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.