Aid Tools

Pills, Aid tools

Apart from the described medications and many others, pharmahouses also offer first aid supplies such as bandages, dressings, medical tapes, antiseptic wound wipes, as well as syringes and needles. Moreover, there can also be found other useful products matching customers’ needs in certain situations, including a variety of insect protection repellents, anti-snoring devices, compression stockings, and insoles for flat free pain. They could be obtained by anyone and help resolve serious or not so serious but annoying problems (they can act against irritants or eliminate the feeling of discomfort). Here is some more information about each of these products.

Bandages

Bandages are a very important addition to every first aid kit and can be found in every pharmahouse. They are pieces of material used to provide support, bind or wrap a wound, or restrict the movement of a part of the body. There are a few types of bandages that are extremely useful in many different situations. Some bandages are used with and others without a dressing. They are all aimed to relieve pain and make the injured patient feel more comfortable. The most common types include gauze roller bandages, compression bandages, triangular bandages, and tube bandages.

Gauze roller bandages

Gauze roller bandages are the most common type of bandage, made from a single continuous woven strip of material. They are produced in a wide variety of widths and lengths, and can be used for almost any bandage application, including holding a dressing against an open wound. When used with a dressing, the dressing is directly applied to the affected area and the bandage is tightly wrapped around it to hold it into place. Gauze roller bandages can also apply pressure to a limb and support a joint.

Compression bandages

The term compression bandage covers a wide range of bandages with many different applications. Short stretch compression bandages are made from cotton fibers, which lowers their extensibility. They are the most appropriate option for protecting wounds on one’s hands, and especially one’s fingers. They have a low resting pressure and are most often applied to limbs. They can be used for a long-term treatment, as they do not hinder the normal flow of body fluids. Long stretch compression bandages contain elastic fibers and have a high extensibility, which means their high compressive power can be easily regulated. However, their elasticity provides constant pressure which is why they should be removed at night or when the patient is in a resting position.

Triangular bandages

Triangular bandages, also called cravat bandages, are mostly used as slings to support an injured limb. They are put into a right-angled triangle and secured with safety pins. They can also be folded as a normal bandage to protect open wounds, or in a special way for specialized applications. Triangular bandages are non-sterile items, and therefore more attention should be paid when they are applied near open wounds. Some triangular bandages can be used just once, while others are allowed to be reused after they have been washed and sanitized.

Tube bandages

Tube bandages are a comfortable and simple solution to retain a dressing on a finger or toe. They are usually applied through the use of an applicator, and are rotated around the affected area in a continuous circle. Besides, when used properly, they can stop bleeding.


Dressings

Dressings are used to help wounds heal and prevent infections or any other further complications. There is a wide variety of dressings and which one is the most effective depends on the type and the seriousness of the injury and other related factors such as its size and location. In order to be able to make the best choice, it is important to be aware of the different dressings available at pharmahouses. Some of the dressings that are believed to lead to optimal healing include hydrocolloid, hydrogel, alginate, and collagen.

Hydrocolloid dressings

Hydrocolloid dressings are effective when used on burns, dry wounds, necrotic or granular wounds, pressure ulcers, and venous ulcers. The flexible material this type of dressings is made of absorbs water and forms a gel which keeps the wound clean and protects it from infections. Hydrocolloid dressings are self-adhesive, so it is not necessary to apply them in combination with a tape. They are easy to apply and comfortable to wear even for people with very sensitive skin. They are designed for extended wear and are typically changed every three to seven days. They are produced with or without an adhesive border and in various thicknesses and shapes for body areas such as elbows, heels, and the sacrum.

Hydrogel dressings

Hydrogel dressings are developed to provide a greater amount of moisture to the affected area. They consist of 90% water suspended in gel base which promotes efficient healing of wounds with a lot of fluid discharge. Not only do hydrogel dressings provide hydration to the skin, but they also help relieve the pain for up to six hours and speed up the healing process. It is recommended to change the dressing every four days or when too much hydration has been delivered to the wound. As a result of the fluid content of this kind of dressings, the discomfort of changing is reduced. They are ideal to use in the cases of dry wounds, minor burns, partial or full-thickness lesions, abrasions or scrapes, and radiation skin damage.

