Make the Sticky Stickier: Benzoin!



For Coastal Cruising and full on Offshore medical kits I recommend a product called tincture of benzoin. Getting adhesive bandages to stay stuck to the skin in the marine environment is tricky. Benzoin is an organic compound that can be used to enhance the stickiness of skin closure strips and adhesive bandages. It is a liquid adhesive used next to wounds where the sticky part of the bandage will go. It will help the bandage stick much better.

How to Use Benzoin

To use benzoin, clean and dry the skin for about 2-3 inches around the wound. Make sure the area is completely dry. Carefully apply a thin film of benzoin to the skin on each side of the wound with strokes parallel to the wound. Begin at the wound edges and work outward away from the wound. We always work away from a wound so we don’t inadvertently drag any germs toward an open wound. Avoid contacting an open wound with the benzoin. Let the tincture dry for about 30-45 seconds to allow the alcohol to evaporate and leave only the sticky behind. Then apply skin closure strips or an adhesive bandage.

Leave the bandage in place until it falls off on it’s own. The combination of showering and the natural oils from the skin will allow the bandage to loosen in 5-10 days. As the dressing begins to come off, trim the edges of the bandage to keep it neat and from getting caught and pulling off accidentally.

Benzoin comes in a multi use bottle or for more convenience in either ampules or swab stick form. A quick online search will provide lots of options. Benzoin is wonderful plus I love the smell. It’s like magic markers only better.

Note: Do not use benzoin on someone who has a history of sensitivity to it. It is for external use only and is flammable because it is dissolved in alcohol.

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