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There are times in life at which standard Elastoplasts simply aren't big, resistant, absorbent, or protective enough. I've ran headfirst into a good many such times, and have a history of resorting to sticking on tissue paper with microporous tape. Needless to say, when I arrived at the hospital, the nurses didn't think much of my dressing skills. They gave me a little "first aid box" for when I should run into difficulties, containing sterilising wipes, wound closures, and a few sheets of different sizes, with "Mepore" written on them in green lettering. On closer inspection, they turned out to be large, soft sticking plasters.
Mepores come in varying sizes, from 7 by 8 centimetres to 9 by 35. They come in little paper and plastic packets, sealed so as to keep the dressing sterile until used. The plasters themselves are made of white viscose, and full of little pores, so as to absorb body fluids. In the centre, there's an absorbent pad, similar to those in standard Elastoplasts - the principal difference being that, as the adhesive is quite gentle and the whole dressing is absorbent, it doesn't matter too much if the borders cover the wound, too. The corners are rounded, so as to seal better to the contours of the skin around the wound.
To take a Mepore out of its packet, pull the tabs on the packet - although I've been known to become so frustrated with this sometimes fiddly process that I simply rip the end off! Be warned, though, that this can damage or ruck up the plaster inside (although I've found them impossible to tear), so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're in a hurry. Remove the plaster, peel off its Elastoplast-style backing, and smooth it over the affected skin, centring the pad in the middle on the middle of the wound. If the Mepore becomes old and scrabby before the wound is healed, it can be replaced as needed. Due to the gentle adhesive, there isn't the slightest pain in removal.
One disadvantage to the Mepore's incredible absorbency is that it absorbs not only fluids from a wound, but every liquid that touches it. This means that, with a Mepore on your wrist or hand, it can be difficult to wash your hands without it getting waterlogged, too heavy to stick, and falling off! The rounded corners also have a tendency to peel after about ten hours of being applied, although, to be frank, ten hours is too long for the same dressing to be left on a wound. If a Mepore is peeling at the corners, it's possibly an indication that it's been on too long to be hygienic!
When a large, absorbent dressing is necessary, a Mepore is ideal. I'd like to see them as staples in first aid boxes around the country - I've butchered myself with tissue paper and Elastoplasts one time too many. They're not without their failings, but their only failings are inevitable trade-offs with their advantages. In terms of gratitude, in terms of how much red stuff I'd have lost were it not for Molnlycke's kind invention, I give Mepores a hard-earned four out of five. Thank you, Big Healthcare. Thank you.
I'd never heard of Mepore until very recently when the doctor told me to go and buy some. Essentially it's not something you want to buy because if you are getting it then it means there's something wrong with you that won't be covered by a conventional plaster!
I don't know what's wrong with me and neither does the doctor at the moment, but essentially my forearm is infected in a large blistered and swollen circle that looks like a burn gone into overdrive (haven't burnt myself). As it's weeping and potentially infectious I need to keep it covered most of the time. At the moment this involves applying an antibiotic cream twice a day and covering it each time with Mepore.
So what is Mepore?
Well it's essentially a big plaster. It's white in colour - the middle section is padded (to cover the wound) and it has a wide, sticky outedging that adheres to your skin. They come in more than one size and I'm using a larger 10x11cm pad.
According to some reading up I've done online the material used allows your skin to breath through it so you don't get that horrible white flesh appearance you get when your skin stays damp for a long time (and which is also more prone to infections).
How do they come?
They are supplied in cardboard boxes and can be bought in this capacity, or individually from your pharmacy. Each pad is contained in a sterile, peel back packaging similar to that of a conventional plaster. Once into this the pad is covered on one side by two paper like strips that peel back to reveal the sticky surface.
How much do they cost?
That all depends on how you buy them - I've seen them for as little as 35p each (on the size I'm using) online, but you'll pay more at a pharmacy. I paid 54p each in a local shop - I would buy online, but I don't know how long I'm going to need these for so I don't really want to bulk order just yet!
Do they work?
I find these pads stick to the skin incredibly well - much better than any plaster I've ever used. the only downside to that is it does hurt a bit when it comes to pulling them off. The pads themselves do seem to have a fair absorbency but I can't say conclusively as I'm not bleeding, my arms is just constantly and slowly weeping - I can see through the pad where the fluid has seeped into it, but it hasn't come through the other side so my clothes are unaffected. Another plus is that the side of the pad which is in contact with your skin doesn't stick to the wound and cause more damage.