Alginate dressings

Alginate dressings are available in pharmahouses for a wide range of wound situations. Many of them are made of acids that are derived from seaweed, and combined with sodium. The gel which the seaweed fibers are transformed into helps absorb high amounts of fluid and heal the wound more quickly. These dressings protect the injured skin area from harmful bacteria and speed up the process of new skin growth by keeping the wound moist. The gel encourages natural debridement which removes dead tissue and aids recovering. Alginate dressings can be applied to wounds that have moderate to high amounts of drainage, burns, pressure ulcers, venous wounds, diabetic wounds, and more. It is important to remember that they are suitable only for wet wounds with high liquid drainage, as otherwise they could complicate wound healing by drying out the affected area too quickly.

Collagen dressings

Collagen dressings significantly contribute to wound healing by stimulating new tissue growth. They are comprised of collagen which is derived from animal sources and boosts the development of new cells by acting as natural scaffolding on which the skin can grow. Most collagen dressings also contain antimicrobial agents which provide protection against any possible infections. This product comes in different forms and sizes, but it should be applied with a secondary dressing to keep the dressing into place. Collagen dressings are on the market in the form of gels, pastes, and powders. The frequency of changes depends on the type of wound, but they have generally shown good results when changed in approximately seven days. They offer effective protection for chronic or stalled wounds, skin grafts, second-degree burns, surgical wounds, and more.

Medical tapes

Bandages, Medical tapes

Medical tapes are materials needed to secure wound dressings, bandages or other devices. They are available in rolls of various widths or pre-cut strips and can be waterproof, breathable; some of them contain an ingredient that helps protect skin. Medical tapes usually have a hypoallergenic adhesive that holds firmly onto skin, dressings, and can be removed easily without damaging the skin. There are many different types of medical tapes included in first aid kits, but not everyone is aware of the difference between them and their uses. The ability to differentiate these wound care products and to find the right type to use according to the situation gets people on the road to recovery. Pharmahouses currently offer micropore paper tape, transpore polyethylene tape, and zinc oxide tape.

Micropore paper tape

Micropore paper tape is mainly used to secure frequently changed dressings and bandages. The reason why it is called micropore is that it has tiny micropores, or in other words, holes, that allow air circulation and make the tape breathable. Micropore paper tape is most often made of non-stretch paper pulp and adhesive. It is lightweight and gentle and its hypoallergenic adhesive holds firmly onto all types of skin. It can be removed easily without harming the skin.

Transpore polyethylene tape Transpore polyethylene tape is hypo-allergenic, waterproof, and simple to handle. It is normally produced from non-stretch transparent polyethylene film. Its transparency allows visualization of the skin. The evaporation of moisture through the skin, which is typical for it, makes it breathable. The strong adhesion it offers promotes it as the preferred option when a stronger hold of medical tubing or dressing is needed. It is easy to tear into strips and can be used with gloves. It works well for patients with sensitive skin. Zinc oxide tape

Zinc oxide tape is also called strapping tape or sports tape due given that it has been successfully used to prevent sports injuries, soft tissue damage, or help wounds and cuts heal more quickly. It has been extremely effective when used by athletes in sports to immobilize joints and prevent pain. This kind of tape is usually made of non-stretch cotton or rayon, combined with a zinc oxide adhesive and can be found in different sizes and colors. Zinc oxide can last for longer periods, as it is moisture tolerant.

