Girl (7-9) looking at plaster on arm
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Adhesive bandages often do too good of a job adhering to skin and hair. Many people simply rip off an adhesive bandage that is stuck on hair in an effort to quickly get through the pain. But there are ways to carefully and painlessly remove an adhesive bandage without tearing off hair as well.

Warm Water

Soak the area that is covered with the bandage in warm water. Immerse yourself in a bath tub, or, if the bandage is on your hand or foot, use a large bowl of water. The warm water will moisten and loosen the adhesive, which may make the bandage easier to pull off. If you're lucky, the adhesive will become completely saturated with water, and the bandage will slide right off of your skin. At the very least, the warm water will soften your pores and hair follicles, which can make the removal of the bandage less painful.


Apply a layer of vegetable oil, mineral oil or baby oil over and around the bandage. The oil will soften the adhesive, and it will also make the removal of any adhesive residue much easier.


If the bandage is covering a wound that must stay dry, direct warm air from a blow-dryer directly on the surface of the bandage. The warm air will soften up the adhesive, which will make removal less painful and less likely to tear out hair.


Always remove a bandage by pulling in the direction of hair growth. Pulling toward the hair growth, rather than away from it, will reduce the likelihood of pulling out hair.