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Band Aids: Our First Line of Medical Defense

Updated on November 16, 2012

How Band Aid is Supposed to be Spelt

The Band-Aid story from Johnson & Johnson has an amusing beginning, and we'll look at that in a moment.

One interesting first observation about the Band-Aid, is after almost 90 years of being around, people still aren't sure exactly how to spell it. That's why I spelt it like I did in the title, as that's the most most people think it's spelled.

Besides Band Aids or Band Aid, it's also spelt like Bandaid and the correct spelling - Band-Aid. Now none of this really matters, and to each his own. But I'm just saying it's just funny how after all these years most people forget the hyphen in the Band-Aid brand name.

According to Johnson & Johnson legend and lore, the band-aid was created when Earle Dickson watched his wife Josephine get numerous cuts when going about her household duties in 1920, with nothing to cover them up.

Because there was no simple way for Josephine to bandage her wounds, Earle had to come home from work and make up individual bandages for each cut, using cotton gauze and adhesive tape.

After this went on for about a month, an idea came to Earle to put squares of cotton gauze spaced across an adhesive strip. Then he covered it with crinoline.

So now if Josphine suffered a wound of any type, she could simply cut off a piece of prepared bandage and place it over the cut. That's how the Band-Aid adhesive bandage came about.

After talking to his boss about his clever solution, production began under which became one of the more recognizable brand names in the world: Band-Aid.

Old Band Aid Waterproof Bandage Container

Band Aid Variety

Band Aid has now become so proficient in their expertise, that you can get just about any type of bandage to cover almost any wound you incur, and then some.

Seeing the company go from its humble beginnings to being a powerhouse in is amazing, and the brand goes far beyond simply covering of cuts and punctures now to a number of preventative products.

Band-Aid plus Antibiotic

One example of this is with a product called plus Antibiotic, which comes in a variety of packages and purposes.

You have one type that comes in one size, others in a variety of sizes, one with an aesthetic appeal, an extra large, and finally a plus Antibiotic that is waterproof. And that's just one small line.

The point is this simple little invention has evolved into a brand that offers an almost endless variety to meet the needs of its customers.

Advanced Healing Blister

Another interesting product from Band-Aid is a cushioning gel pad that will not only protect a blister, but is flexible in a way that gives the wearer a more comfortable experience. It's waterproof and will last for several days, also offering the usual protection from the elements that could cause infection.

Anyway, this isn't a commercial, it's just a look at the customized and targeted ways the Band-Aid brand has evolved throughout the years into an amazing brand, which has become a part of everyday life across the world.

Band Aid Liquid Bandage

Another unique Band-Aid product that has come about is the very desirable liquid bandage, which comes on a swab applicator which you simply apply to your wound.

In a matter of a few minutes an invisible waterproof seal forms which is also flexible and moves with the skin. If you've ever used it you know it doesn't have that sting so many of us dread, and can go in a number of places it's difficult to place a regular bandaid bandage. 

Band Aid - Skin Cancer Cure?

One really fascinating, potential breakthrough with bandaid type bandages is in reference to skin cancer, which will emit light that may treat the disease.

This is called photodynamic therapy, and is already being used in hospitals and clinics to treat the disease.

How it works is a certain light wavelength lands on the cancerous cells and when oxygen forms around the cells, it destroys them. The bandages are made of plasters which have the light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) placed in them.

What this form of band-aid therapy would do is allow a quicker treatment in the confines of a person's home.

This is still a few years away, with human trials needed before it's brought to market. But it shows the possibilities that can happen with such a simple technology that is built upon and added to.

Glowing Bandaid Kills Skin Cancer

Band-Aids the Collectible

Like anything else that has any history, bandaid containers and bandages have become a collectible, and I've included a number of different containers and types that have been brought to market by Johnson & Johnson throughout the years.

Depending on your age, you'll recognize a lot of these, and some will bring a grin to your face because of the obvious packaging style of the times.

Band-Aids are one of those collectibles that include several categories, as some collect them as tins, some as the brand itself, and some as a period piece and others as a medical-related collectible.

Either way, it has captured the imagination of the collector who love to take a stroll down memory lane to simpler times, which products like bandaids and the brand represent. 

Band-Aid Collectible Tins

The longevity of the Bandaid brand

A good lesson to learn with band-aid bandages is the longevity factor. Sure they do a little packaging to add some color and interest to some of their products, and designs to make scared kids happy.

But in the end, the band-aid is one of those products that will always be needed, and isn't dependent on tough times, economic conditions, or being the flavor of the day.

It's a part of American and global culture, and it will remain so for a long time past when numerous trendy products have come and gone.


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    • leogonzales154 profile image

      leogonzales154 8 years ago

      wow! I'm amaze of glowing band-aid, does it really cure cancer?