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New Band-Aids Change Color When Infected

New Band-Aids Change Color When Infected

When you have a cut, are you tempted to peek under the bandage? Rather than following that urge and letting bacteria and germs creep in, there may be a better method to monitor a cut’s status. Scientists have discovered a way for you to know whether a wound is infected or not, without removing the bandage.

Non-infected wound

At the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Munich, scientists have developed a way for adhesive bandages to change color once the presence of an infection is detected. Since the pH level of skin is higher when it is infected, an indicator dye turns a shade of purple when the skin reaches a pH value of 6.5 to 8.5 (healthy skin has a pH around 5). That way you know when the bandage turns purple, it’s time to clean up the wound and redress it.

Infected wound

What do you think? Are you interested in buying bandages that change color to indicate an infection? Or will you stick with the neutral color tones? Or does the whole topic of germ-infested band-aids gross you out?

Image Credit: Fraunhofer EMFT

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Megan Zehnder

Megan is an editor and producer for Care2's Healthy Living. Her main priorities are to live simply and build meaningful relationships with the people in her life. She loves to write and talk about environmental issues, healthy living, and women's rights. Beyond that, her interests change daily, but eating and cooking vegetarian food is always a favorite.


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10:30AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Very interesting, maybe be tempted to try it.

2:49AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Thank you

7:06PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

fascinating...might work especially well for children

3:33PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

yes, knowing what the dye is would be important, and as marilyn said, "if I don't know I have an infection......"
but if the dye is safe, this may be very good for parents who have little time for their kids, to catch an infection as little kiddo tries to zoom out the door...and take appropriate action.

2:24PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012


8:42AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Since skin is like a sponge and absorbs everything on it, I would hesitate to use this because of the chemicals required to make it have that chemical reaction to infection.
Thanks but I don't want to absorb more chemicals into my bloodstream...and if I don't have the common sense to know when I have an infected sore, then I'm in trouble in the first place!

This is just another gimmick to separate you from your hard earned dollars.

9:12AM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:20AM PST on Feb 15, 2011

Honestly, there's just something creepy about this. Not that it is a warning; that is a good thing. It just brings up a host of questions: what is the bandage treated with so that it will turn color, what exactly is the dye, are first and foremost. These days anything manmade (think GMO, pharmaceuticals, etc) often does way more harm then good, and by the time the harmfulness is found out it is too late for many folks. I'm just going to stick with good old triple antibiotic ointment, a regular band aid or gauze, and just change the thing every day with new dressing and antibiotic ointment. Cleanliness, not dye, is the most sensible path on this one.

12:28PM PST on Dec 6, 2010

Sounds interesting, but I fear it would give people a false sense of security thinking that they don't need to clean and change the bandage often enough because "Oh, it's not infected.'

4:13PM PST on Nov 26, 2010

Sounds like a great idea

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Well, it’s a nice one, I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing such informative stuff.

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