Would I recommend them?
The answer has got to be yes - ok they're not cheap when you've got to use several a day, but they do a very good job. Before my would was sticking to my clothes and vice versa getting jumper fluff stuck to it. Every time I applied cream I'd end up getting it on something else however quick it was.
Mepore allows me to go about my daily life in much the same way as normal and with the added bonus that I don't have to repulse people with my rather nasty looking arm. Here's to hoping things start clearing up though and I don't have to use it much longer!
I'd definately recommend these if you have an wounds that a normal plaster won't cover, or if you find that regular plasters keep falling off.
That's the best Halloweenish title i could come up with haha. I have kept all the graphic details of use in this review, purely in the spirit of halloween...
(+) @ MY EXPERIENCE @
I got given these by a doctor in a pack of ten after having minor surgery on my foot, which, to get in the spirit of halloween, left me with blood gushing out of my toe, and pus filled blobs under my skin thanks to a biblical infection (insert evil laugh here).
On a more serious note though they did prove to be useful, they were better than the average "off the shelf" plasters & dressings you pick up for a few pence at Asda. I used them to wrap around my toes for about a week, the remaining one i still have is in my bathroom somewhere. Generally speaking my experience with these was positive, they are better than your average plasters and they do provide better comfort, grip and padding. These coupled with a bandage are quite comfortable and unlike the plasticky ones, don't abrade your skin so hard you end up with a red mark...
(-) @ PRICE & AVAILABILITY @
So something negative here, right of the shelf these will cost you around £13 for 55, 7x8cm Dressings. That's a negative simply because of the price, these are much more expensive than the so called "regular" dressings/plasters. You can get them cheaper online, or as i did, just got them for free when my doctor handed them to me. I didn't need a prescription, he just gave me the box in his office, although you can get these under prescription as i found out, so two ways to get them from your doctor but bear in mind the prescription boxes are tiny and you pay a lot more for the prescription than the value of the product itself. It's not like they're drugs or anything so i'm sure they can prescribe them to you quite easily. In supermarkets they aren't common and instead own brand or the main company brand ones are displayed on the shelf, but do keep an eye out for them. So availability is not great but they can be found.
(+) @ PACKAGING & EASE OF USE @
When i was given these they came in a plain white box which had ten of them in, they each came loose in the box with the usual overlapping paper tabs stuck on the back to keep them clean and safely sterile while in the box. The packaging covers the whole plaster and the overlapping tab is more than big enough to get your thumb and finger together on, and pull it off. The paper is not thick, nor is it too thin but it has that waxy back on it which curls up when you take it off.
I'd recommend binning these two waxy strips immediately because if you change the dressings regularly they soon build up in a pile on your desk, as i found out sadly. This is the only packaging though before you actually get to your plaster which is very helpful because supermarket ones are individually wrapped in plastic sheeting AND have that waxy paper on the back and it's just not needed, if anything its pointlessly wasteful and creates unneeded frustration for the end consumer. I'm not being funny but if i've cut myself and need a dressing quick i don't want to be fumbling around aimlessly trying to get some sealed-tight plastic off. So a good mark for Mepore there.
(N) @ GRIP/STICKINESS @
This is (N) neutral because it depends on how you look at it. These dressings are very sticky indeed, they peel off the skin with some discomfort and if like me you have hair on your toes, then this will be a somewhat painful ordeal for you. If you want a dressing that sticks and is reliable to the point where you know it's not coming off without a fight then this is for you. If you would rather have a dressing that comes off without pain, but equally doesn't stick too well, then these are not for you. The glue they use is very grippy, it does stick like superglue and they are hard to get off but when you're using them at an odd angle like me, having them wrapped around your toe, this is something quite handy.
(+) @ COMFORT, ABSORPTION, LENGTH OF USE @
So to round things off on a positive note, these are very comfortable. I didn't feel the dressings at all, they were quite thick, they were cushioning against my infected toe, they weren't abrasive or itchy and i even wore them in bed, which was a good idea. They fabric is not easily torn, it is not wafer thin, and does a good job of absorbing the blood, pus, diseases, water, bacteria, sweat etc that may occur wherever you stick it. The fabric does not necessarily "overflow" when it has a lot to absorb but more like it fills up. When the fabric fills up it doesn't just start dripping around the sides it seems to hold the gunk in place and because the seal around the edge of the fabric is quite tight, it doesn't seep out.
