How to Apply and Remove Butterfly Stitches
What are Butterfly Stitch?
A butterfly stitch is a type of self-adhesive bandage made from a mixture of cotton or gauze, alcohol, and other ingredients. A small amount of adhesive is applied first and then the bandage is stretched over the wound until it’s fully covered. (See photo above) The bandage may be used several times before needing to be replaced.
Why Use Butterfly Stitches?
Bands are often difficult to apply because they don’t adhere well to skin. They’re usually uncomfortable and leave marks. Also, if the bandage gets torn or ripped, it’s hard to get it back on without going through the pain of trying to re-apply the adhesive.
The most common reason why people don’t like using bandages is because they feel like there isn’t enough coverage. They also have trouble getting them on and off.
With butterfly stitches, the bandage covers the wound completely and stays put even if something happens to rip it or tear it. You can wear your bandage all day long without any problems.
How to Remove Butterfly Stitches?
Keep the scissors or knife close by.
Before beginning, make sure that your scissors or knife is within reach. Also, find a place to dispose of the bandage pieces when you’re done.
Make sure there are no pets or children in the vicinity. They could put the pieces in their mouth and choke.
Wash your hands.
You don’t want to introduce any foreign objects into the wound so wash your hands before you begin.
Dampen the bandage.
Take a damp cloth or paper towel and soak up some of the moisture from the bandage. The bandage should be damp to the touch, but not wet.
You don’t want to remove all of the adhesives. If you do, then it won’t stay on your skin while you try to get it off. You also don’t want to make it too dry because it could start to irritate your skin.
Slide the bands down.
You want to slide the band sideways until you can grasp one of the ends. Be careful when you do this because some of the adhesive might get on your fingers and palms.
You could accidentally stick yourself to other bandages or to other parts of your skin. Also, be careful not to catch any hair on your skin if you’re bald or shave your skin if you have hair.
Pull off the band.
Using your other hand, pull the band off of the skin. You want to pull straight away from the skin so you don’t rip or cut it accidentally.
If it does get caught on skin, try sliding it back on and pulling in the other direction. Some people prefer using tweezers to pull the bandage off of a small area. Take care not to pull out any hairs if you chose this method.
Continue for each bandage.
Continue this process until you’ve removed all of the bandages. Some people put a piece of tape over the area after they remove the bandages to keep any dirt or bacteria out while their wounds heal.
If you need instructions on how to apply the bandage, check out How to Apply and Remove Band-Aids.
Sources & references used in this article:
Popularizing poor man’s Steri-Strip–wash proof band-aid by BK Ramesh, N Naveen, KM Kamal… – Journal of Evolution of …, 2014 – go.gale.com
Method of removing medical adhesive with a remover comprising tetrahydrofurfuryl acetate by IN Askill – US Patent 7,354,889, 2008 – Google Patents
Wound closure using adhesive strips by E Cole – Nursing Standard, 2007 – go.gale.com
Tensionable knotless labral anchor and methods of tissue repair by DC Sullivan – US Patent 9,345,471, 2016 – Google Patents