How to Remove Bandage Adhesive From Skin

Most first-aid tapes are now made so that little or no adhesive remains on your skin when the tape is removed. Just in case, here's how to remove any sticky stuff that gets left behind.

Lessen the pain when removing a bandage by applying a warm compress. Or spread baby oil or vegetable oil over and around the bandage with a cotton ball. The oil will also remove the adhesive left on the skin.

How to Treat an infected ear piercing

Learn More

To remove a bandage from a wound that should not get wet, blow hot air from a hair dryer on the tape for a few seconds. This softens the adhesive and makes it easier to remove the bandage.

Look in the drugstore for an oil-based adhesive remover if there's a lot of bandaging going on in your household.


To distract a child before removing an adhesive bandage, draw a funny face on the bandage. If commercial bandage strips irritate your skin, try using a sterile gauze pad and paper first-aid tape instead. If your dressing will require frequent changing, using paper first-aid tape can be helpful in avoiding the pain of removing adhesive tape and possible irritation from adhesives. Don't apply antibiotic cream or salve directly to a cut. It's less traumatic to the wound if the cream is put on the bandage first, and then the bandage is applied. Bandages should be changed whenever dirty or wet. After one week, most cuts and wounds are sufficiently healed so that you no longer need a bandage.