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For all sorts of fun reasons, the likes of which will make for marvellous dinner-party ice-breakers some day, I'm a veteran of deep cuts - and of the scarring which is so often left behind. Stitches leave you with a line of little complimentary scarlets, and plasters do nothing to close a cut over. Bio-oil is viciously expensive, and shea butter smells. Enter 3M's Steri-Strips.
Steri-strips are small adhesive strips, intended to close open skin wounds, so reducing scarring and the chance of infection. As the name suggests, they're treated with an antimicrobial substance. They're slightly porous, so as to be breathable, and they come in various widths, lengths, elasticities, and colours. There's also a "reinforced" range. This review will deal with the steri-strips to which I'm used, the standard, inelastic, porous white type.
To apply a steri-strip, stick one end to one side of the cut, stretch it to the other side until the cut is closed, then stick down. Longer cuts may need multiple steri-strips, and additional strips can be used to secure the ends of the strips holding the wound.
The adhesive on the strips is strong enough to hold skin together, and holds up well against water and sweating. However, they aren't secure enough, I find, not to ruck up and slip off one side of the cut if used over joints or on other skin that moves often. It doesn't hurt at all to remove steri-strips, but I would be willing to sacrifice that comfort for a stronger adhesive.
When the strips are applied well, steri-stripped wounds not only leave thinner scars, but bleed less - the skin is held tightly over the incision, and blood can't get through. I usually like to have a large plaster or Mepore patch over steri-stripped areas, however, for the additional security, and to blot up any blood that does manage to escape.
Steri-strips are no miracle cure for wide cuts, and there are some situations in which stitches are the only option to stop bleeding and close skin. I have known lazy nurses to apply ridiculous numbers of steri-strips to wounds bleeding so profusely that doctors have later judged that they required stitches. However, in the majority of situations, steri-strips make a moderately strong, effective, non-invasive substitute for sutures, and quell bleeding, cut down on scarring, and guard against infection. They should be a staple in first-aid kits nationwide.
I have a rather well stocked first aid kit something which has come about since having children!
What are they?
Steri strips are small sticky non woven adhesive strips.
Cost and stockist
These are available from all major supermarkets and chemists I personally tend to buy Wilkinson own brand at £1.49, for Steri strips expect to pay double.
These are great for ensuring good wound closer particularly in a area that keeps opening I had a cut on my finger and a plaster did nothing so I Steri stripped it and that kept it closed. These are ideal for slightly deeper cuts or facial cuts as they allow the ends of the cut to be pulled together and knit together. Basically think butterfly stitches and these are the same.
I do really rate these and think they are a must for every first aid kit I have been prevented from trips to minor injuries with these although obviously should a cut not stop bleeding then it does need proper stitches.
I have found these easy to use they are pain free so do not add to children's trauma, I have also used these myself and found them to work really well and also not be as restrictive as a plaster can be.
I always carry these in my on the move kit as again do not take up any space and are brilliant for healing quickly.
3M Nexcare Steri-Strip
One thing we have always had in our house due to the sheer amount of times I have cut myself is plasters and steri-strips. Recently I was using a knife to slice some bread when the knife slipped and cut the end of my thumb quite badly. The cut was quite deep and also quite long and almost seemed to peel back. Luckily, my friend who is a nurse said that it did not need stitches, though she recommended using steri strips which we had luckily just bought more of.
The Steri-Strips are basically 'Butterfly stitches' and come in different sized packs, though always seem to come in two sizes themselves; 3mm x 75mm and 6mm x 75mm. In this particular box, you get eight lengths of steri-srips; five of the smaller ones and three of the slightly larger ones. We purchased this box in Boots for £2.95 which is a reasonable price for what they are.
To apply, make sure the wound is clean and dry as well as the surrounding area as otherwise the strips will not 'stick'. Peel off the protective cover and either cut with clean and disinfected scissors, or bend down the perforated line to get the strips the size you need. I find using scissors a lot easier as occasionally when bending them, the strips get caught and fold up meaning that they are no longer any good!
Once the strips were on, the wound started to heal brilliantly. There is no magic solution within these, yet they work by gently bringing the skin together so that it may knit together once again and hopefully not leave a scar. I have found, though, if these are not applied straight away to bad wounds like my one mentioned above, then you may have a small scar at the end. I would personally reach for these before plasters on certain kinds of wounds.