My infection was oozing pus and blood quite frequently while i was still taking antibiotics but these did absorb them well and they did not need changing more than once per day.
I changed my dressings every morning, and that was after spending quite a long time in my shoes, sweating into them and rubbing them off slowly with every footstep. Yes they do loose grip and yes if you wash them they will eventually come off but actually for dressings this size, they took quite a beating, and i even wore them to bed. So at least they do last quite a long time.
I am very pleased with my experience and can only recommend these to you, because there are some minor flaws like the price and (depending on if you think this is bad or good) the stickiness of the dressings.
(N) @ GENERAL INFO @
> Can be obtained with and without prescription
> Cost around £10 - £13 for approx 60
> Made in Sweden, of all places
> Available from: GP's, Amazon, Pharmacy's, Boots & more
I unfortunately suffer from eczema, which is a skin condition which can be itchy, sore and the affected skin becomes inflamed and red. I usually get flare ups once every few months and my last was around six months ago now, however I have been left with numerous marks and a small patch of sore, inflamed skin on my wrist, that refuses to go away, which is incredibly frustrating and I have tried pretty much everything to get rid of it.
A doctor prescribed me some cream to put on at night time which I found a nightmare as I toss and turn during the night and so the cream would rub off, meaning it was pointless putting it on, and as a result I decided to buy some 'wound pads' from my local poundland to cover my patch of eczema up and also keep the cream in place rather than rubbing off.
The ones from poundland weren't great and so I browsed through Amazon and came across these, the mepore adhesive dressings. They are sold in bulk and I bought a pack of 55. There are different sizes available, eg small 7x8cm ones for small cuts and grazes or larger 10x11cm ones for larger skin lesions eg surgical wounds. I purchased the 7x8cm ones and paid £9.45 with free shipping which I think is a decent price, however due to the rubbish quality I do feel a little ripped off.
My pack of 55 sterile dressings came in a white box with the product name and a picture of the dressing on the front making it clear what the box contained and what the product does. The box is cardboard so recycable and inside there are the dressings, which are individually wrapped in a thick paper type material which is white and blue. On the back there is a diagram showing you how to use the dressings (a step by step guide) which I found a little silly as it's not a hard task to stick what is essentially a large plaster onto my skin. There is also a use by date, which is one year from last month (the month that I purchased the dressings).
The paper type wrapper is easy to open and I am then greeted with a small square plaster which is made of a soft white cotton type material with two pieces of thin paper stuck to the back. Once the paper is peeled off the sticky back is ready to be stuck down onto my skin with the padded part going onto the inflamed area of skin. I always make sure none of the sticky bit makes contact with the sore skin as it could potentially make it worse.
The padded part of the dressing is a decent size and would be ideal for small cuts, grazes, insect bites etc but it wouldn't be big enough to cover a larger wound. It's a sqaure shape and so it covers the sore bit of skin evenly meaning it doesn't leave any of the sore skin exposed. The padded part is quite firm, kind of like foam, and it doesn't irritate my skin.
The sticky (adhesive) part of the pads don't irritate my skin either. They're sticky enough to stick down onto my skin however the adhesive isn't very strong, meaning it usually comes off within 5 minutes unless I stay deadly still. I suppose the reason it comes off so quickly is mainly because it's on my wrist though and obviously I move my wrist about alot. Once it has come off the stickiness has gone so it can not be stuck back down again - these dressings can obviously only be used once and should be then binned, this is stated on the box too.
The dressings are very thin and have an almost tissue paper like feel to them, they're lightweight though and comfortable to wear. I decided to buy some cheap bandage to wrap round my wrist at night to keep the dressing in place and it works a treat. I apply the cream onto my wrist at night, apply the dressing and then wrap the bandage around it to keep it in place. When I take the bandage off in the morning it hasn't soaked up the cream and it's kept my wrist protected and clean. The dressing is easy to take off and doesn't pull any hair out of my skin like alot of adhesive dressings can do.
I overall would not reccomend these dressings, as they're very 'cheap' feeling - they're thin with a strange toilet tissue type feel to them. The adhesive is too low so although they stick onto my skin easily, they come off within 5 minutes unless I am very still or if I have a bandage wrapped round it to keep it in place. To sum it up; not very cheap & not very cheerful!