First Aid Frequently asked questions

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First Aid: Frequently asked questions

Find out answers to questions from how to dress
a wound to what to include in your first aid kit,
plus help with dressings and earplugs

Published 05/10/2010

Want to know more about Boots Pharmaceuticals' first aid options? Let us answer your queries.

What should I include in my first aid kit?

There is no mandatory list of items that should be included in a first-aid kit; it will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances.

However, if you're seeking suggestions, then our Family First Aid Kit contains the following:

Other First Aid kits available include our Travel First Aid Kit

    What's the difference between a plaster and a dressing?

    A plaster is simply a small, adhesive dressing.

    Can you tell me about the different kinds of plasters you sell?

    We stock several different kinds of plasters. They include:

    Fabric plasters: These adhesive, flexible strips help protect cuts and grazes against dirt. Available in different product sizes

    Waterproof plasters: Waterproof plasters are ideal if you're seeking water-resistant protection for your wound. They have a strong adhesive, are caring to sensitive skin and have an antiseptic pad to keep wounds, cuts and grazes clean and dry.

    Faster healing hydrocolloid plasters: These plasters are not only breathable, waterproof and germproof – they also provide a moist environment for the wound. They can be used on weeping cuts and grazes. Wounds heal more effectively if they are not allowed to dry out. If your wound stays moist it may heal faster, reducing hard scab formation, pain and possible scarring.

    Spray plasters: Our spray plaster is a convenient way of creating an instant barrier over the wound. When sprayed on to a small graze or cut, it forms a transparent, breathable, flexible film that helps protect from water, dirt and germs.

      • To use the product effectively, follow the instructions on the label
      • If your wound is severe or a foreign body is present, seek medical help immediately

    What should I use to dress a wound?

    It depends very much on the size and severity of the wound. However, if you wish to dress a wound, it's important to remember to:

    What kind of tape should I use to fix a dressing in place?

    There are several options including:

    Microporous adhesive tape: This can be used to affix dressings to wounds and to hold bandages in place. If necessary, it can be used to cover small wounds with gauze padding, usually as a temporary measure until a proper dressing and bandage are available. It is lightweight, gentle and low adhesive.

    Zinc oxide tape: is usually white (sometimes tan or brown) in colour, non elastic and sticky. It comes in a variety of widths. It is used in a variety of applications aside from dressing wounds: for example, if you wish to limit the range of movement of a joint or protect your skin against blisters. It is a stronger tape which can also be used to strap/ support muscles when exercising.

      • To use the product effectively, follow the instructions on the label
      • If your wound is severe, seek medical help immediately

    I've heard about Boots Pharmaceuticals Stops Bleeding Fast Spray. What is it?

    Our Stops Bleeding Fast formula is a fine powder that you spray over a clean wound. This powder absorbs blood from minor cuts and grazes and forms a soft, gel-like layer over the wound to make it easier to dress.

      • To use the product effectively, follow the instructions on the label
      • Avoid contact with eyes
      • If bleeding persists, seek medical help

    What are the benefits of wearing a support on my ankle, knee, elbow or wrist?

    A support can give you more confidence to help you stay active. They are popular with sports enthusiasts and also people who require more day-to-day support for weak or ageing joints. Seek advice from a pharmacist about whether a support is right for you. The support should be sized correctly to ensure maximum benefit.

    Boots Pharmaceuticals stocks three main kinds of supports:

    Tubigrip Support Bandage: This is an elasticated bandage to help support sprains, strains and weak joints. It provides even pressure and can be used on ankles, elbows, wrists and lower arms. If you have never used a support before, you may want to try this product.

    Elasticated Support: This offers slightly more support than the Tubigrip and can be used for sports activity or everyday use. It can help prevent and treat injuries and ease discomfort and swelling.

    Neoprene Support: This is our premium support range. Neoprene – a flexible, synthetic material – warms the affected area, so creating greater flexibility in muscles, tendons and ligaments which reduces the risk of further injuries. Warming the affected area will also relieve pain, swelling and stiffness. Neoprene may be a good option if you are concerned about keeping your joints warm in cold weather.

      • If the sprain/strain is severe, seek medical advice immediately. If no improvement in the condition is seen within 72 hours, seek medical advice

    What kind of earplugs do you stock?

    We stock all kinds of earplugs to help meet your needs:

    Flight earplugs: These are designed to help relieve the discomfort associated with air pressure changes during a flight. A small hole in the plug helps release the pressure build-up in your ears. These earplugs also reduce noise levels which may help your ability to sleep.

    Swimming earplugs: These are designed to seal out water while allowing you to hear. They can be reused, provided they are washed between use.

    Noise reducing earplugs: Our soft, disposable foam earplugs are designed to provide protection against most harmful or irritating noises from everyday life from sources such as traffic, do-it-yourself activities, roadworks or snoring. They should be disposed of after use.

    Muffles wax earplugs: These earplugs are made of flexible wax which moulds to fit your ear. They reduce levels of unwanted noise and are multi-use, being suitable for swimming, sleeping, working or travelling. They should be disposed of after use.

    Soft silicone earplugs: These earplugs not only provide protection against unwanted noise – they also help improve ear hygiene. They are waterproof and suitable for use when swimming. They are easy to shape into your ear and provide a secure, comfortable fit over the ear canal.

    Do you stock earplugs that are suitable for children?

    Yes – both the swimming and flight earplugs come in children's sizes.

    Related categories:
    Shop the Boots Pharmaceuticals' First Aid range

    Find out more on Boots WebMD:
    First aid: what to do in a medical emergency
    First aid for parents
    First aid for minor burns and scalds

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