Antiseptic wound wipes

Antiseptic wound wipes are an invaluable addition to every first aid kit. They are the safest solution to clean a wound and prevent infection. Antiseptic wipes are much needed in people’s everyday life, as they are perfect in the cases of cuts, abrasions, and punctures. They are sting free and hygienic, as they are the first item used to clean the affected area before applying dressing or bandage. The compounds which antiseptic wipes contain combat bacteria and are an indispensable part of the beginning of the healing process. There are various types of antiseptic wound wipes. For example, providone-iodine prep pads (PVP) and antiseptic towelettes are sold in every pharmahouse.

Providone-iodine prep pads (PVP)

Providone-iodine prep pads are saturated with povidone iodine which acts against bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and yeast, and prevents infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns. PVP-iodine is believed to provide longer germicidal activity than other iodine solutions. A small amount of this product should be applied to the affected area one to three times a day and then when the wound dries out, it can be covered with a sterile bandage or dressing.

Antiseptic towelettes

Antiseptic towelettes are a compulsory item for every hospital and salon where antiseptic cleaning is required. Their main active ingredient is benzalkonium chloride which is a non-toxic and non-irritating antiseptic. Its antiseptic properties help prevent infection. Antiseptic towelettes are alcohol-free and can be used for antiseptic cleansing of face, hands, and body. Moreover, they are sting-free for sensitive skin areas and temporarily relieve pain and itching caused by minor burns, scrapes, and insect bites. They are also good for perineal use and maternity care.


Syringes and needles

Syringe can be described as a long plastic body with a needle sticking out of it, used to inject fluid into, or withdraw fluid from the body. Many people need syringes in their everyday life to treat a medical condition. It is vital for injection drug users to have access to sterile syringes, as sharing needles has increased the risk of acquiring HIV, hepatitis, or other devastating infectious diseases. Fortunately, the sale of syringes at pharmahouses has been legalized in many countries now, and therefore safe syringes have become easily accessible and more affordable. In order to be able to use these small medical devices for a prescription medicine, it is necessary to know how they work and most importantly be aware of the varieties available. Different syringes and needles have been designed for different purposes. Syringe selections depends on the volume of medication to be injected into the body and the desired pressure flow. Volumes are normally measured in centimeters (cc) or milliliters (mL). Needles are classified according to their thickness and length. Short needles are less painful and usually used to inject a fluid underneath the skin, whereas long needles are the better option for an intramuscular injection. The most popularized syringes are luer lock tip syringes and slip tip syringes.

Luer lock tip syringes

Luer lock tip syringes are more secure, as the needles are inserted into the syringe and twisted to form a locked connection, preventing liquids from leaking and accidental removal of the needles.

Slip tip syringes Slip tip syringes are preferred due to the reason they allow users to simply push the needle hub onto the syringe. They are available with and without an attached needle. They can be fitted with either a conventional needle or a safety needle.

Insect repellents provide protection against insect bites

Mosquitoes and other insects have always been seen as tiny monsters having the power to ruin one’s holiday or outdoor activity. Apart from being annoying and causing unpleasant symptoms such as redness, swelling, and itching, insect stings can pose more serious threats. Some of them might carry and transmit diseases which there is no vaccine for and could lead to long-term complications. The list of the types of infections which insect stings can lead to includes West Nile virus (transmitted by mosquitos), La Crosse encephalitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, malaria (also called paludism), Lyme disease (spread through tick bites), and dengue fever. The best protection for people against mosquitos, biting flies, chiggers, and ticks is to repeatedly apply insect repellent during their holiday or before doing outdoor activities that put them at risk. Insect repellents are available at pharmahouses in a wide variety of forms and concentrations. Aerosol and pump-spray products are not only used for skin applications, but also for treating clothing. Liquids, creams, lotions, and sprays are directly applied to the skin. The choice of an appropriate product should be made according to the level of exposure to insects. The active ingredients of some of the top-performing products are DEET, picaridin (icaridin), and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

