Sock Arm Bandage

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Introduction: Sock Arm Bandage

An easy solution to your emergency bandaging needs, without the pain of sticky tape in your arm hair.

Step 1: Scrape Up Your Arm

This is probably harder than it sounds, because you need to remember to get your hands/wrists out of the way when you fall. Falling while holding on to something (dinner, your child, bike handlebars, priceless art) can allow you to get a proper scrape on your forearm, elbow, or upper arm.

This instructable utilizes a fine example of road rash on the ulnar side of the left forearm just below the elbow.

Step 2: Apply First-aid

Clean your scrape: remove foreign objects, staunch blood flow, and apply the best disinfectant you have at hand. Once this primary care is done you're ready for a bandage.

If your injury is really manky and you have access to proper medical supplies, you may choose to use a more traditional bandage for the first day or two before moving on to the sock technique.

This injury was dressed with a proper first-aid kit at the site of the incident, thus the nasty tape-marks on the inside of the arm. After painful tape removal in the shower the next morning, we decided to bring out the sock.

Step 3: Acquire a Clean Sock

Steal a clean sock from your significant other. Make sure it's at least plausibly near the end of its life; wear near the toe is best, as you're going to cut it off anyway. It should be large enough to fit around the relevant parts of your arm, but tight enough to stay put. Try it out on your un-injured arm if necessary.

If you're a paranoid freak you could certainly boil, bleach, or otherwise sanitize your sock; of course, you're probalby not the sort of person to be making a sock bandage in the first place.

Step 4: Cut Off Toe and Turn Inside-out

Cut the toe off of your sock, and turn it inside out.

Why inside out? Inspect the picture below. Athletic socks generally have a looped, terry-cloth style interior; this is much more likely to stick to your wound, leaving fluff and making removal painful. Best to put the smoother side of the sock directly against your skin.

Step 5: Apply Your Sock Bandage

Pull the sock up your arm, and situate it to cover your wound. Ask for assistance in positioning the sock if necessary to avoid dragging across potentially painful oozing proto-scabs.

Make sure to put the larger (top) of the sock around your upper arm to maintain proper fit. The heel of the sock should go right over your elbow.

Step 6: Go About Your Business

Admire your handiwork, then put a loose long-sleeved shirt over it and nobody will notice. Even better, that oozing proto-scab is now less likely to bleed through and stain your shirt.

If there's lots of scabby sticking, just get the sock nice and soggy before (gently!) peeling it off. The shower works well for this. Let your arm dry out a bit and apply more antisceptic if necessary before replacing a fresh, dry sock bandage.

Your old sock bandage can be laundered for re-use.

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21 Comments

To add to this low cost large bandage... if you don't have anything to apply to the wound (antibacterial cream etc.) after it has been cleaned, honey works very well... Honey has antibacterial properties (which is why it never goes bad) and was first used by the Egyptians for first aid ;)

Whatever happened to using good old high-proof alcohol? It's traditional as well.

Well I'm pretty sure honey burns like -no wait, that's ALCOHOL burns like holy heck, though I have NEVER heard of honey for anti-bac. I'm a bit suspicious. Let's let Treb try the honey first and see how well it turns out. I think I'll stick to peroxide.

Actually, honey is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and has been used for thousands of years as a topical and internal antibiotic. It's even supported by modern research, and there are a few small companies producing medical grade honey specifically for wound care (the potency of the antibiotic action seems to be affected by the plants used by the bees - all honeys are antibiotic, but some are more antibiotic than others). So, yes, if you are out of antibiotic ointment, and you have honey on hand, give it a try.

When Alexander the Great died (far from home), his troops preserved him in a vat of honey for the trip back. When I was an adviser for my daughter's science class experiment, we packed biological samples in honey, for flight on the space shuttle. The samples were perfectly preserved when we got them back a few months later.

Ah hah. Definitely a conspiracy (piracy!) going on here. :D Actually, spiffy!

sad i have more tubes of antibiotic cream than anything else in my house....not one drop of honey......sad really sad, i like honey, good for lots of things.....sore throats ect. and great for breakfast........that causes real issues for me

???? What is the point on the "first aid' (cleaning of the wound) if you put a dirty sock on it. lol it just doesn't make sense.

That's why you use a clean sock!
;)

Eeek, i just put one of those tihngs on my arm like 10 mins ago, my dad told me it was the easiest way to protect my eniterly bloody forearm, then im just searching for pyro stuff and i end up here...freaky!!! nice idea though,