Washing hands under running water

Water Versus Wounds – Everything you should know about wound care and water.

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The main objective of wound care is to promote optimal healing by maintaining a trouble-free wound environment.

Everything you should know about wound care and water:

Chlorine can irritate the wound area and delay healing.
Bacteria can migrate deep into the wound and cause severe infection.

Water and moisture cause the skin to swell.  Not only can this affect wound healing, it can also increase the risk of bacterial intrusion and infection.  Therefore, it is important to protect the wound from water.  During a vacation, for example, it is important for the wound to be protected from contact with swimming pool water, which may contain animal excrement-based bacteria.


The chlorine found in pool water can needlessly irritate wounds and delay the healing process. Even sea water can be non-conducive for wound healing, as many seaside resorts have sanitary systems that discharge directly into the sea, creating an unhealthy healing environment.


What does proper wound care look like?



Always wash your hands carefully with soap and water before handling any wound. The most important thing for a wound is rest. Abrasion and pressure should be avoided.


Next, the impacted skin area needs to be cleaned. For this purpose, specially made wound-cleansing products such as Hansaplast Wound Spray are used. When necessary, the wound should also be properly disinfected. To assist with cleaning, a sterile gauze pad or clean cloth is recommended. Do not attempt to remove foreign objects lodged in the wound (such as pieces of glass) on your own; this should only be handled by qualified medical professionals.
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A bandage should be applied once the wound has been cleaned and the bleeding has stopped. Make sure that the bandage is applied without creasing or stretching in order to promote optimal wound protection.
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The expert says:

Waterproof bandages provide optimal protection against bacteria while still allowing the skin to breathe.
Carsten Hartkopf; Research & Development, Beiersdorf AG

Interview with Carsten Hartkopf,
Research & Development, Beiersdorf AG

“The main objective of wound healing is that the affected skin area heals quickly and properly, without further complications from external factors.  This is the only way to insure the best protection against infection—and infection is threat number one when it comes to wound healing.


Water and moisture create swelling of the skin.  This can allow the surface area of the wound to be susceptible to bacteria and germs, leading to an increased risk of infection.“

Over what period of time can a bandage be worn?

“From the beginning, until the wound is fully healed. The bandage should be changed daily, to check the healing process and to allow monitoring for inflammation and/or other abnormalities, as well as for hygienic reasons. Modern, waterproof bandages allow for breathability and are especially easy to wear. Certain innovative bandages, however, such as Hansaplast’s Fast Healing featuring the moist wound healing principle, should be worn for several days to provide the optimal healing process.“
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Which bandage for which use?

"Whether it be scrapes or cuts—there’s a bandage that’s right for each situation. Special watertight products don’t just guard against moisture, they allow the skin to breathe and stretch. Because the bandages are designed to flex, they should be applied without creasing or excessive tension.“
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Do bandages support wound healing?

“Bandages provide wound healing support from the moment of injury through the end of the wound healing process. They also help protect skin tissue from physical irritation, contamination and infection.“
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Hansaplast products that protect against water


Hansaplast Aqua Protect Strips provide ideal protection while washing, showering, bathing and swimming. They are 100% waterproof, stay attached to the skin and protect the wound with a soft pad.

Hansaplast’s Fast Healing bandages are also waterproof— providing dependable wound protection during daily contact with water, while also helping accelerate the wound healing process by up to 50% in comparison to standard bandages.  The skin-friendly polyurethane pad keeps the wound area moist, thereby accelerating healing while reducing the risk of scarring.

The Hansaplast Aqua Protect Med XXL bandage is the perfect answer for large wound areas. This waterproof, extra large bandage provides optimal protection from water and moisture and includes a pad that incorporates antiseptic silver to help reduce the risk of infection. Hansaplast Aqua Protect Med XXL provides protection while showering, washing and bathing, and stays attached with a strong, dependable adhesive.


How to prevent scars and help wounds heal better


It is most important that a wound remains consistently protected. Only in this way can infection and the risk of complications be minimized.

Another important factor is rest, which includes not touching the scab (let alone removing it) as well as avoiding abrasion and pressure from clothing or other outside factors.

UV rays and sunlight exposure should be avoided during all phases of wound healing, which can lead to red, visible scars and skin discoloration.
The term “better healing“ doesn’t just apply until the completion of the wound healing process.  Even after 10 years, so-called “remodeling,“ or scar correction is possible with the help of special bandages and ointments.  Consult your pharmacist or a trusted physician about applicable products.

What else can you do?

To prevent wounds in the first place, consider wearing rubber gloves during washing to guard against cuts.
Be careful about overusing disposable razors while shaving. After the blades begin to dull, it is natural to automatically apply more pressure, which increases the risk of cuts.

When working with sharp objects such as knives, scissors or saws, approach your task in a calm manner. Working hectically or when overtired increases your risk of injury.

When should you consult a physician?  When...

  • The wound has cleaved (split open)
  • Blood gushes from the wound
  • The bleeding cannot be stopped
  • There are signs of an infection (reddening, swelling, pain, throbbing, excessive heat)
  • There are foreign objects in the wound
  • It is a bite from a person or an animal
  • The wound is on the face
  • You have insufficient tetanus protection
  • You have questions, or are unsure of the severity of the injury

Always see your doctor if the wound is deep, bleeding or shows signs of infection like reddening, swelling or warmth. 
Also make sure to seek medical help if you are not able to clean the wound properly.
In case you have diabetes proper wound care is of special importance. Always discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor and/or podiatrist, even for the care of minor wounds and skin cracks – especially on your feet.
Please note that none of the above mentioned tips or recommendations are a substitute for medical advice. Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products' packages. Important: consult a health professional in case of any uncertainty of treating your wound properly.
The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care or advice. If you have or suspect a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

For further information regarding Hansaplast products, please contact us via email on phc@beiersdorf.com. Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products' packages.