Dermatology (Skin conditions)

Paste Bandages (Used to Treat Atopic Eczema)

Contact: 0191 282 4485 - Dermatology Outpatient Department

This information has been produced to explain what paste bandages are and how they are used as a treatment for atopic eczema.

There are two types of paste bandages available from the RVI dermatology outpatients.

The type most commonly used is called PB7 or Viscopaste. This bandage is covered in a thick white zinc paste which acts as a moisturiser. The other type of paste bandage used is called Ichthopaste and contains an ingredient called ichthamol, which soothes itchiness in the skin.

The main benefits of these bandages is to moisturise the skin and save the skin from further damage from scratching, as well as allowing the skin to heal from previous scratching. These bandages are also very useful on the arms and legs for areas of eczema, which have become much thickened from scratching over a period of time. They cool and soothe the skin and can help to break the cycle of itching and scratching.

If a topical steroid ointment/cream is used under the bandages it will be absorbed more efficiently so it should only be applied once a day.

These bandages can be messy to apply. After the child or adult has had their bath and dried themselves, an emollient, topical or steroid (if required) should be applied, followed by the paste bandages.

There is a special technique to putting them on which will be demonstrated. A ‘pleat’ technique is used rather than winding them around the arm and/or leg. This stops the bandage from tightening when it dries out and ensures the patient can fully move their arms or legs as usual. 

The bandages should be changed every 24 hours or can be used only at night. A soft cotton tubular bandage is applied over the top of these bandages to stop the paste soaking in clothing.

It is important not to use these bandages if infection is present in the skin.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Dermatology Outpatient department on 0191 282 4485

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