Removing a Bandage Quickly Does Hurt Less

Adhesive causes more pain for men than for women
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 5:27 PM CST
In this July 14, 2009 file photo, a box of Johnson & Johnson BAND-AID bandages is shown in Boston.   (AP photo/Michael Dwyer, file)

(Newser) – Australian scientists have settled a long-running debate by confirming a popular assumption: It does, in fact, hurt less to remove an adhesive bandage quickly than to do so gradually. The researchers tested the pain levels of medical students who ripped off Band-Aids at different speeds and had them rate the pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, quick tugs got an average a score of 0.92, while slow removal recorded a 1.58 score.

Men tended to report more pain than women, which the scientists chalk up to thicker body hair, the Australian reports. In addition, "the fact that scores were different between groups suggests that removal of dressings may be operator-dependent, and there may be skilled Band-Aid removers and less-skilled or unskilled Band-Aid removers," the authors wrote. They noted the results matched the preconceptions of the subjects, who were "made aware of the benefits to humanity that the study would potentially provide."

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