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How do I Choose the Best Leg Bandage?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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You can find the best leg bandage for your particular injury by discussing treatment options with a doctor or pharmacist or by browsing your local pharmacy for options. If you have a minor sprain or cut, treatment is fairly straightforward, as there are specialized bandages for these types of injuries. Anything more severe should be evaluated by a health care professional.

For small scrapes, cuts, or other open wounds you can use a leg bandage with adhesive to cover the area and prevent dirt and germs from entering. These are found in almost any pharmacy or grocery store and come in various sizes to fully cover almost any minor wound. If your particular injury is especially large, won't stop bleeding, or is deeper than the first couple of layers of skin, you may need stitches, provided by a doctor or nurse.

Minor sprains or pulls may require a larger wrap bandage. These are generally made from strips of thick, stretchy fabric that easily wrap around the afflicted area to hold it still. Applying pressure also helps to alleviate pain in many cases. Only minor muscle and tendon injuries should be treated with an over the counter leg bandage. Injuries sustained by the bone should be braced and set by a trained medical professional.

You may also be able to find a leg bandage created to fit a specific area of the leg. There are items created to go on the knee, shin, or thigh to provide the best fit for optimum healing and pain relief. These can often be found in pharmacies.

If you are in doubt about which leg bandage to choose, speak with your local pharmacist to discuss your options. Minor injuries should begin to heal within a few days, so if wearing a bandage doesn’t seem to help or your injuries begin to worsen, you may have sustained a more severe injury than first believed. Sprains often look worse than they are in terms of severity. Swelling and bruising are both common, although they should begin to lessen within two or three days.

Prices for leg bandages vary based on the size and type. Adhesive bandages are often very inexpensive and are purchased in boxes with multiple items. They should be changed regularly, so more than one is necessary. Other varieties range from very cheap to moderately priced depending on whether or not you want a specialty product.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By literally45 — On May 18, 2014

I have a cast on my leg and I just discovered that there is a special type of leg bandage that I can use before showering to keep the cast dry. I had been using a large plastic bag with some tape but this wasn't working too well. I wish I had discovered this sealed, bathing bandage earlier. But I guess, better late than never.

By donasmrs — On May 18, 2014

@burcinc-- A long stretch bandage should work fine. Wrap it not too tight and not too lose around the foot and the ankle. This will provide some compression which reduces inflammation. It also slightly immobilizes the ankle so that it will heal more quickly. Just make sure that after application that it's not too tight. If you experience throbbing or if your toes start turning purple, you need to loosen the bandage.

I use this type of stretch bandage whenever I have an ankle strain or sprain. I usually keep it on for a few days and try to rest. You can follow the RICE procedure to speed up healing. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression (bandaging) and elevation.

By burcinc — On May 18, 2014

Which type of bandage should I use for a minor ankle sprain?

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