Nurse applies crepe bandage; Woman wraps crepe bandage around wrist; Athelete wears crepe bandages

Bandages are one of the most integral inclusions in any first aid kit and serve multiple uses in first aid – they come in various types, each with different benefits. Crepe bandages are washable and reusable cotton wraps that compress injuries and support the healing process.

What is a crepe bandage?

Nurse applies a crepe bandage to the arm of a patient

Crepe bandages are woven, elasticated bandages usually made of cotton. They can be used to provide compression to injuries as recommended by the PRICE method of treatment while still allowing a full range of joint and muscle movement. Their cotton construction means they can be washed and reused, allowing the skin underneath them to breathe. Due to their compressive qualities, they are also often used for dressing retention.

When should you use a crepe bandage?

While crepe bandages are extremely versatile, they still should only be used in the following cases:

To provide support during sports or rehabilitation

Crepe bandages can be used to compress joints or muscles during physical rehabilitation or high-impact sports like track and field or boxing. When wrapped around stressed body areas, crepe bandages can help prevent strains and sprains from occurring.

To reduce the swelling of injuries

Crepe bandages are also used by medical professionals to provide light compression to joint injuries. Their elasticity allows them to be stretched and wrapped firmly around a swollen joint while maintaining blood flow to the rest of the limb – this helps to reduce swelling.

To cover other dressings placed over an injury

The texture of crepe bandages makes them ideal for wrapping around wound dressings to protect them and secure them in place. This is why crepe bandages are usually found inside first aid kits. 

How do crepe bandages work?

The firm yet highly stretchy construction of crepe bandages allows them to apply pressure and light support without restricting blood circulation or range of movement. This compression helps to ease swollen tissue.

How long should you wear a crepe bandage?

Crepe bandages can be used for extended periods as they don’t limit movement or blood flow. You should continue to use a crepe bandage for as long as you need to until an injury is healed. It’s still recommended to remove a crepe bandage while sleeping, to ensure your circulation is not affected overnight.

Read our other blogs for more information on first aid or contact us for further advice and information on our products.

About the author:

Jo Stokes is a writer, marketer and trained first aider at First Aid Online.
Find out more about Jo.