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What is a Profore® Bandage?

By Alice D.
Updated May 17, 2024
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Profore® is the registered trademark for a bandaging system that is manufactured by Smith & Nephew — an international medical technology company. The Profore® bandage is a four-layer bandaging system that is mostly used in the treatment of chronic venous leg ulcers. A range of kits with different size components are available to accommodate patients with a wide variety of limb sizes and shapes.

Venous leg ulcers are sores that develop when the leg veins are not returning blood back toward the heart the way they are supposed to. The veins in the leg have one-way valves that are supposed to keep the blood flowing back up the leg. If these valves become damaged or blocked, they may cause the blood to pool. This can lead to tissue damage, and a leg ulcer may eventually develop. These ulcers typically are difficult to heal and often are prone to reappearance.

The consistent application of the correct level of compression is a key factor in the healing process of venous leg ulcers. Bandages that apply too much pressure can cause tissue damage. If there is not enough compression applied, then the healing process could be slowed down. The Profore® bandage with its four-layer system of bandaging is designed to provide a high amount of compression at the ankle and then gradually decrease the amount of pressure as it moves up to the knee. Underneath the compression layers is a layer of padding to provide absorbency and comfort.

There are five elements to the Profore® bandaging system. The first element is a small, loosely knit pad that comes in direct contact with the actual wound and allows liquids from the wound to flow through it into the next layer. Then the Profore® bandage No. 1 — a soft, fleece-like absorbent padding — is wound around the leg from the toes to the knee. Extra padding can be used around the ankle bones and shins to protect them.

Profore® bandage No. 2 is a roll of light-knit dressing designed to absorb fluids and provide a smooth surface for the next layer. It is applied in a spiral with a 50-percent overlap. Profore® bandage No. 3 is a light-weight elastic compression bandage. The fourth and final layer, Profore® bandage No. 4, is an adhesive elastic compression bandage that holds all the layers underneath it in place, as well as applies additional compression.

Proper application of the Profore® bandage system is an important part of the treatment program. The Profore® bandage system typically has enough absorbency to last for a week while maintaining a consistent level of compression. Initially, it may be necessary to change the bandage more often because of wound drainage.

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Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On May 18, 2014

I have used Profore bandages, both in a hospital setting as well as at home to speed up the healing of ulcers. It was definitely beneficial and I wouldn't hesitate to use it again if I had to.

The only downside of Profore bandage is that it's kind of expensive. That's not an issue if the treatment is taking place at the hospital and if the insurance covers everything. But buying the kit to use at home can be very expensive, depending on how many weeks the bandages will be born.

I the beginning of my treatment, I was going through two sets of the bandages in one week. Then, I reduced it to one set per week. The bandages cannot be used for more than a week. The total cost of the bandages were quite high since I went through at least six sets. But of course, health comes first and I didn't mind paying more to get better sooner. But I can see how price can be a major issue for many people who cannot afford to use the bandages for many weeks.

By ZipLine — On May 17, 2014

@ddljohn-- As far as I know, Profore bandages are almost always applied by a medical professional. Not only is it difficult for someone to bandage themselves, but there is also a specific way and order for applying Profore bandages for leg ulcers. So I think that someone who does not know what they are doing could get it wrong and that would not benefit the patient.

If you are taught how to apply the bandages by a nurse, then I suppose you could do it at home. The bandages do come with instructions, but you should still ask your doctor first if it's okay to use them on your own. You don't want to end up causing yourself more harm.

By ddljohn — On May 17, 2014

Can I apply the Profore bandage at home? It sounds like it's difficult to apply and I certainly wouldn't want to get it wrong. Does the bandage come with detailed descriptions for home use or is it necessary for a medical practitioner to apply it?

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