What Are Body Wrap Bandages?

Andrea Cross

Body wrap bandages are strips of material intended for use in wrapping around either the entire body or a single part for the purpose weight loss, toning, and detoxification. A common spa treatment, these bandages can also be bought to use at home. Usually made from cotton, body wrap bandages are also elasticated so that they can be pulled as tightly as desired while still retaining some stretch. Latex-free versions are also available to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Most are machine washable, enabling multiple uses.

The body is slathered all over with skin-nourishing ingredients before being wrapped in body wrap bandages.
The body is slathered all over with skin-nourishing ingredients before being wrapped in body wrap bandages.

Available both separately and as part of a total kit, the bandages come in varying sizes, usually ranging from 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) in width, and up to several yards (meters) in length. Subsequently, multiple rolls are required if the entire body is to be covered. They are relatively inexpensive.

People who suffer from eczema may find body wrap bandages soothing.
People who suffer from eczema may find body wrap bandages soothing.

Body wrap bandages are supposed to be useful in slimming, toning, and detoxifying the body. Lymphatic drainage is encouraged, resulting in the removal of toxins and impurities present in the body and skin. The pressure of the bandages is also supposed to break down cellulite.

Weight loss is due to a lack of water retention caused by the pressure. Although the effect is only temporary, the bandages can apparently take inches of the abdomen, thighs, and arms while lifting the breasts and buttocks. Skin may be tightened, and tone improved. Conditions such as acne and eczema are thought to be soothed.

Circulation is also thought to be enhanced. This, in turn, helps to decrease stress and tension, although this may also be due to the comforting snugness of the wrapping. Whatever the mechanism, using body wrap bandages seems to make people feel good and somewhat healthier, if even only in the short term.

Although a common spa treatment, body wrap bandages can be readily used at home following a similar routine to that used in the spa. The body is first exfoliated, either with an exfoliation scrub or a body brush. Then, the skin is slathered all over with a variety of ingredients good for the skin, including seaweed, clay, and oils. Butters, herbs, and different lotions are also commonly used.

The entire body, or body part, is then snugly wrapped in the body wrap bandages. These are left on for around 20 minutes, slightly longer if carefully supervised. Leaving the bandages on for too long can have an adverse effect on circulation. Once the bandages are removed, the body is rinsed clean. The bandages are then washed and left to dry naturally before the next use.

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Discussion Comments


@DylanB – There's also something called a hydration wrap. You are supposed to drink lots of water after the wrap is removed, because it somehow releases lymphatic fluid into your system, and you need to flush it out.

I don't know what would happen if someone had this wrap and just didn't drink water afterward. It would probably make them sick, but if someone is willing to pay for the wrap, they are usually willing to follow the full instructions.


I think that the toning effect of a body wrap bandage is what I love the most. I have a little bit of cellulite on my thighs, and even though I have good muscle tone underneath, it is hard to see this through the fat.

After a good body wrap, I can't see the cellulite anymore. My muscle tone is revealed.

This is why I do body wraps the day before going to the beach. I want to look my best in a swimsuit, and I don't want any cellulite showing.


@giddion – It usually only lasts two or three days. However, you aren't just losing water. You are flushing out toxins, and that can be good for your health.

I went to a spa for a dehydration wrap, and I got slathered in some sort of mineral mud and wrapped in a body bandage. It was the color of my skin and resembled a regular bandage, only much larger.

I kept it on for twenty minutes, and then I showered. I lost several inches, and even though that only lasted a couple of days, I just felt cleansed. I think that everyone needs a body wrap now and then to help them get rid of toxins.


How long does the slimming effect last? It seems to me that if you are only losing water weight, you must gain it back as soon as you drink more water. Is it really worth the effort to use a body wrap bandage?

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