How to Remove Tegaderm Bandages

Tegaderm bandages are clear, waterproof dressings that can be placed over minor skin injuries, minor burns, IV sites and some surgical wounds. The manufacturer, 3M, recommends that Tegaderm dressings be changed a minimum of every seven days. Removing the dressing, cleaning the site and applying new dressing can help prevent wound infection. The best method for removing Tegaderm depends on the patient's age and skin sensitivity.

Use a cotton swab to remove a Tegaderm bandage. (Image: manfredxy/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Loosen a corner of the Tegaderm dressing. Pull the dressing slowly back toward the wound site. Avoid pulling the dressing straight up. Instead, pull it back horizontally to lessen pain. Repeat by pulling back each side to the center wound site. When each side is free, carefully lift the Tegaderm off the wound and discard it. This method works well for adult patients without sensitive skin.

Step 2

Loosen one corner of the dressing to allow for a piece to grip. Instead of pulling the dressing backward, pull and stretch it horizontally in the opposite direction of the wound. Stretching the Tegaderm causes it to release easily from the skin. Repeat on each side until the Tegaderm fully releases. This method works for all ages and skin types since it allows for easy removal with little pain.

Step 3

Soak a cotton swab with adhesive remover and apply to one corner of the Tegaderm dressing. As the adhesive remover seeps under the bandage, the Tegaderm will release from the skin. While holding the loosened corner, continue to saturate the Tegaderm with adhesive remover as the bandage continues to lift and release. Do not pull on the bandage; allow the remover to completely dissolve the adhesive to avoid irritating the skin and causing pain. Patients with sensitive skin, such as elderly patients and children, benefit from this method, as it reduces irritation to the skin and nearly eliminates pain.

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