesive bandages used for dressing small cuts or scrapes on the skin. These bandages are made from plastic or fabric with a sticky substance that allows for the bandage to adhere to the surface. The piece that covers the wound is a small dressing that may or may not have antiseptic to help the healing process. Band Aid® bandages are sold primarily throughout North America and Australia.

The primary use for Band Aid® bandages is to cover lesions or injuries that do not require larger dressings. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit nearly any small cut or scrape. The overall advantage to Band Aid® bandages is that they are easily applied to an area of the skin and do not require additional tools to affix. As a first aid option, it is far more convenient and quicker than applying a full bandage with medical tape.


In 1920, a Johnson & Johnson employee named Earle Dickson invented the first Band Aid® bandages. His wife Josephine often cut herself while preparing meals. Instead of using a cover with bandage tape that got in the way of her cooking, Dickson gave her an elastic bandage she could apply herself without assistance. The invention was adopted by his company and became highly successful with the product. Dickson himself was eventually promoted to Vice President of Johnson & Johnson.

The overall success of the product line was made possible by exposure to medical crews during World War II. Millions of Band Aid® bandages were used by the military and hospitals during the area as they were convenient and could be applied by anyone. The fact that each bandage is individually wrapped was also a plus, keeping the small wounds sustained by troops sterile while in combat.

Over the years, Johnson & Johnson expanded its product line to include other types of bandages. Among the most successful are the liquid bandage, waterproof bandage tape and traditional Band Aid® bandages with different cartoon characters to make them more fun for children. The name of the product also transcended the actual company line, taking on a generic description for other companies versions. It has also been adopted as a term in other facets of society to define a way to fix problems. For example, a computer programmer may design a fix for a volatile program that can be referred to as a “band-aid” for the problem.


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Post 1

"I'm stuck on a Band-Aid, cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!" I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard that jingle.

Band-Aids have indeed become the generic name for any adhesive bandage, like Kleenex has become the term for tissues, or "Coke" stands in for any soda, at least in the South.

I remember when they still came in the little metal tins. These were great for keeping little things in after the Band-Aids were gone. I have kept a gross of Barbie shoes and purses in them. Later on, my sister kept her pierced earrings in a Band-Aid tin.

If you can put a Band-Aid on the wound, it can't be too bad.

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