Depending upon where your wound is, depends on whether the strips stick well or not. Obviously in areas which move around a lot, the strips can become unstuck and you may need to change them sooner rather than later and this may cause the wound to heal a little more slowly. In other areas, I have found that the strips stick in place well.
Once the wound has healed, the strip can be pulled of painlessly, though if it is taken off too soon it may cause a small amount of discomfort.
Overall, I would not be without these strips as they have saved myself a lot of scaring!
I am pretty prone to cutting myself open one way or another. Going back around seven years ago I had my first experience with using 3M steri strips and since then I always make sure that I have some in my first aid kit.
The strips come in a cardboard box with eight sealed packs inside. The packs are sealed to keep the steri strips sterile as they will be used on open wounds but inside each sterile pack there are six strips attached to a piece of papery material. In the pack there are five packs which contain 3mm x 75mm strips and three which contain 6mm x 75mm strips which are obviously for those bigger cuts.
Now the steri strips can be used for closing up wounds which are deeper than the usual cut and need some more protection and this is how I first came across using them. I was actually washing up and somehow a glass smashed whilst I was washing it and ripped the skin on the middle of my finger so that I was left with a piece of skin around a centimetre long just flapping around! Blood was pouring out and it cut pretty deep and I was struggling to control the bleeding. In a panic I rang my Grandma's where I was told she had steri strips and to come over. When I got there my mum almost fainted at the sight of my finger and so it was left for my Uncle to patch me up and he basically used the steri strips to seal the skin back down to my finger which slowed the bleeding and then eventually it stopped.
To use the steri strips you should open the sterile packet and remove a strip from the backing. You can cut down the strip if you need to but I feel it is best to just pull off the whole thing and attach it to wherever you are bleeding and then cut it afterwards if needs be. I was advised that although you can use a few strips on the wound you should always make sure that you leave a little bit of room for the wound to breathe and so a strip on the top and bottom of the wound as well as one in the middle if required is the most effective. You should pull the steri strip as close to the skin as you can as it does help to reduce any scarring that you may have if you can get the skin as close to where it should have been in the first place.
I left the steri strips on my finger for a couple of days before removing them and replacing them with another couple of strips just until I was sure the wound was not going to reopen. Initially I covered the wound with a dressing too but when it had settled down I allowed myself to take the dressing off so the wound could breathe and the skin could recover quicker.
I have had to use these steri strips on a few other occasions since the first time and so I am very pleased that I have them in my first aid kit. They are great for a quick patch up of a wound that is worse than your average but not particularly one that you feel that you need to go to hospital for. Of course if your bleeding will not stop or the wound is very deep you should of course seek medical advice as they are not really an alternative to proper stitching in this case.
I think these are invaluable to have in your first aid kit and I know that they are there should I or my son have a bad cut and I will be able to treat it at home. The strips only cost around £2.50 for the box and obviously they do not go off or anything so it is well worth the investment even if you feel you would never have to use them! At least then they would be there should something happen!
Thank you for reading my review!
I have actually used 3M Steri-Strips many times, including on myself, on my children - and on my patients. They are a well established branded product for minor skin closure, and I'm not aware of any product that comes close to the effectiveness of Steri-strips for the minor wound. It is something I always store in my first aid box - and which often comes as standard in many bought first aid boxes. I have bought these in single packages (rather than having to buy the whole box) from Lloyds chemist. I usually buy the 6mm strips as I find the alternative 3mm strips a little fiddly and the 12mm strips too wide for minor injuries (anything more than a minor injury and I'd go straight to the hospital!).
So, as I said, the Steristrips come in different widths (3mm, 6mm & 12mm) but all are 4cm long (although they can be cut to the desired length). The come enclosed in a plastic envelope which keeps them sterile until the envelope is opened. Obviously as you would only ever place these on open wounds, it is very important that the product remains sterile when it is applied to the area.
Using the Steristips is generally easy, although they are nearly impossible to apply to yourself by yourself. The reason for this is that you need to pinch the edges of the wound together before placing the Steristrip over the top of the wound (so that the strip crosses the wound long-ways). The idea then is that the edges will re-knot together as healing occurs. However, applying them to other people is fairly easily. It is simply a matter of peeling off the backing to the strips to reveal the adhesive side - and then placing this adhesive side down against the skin. When applying them, you should leave a small gap between each one so that any gunky fluid can still escape through the wound.
