Do Wounds Heal Faster Without Bandages?

Do wounds heal faster without the use of bandages (Band-Aids)? No, wounds need moisture to heal, and leaving a wound open will leave the area too dry. Additionally, leaving a wound open can leave it vulnerable to further injury, as the scabbed section is very delicate and the wound can open again easily. 

Concerns Related to Not Using Bandages on Wounds

It’s best to cover cuts, scrapes, or other wounds with a bandage to keep moisture in and protect it from outside elements such as dirt or bacteria. While wounds are especially susceptible while they are still scabbing, dry scrapes and abrasions can also cause issues if exposed to outside elements, such as dirty water. 

Infection is the main concern when it comes to injuries such as scrapes, tears, punctures, or other breaks of skin. Even the smallest cut can cause an infection, so it is necessary to protect the location from as much foreign substance as possible. 

How to Apply a Bandage to a Wound to Help It Heal Faster

In addition to using a bandage to protect from debris, bandages also help keep antibiotic ointment in place to heal the wound quicker than it would otherwise. Using antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, is almost always recommended as it can help wounds heal faster and can even reduce scarring. 

Clean the wound with cool water along with a soft washcloth (or a paper towel/napkin, if you are away from home). Mild soap is acceptable if the wound seems dirty. Harsher cleaning agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, are not often recommended as they can cause more irritation. 

Apply the bandage. A bandage should create enough pressure to cease bleeding. If the injury is severe enough to cause blood to seep through the first bandage, do not remove the bandage. Apply another, larger bandage on top of the wound. If you are concerned about the amount of blood a wound is producing, reach out to a local Urgent Care facility.

Change the bandage daily at least, or any time it becomes dirty or wet. If your wound is not closing or healing properly, contact a medical professional to see what further action needs to be taken for your injury.

Exceptions to Healing Wounds With Bandages

Some wounds do not require bandages. Simple, small scrapes or cuts likely do not require a bandage. These types of wounds will typically heal within a week on their own as long as the natural healing process is not interfered with. Abrasions on the hands, feet, or any area that is in contact with tight clothing should be bandaged, as interference is likely. Also, know that children often pick at small injuries. This can cause further injury, scarring, and possibility of infection, so cover these wounds as well. 

If you are concerned about scarring, you should use a bandage along with antibiotic ointment to significantly reduce the chances of skin darkening or disfiguration. When it comes to injuries on the face, use antibiotic ointment and treat these similarly to how you would treat acne

Do Wounds Heal Faster Without Bandages? Absolutely Not

Bandages are almost always more effective than air drying wounds. Band-Aids and other types of wraps help keep the injury moist and keep medicines in place to promote healing as quickly as possible. While bandages are not always necessary, they are almost always faster in healing than a lack of one. 

If your injury is presenting signs of infection (inflammation, fever, odd fluid), if it continues bleeding for more than 15 minutes of applying pressure, or if it doesn’t show signs of healing after a week, consult a doctor. Even the smallest wounds can be dangerous if left untreated. Treat your wound to heal it as fast as possible to avoid further complications.

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