A spray bandage is a special liquid version that is sprayed on via a pump much like a hairspray container. Spray bandages have a variety of uses, but they are most often used to cover and protect small cuts and minor scraps, and not major wounds. It is often found in first aid supplies like many other cohesive bandages.
Spray bandages are similar to liquid or gel bandages and only really differ in delivery method. All contain a special polymer that is dissolved in alcohol and sometimes additional antiseptic chemicals. The polymer material is usually made of extremely strong adhesives, similar to the chemicals used in powerful super glues. Because of this they should be used carefully to prevent accidental sticking.
There are several advantages to a spray bandage over a fabric bandage or Band-Aid®. Spray bandages are usually waterproof, and can protect minor cuts and scrapes even when a person is in the rain or swimming. They are also invisible to the naked eye after drying and are incredibly flexible as well. The coating of a spray bandage is usually antiseptic as well and helps to reduce the chance of infection. While bandage sprays block out germs, dirt and other possible infecting materials from getting into a wound, they still allow air to get in the wound, which helps the healing process. Adhesive spray bandage products are also often used to remove skin tags.
Over-the-counter stray bandage products have been available for several years, but as the technology behind spray bandages improves the possibilities within them increase. Military application for these liquid bandages could be great, as the advantages of spray bandages are even more vital in the battlefield. A soldier with a serious wound will be able to use a spray bandage to cover his or her would quickly, helping reduce the risk of an infection on the battlefield.
Tests are also underway to add peptides and other chemicals to liquid bandages that will be able to stop bleeding quickly and with less chance of infection than a traditional sterile bandage. More powerful spray bandages are also seeing use as replacements for stitches and staples, and the possibility for spray bandages to be used in burn treatment is also being tested by scientists and doctors. These spray bandages are even more advanced. For example, adhesive formulas could actually include skin cells, which when sprayed onto a burn area with the liquid bandage testing has shown that they can significantly decrease healing time.