I do find that the Steristrips are very good at staying attached to the skin until you physically remove them. The adhesive quality of the strips are therefore very good. They do, however, tend to life off a little at the ends, and its very tempting to then keep picking at these ends, until eventually the strip is removed - which obviously isn't the idea at all! Removing the strips is generally painless, even if they have caked on exudate or blood on them.
I have, on occasion, covered the Steristrips in a dressing - especially on children because they are more likely to pick at them! - but it really is better not to dress them as the Steristrips are breathable and therefore allow the air to get to the wound which is generally very good for its recovery.
I have very sensitive skin and yet I have never reacted to the Steristips being placed on it - and infact I have never seen anyone react to them being placed on their skin.
Once on, you don't need to change them (unless they come off) and its a good idea to keep them in place for 5-7 days. Its best to try to keep the area dry - although I have got them wet before without disastrous effects.
Overall, I would recommend Steristrips for any and every first aid kit. They really are brilliant at helping with wound healing where their is a gash in the skin and leave you with a better ascetic and clinical result.
I managed to cut my finger open yesterday whilst cutting my cousins hair. I cut quite deep, but just plastered it up and carried on. After changing the plaster 4 times due to the fact it would just keep on bleeding through the plaster.
My sister suggested that I tried steristrips as her boyfriend had recently used them on a cut on his hand. I went into Superdrug and asked for some steristrips. They handed me a box of 3M steristrips and I paid for them and was on my way.
Steristrips are used to help close and heal small cuts and wounds in the skin, and being exactly what I had, I thought these would be perfect for the job. These strips come in a sealed package to keep them sterile, and there is two sizes in the box. One is smaller for thin wounds and the second one is slightly thicker for bigger wounds. I used the smaller ones as I didn't think my wound was big enough for the larger strips.
The packaging is quite easy to peel open, and then you peel each indivdual strip off a plastic backing. These are then ready to put onto the wound. I only needed 2 for the wound, but there is 10 on each plastic backing. The strips themselves are quite a good length, so you can easily hold the wound in place and have enought support for it to heal properly.
The strips are white in colour, but are not so bright that they stand out. They almost blend into the skin, so you do not have to draw attention to your wound, especially if it is on the face. The cut I have is on a bend of my finger, and no matter how much I have used my finger today, the strips are still securely in place, and the wound feels tighter than it did before with just an ordinary plaster.
I paid £2.79 for a box of these strips, which I think is a great price as it saves me from a trip to the doctors and it means I can heal easily and quickly. The fact the strips hold the wound closed means there is less chance of infection.
I personally recommend these, and even if you have no current need for them, I recommend having these handy in the medicine cabinet as you never know when they may be needed. These are available in all good chemists, Boots and Superdrug.
before i go on can i please just say many people have told me i need to write longer reviews, i have trouble writing what i do, i cant use my hands, and rely on a helmet with a stick on with which i type. so i do try my best to type for as long as i can.
These should not be mistaken for an alternative to palsters, if you have a relatively small cut you're not going to need these. They can seem expensive, and if you do need them then your nurse at your local gp surgery or your accident and emergancy dept can apply them for you and give you after care advice.
Having said that, if you can afford them they are well worth having in the first aid box. I was a nurse and before my illness took over my body i ahd no problems in using these, but to the non professional they can be a bit tricky to use.
You just clean your hands, clean the wound, and carefully ( cos it can hurt like heck) pinch the edges back together, and place these strips over to the hold the skin back in palce ( instructions are included)
It's a rerun of 'Psycho' if I cut myself. Even the tiniest nick in the skin looks like a major accident. A friend told me about Steristrips which act in the same way as 'stitches'. They close the skin and stop the bleeding. These transparent strips come in two lengths and they are attached to a plastic backing. They are quite expensive to use so I cut through the plastic and made them into useable lengths. They are still on the plastic but I won't have to worry about cutting them if I need them. All you do is close the cut by pressing gently together with CLEAN hands and use the steristrip to hold it closed. A long cut may take more than one. You only get about a dozen strips in two sizes for about £7, so its well worth being economical and cutting them in advance. These are very easy to use, they stick well and I wouldn't be without them. They are better than an ordinary plaster for a cut because they hold the skin together and promote healing. No first aid box should be without these.
Sterile skin closure strips that are made of a porous, non-woven backing coated with a pressure-sensitive, hypoallergenic adhesive and reinforced with polyester filaments for added strength. Reinforced Steri-Strip skin closures provide general wound support for increased tensile strength and finer wound edge approximation.