DEET

DEET has long been used as a chemical against insect bites and is believed to be one of the most reliable and highly effective insect repellents. It can be found under different brand names, in the form of a lotion, spray and many others. Concentrations of DEET vary from 5% to 100%. Products with 10% to 35% provide the needed protection in most of the cases, lasting from one to up to twelve hours. The difference in products with higher concentration is that they simply make the protection last longer. DEET should be used carefully, especially in children, as they could experience irritation or other unfavorable reactions. For this reason, it is recommended for repellents used on children to contain no more than 30% DEET. Moderate concentration minimizes the damaging effect of DEET on plastic and gear components. DEET should not be directly applied to the face or to open wounds, cuts, and irritated skin areas. DEET should not be combined with sunscreen, as sunscreen needs to be often reapplied and can overexpose to DEET.

Picaridin (Icaridin)

Picaridin (Icaridin) is another effective synthetic compound that repels insects, ticks, and chiggers. It has been derived from a plant extract from the same plant genus that produces pepper and has been approved for use up to 20%. A limited but increasing number of repellents contain picaridin. When applied to the skin or used on clothing, it acts by blocking insects from sensing their prey. As compared to DEET, it equals 10% of its concentration, but it has been proved to work better on flights. Moreover, picaridin is odorless, has no harmful effect on plastics, and does not feel sticky or greasy. Children have not shown increased sensitivity to this product.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus

Lemons in fluid

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is produced by the leaves and twigs of lemon eucalyptus trees and is chemically synthetized, normally in the form of a spray. When applied, the product from lemon eucalyptus makes people less vulnerable to bites of mosquitos and other hungry bugs by masking the environmental cues through which mosquitos locate their target. It has a long-lasting effect as a mosquito repellent and has also been used to relax muscle spasms and relieve osteoarthritis pain. This kind of repellent is not safe to be used internally, but the cases of skin reactions when applied externally are very rare. Its possible effect on pregnant or breastfeeding women is not clear, so it is advisable for them to avoid it.

Anti-snoring devices

Snoring is most often not a serious health issue, but it can turn into a relationship problem between snorers and their sleep-deprived partners. During sleep the muscles in the soft palate, throat and tongue relax. Some people’s muscles relax too much, leading to loosening of the tissues in the throat which sag and partially obstruct the airway. The reduced breathing space causes these relaxed loosened tissues to vibrate and this is how the harsh and buzzing sound of snoring occurs. Other reasons for snoring might be an obstruction which is a result of nasal deformity, enlarged tonsils, or nasal congestion due to allergies or polyps. They require a medical examination and taking certain measures. Fortunately, there are different methods to deal with snoring, and restore the peace and calmness, which do not necessarily include sleeping in separate bedrooms. They depend on the reason for snoring and how bad it is. Pharmahouses offer various modern anti-snoring devices that can help alleviate snoring right away. Two of the top best and most commonly used anti-snoring devices are Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) and Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD).

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) are recommended by many doctors and medical specialists as an effective way to reduce or eliminate snoring in the cases when the tongue drops to the back of the throat. MAD should be worn by snorers while sleeping. It works by simply keeping the lower jaw into a more forward position to pull the tongue forward and thus prevent the upper airway from collapsing. This is how this kind of anti-snoring device allows air to flow more freely and reduces soft tissue vibration. It is a relevant choice for simple snoring, mild snoring, and even sleep apnoea. Besides, when the device is placed into the mouth, it is kept stable by the teeth and there is evidence that it can positively influence grinding teeth issues. The mouth of MAD users is closed and they need to breathe through the nose. However, there are also models that have small holes which make it possible to breathe through the mouth.

Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD)

Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD), also called Tongue Stabilizing Devices (TSD), are very helpful for snorers whose blocked air ways during sleep lead to a lack of oxygen supply. They might be the better option for people who while using MAD, have experienced side effects such as jaw pain and soreness. TRD users should put the device inside, into the mouth, and insert their tongue into its chamber. The device works by holding the tongue slightly forward and away from the throat, so it does not fall into its position that causes snoring. TRD possesses a number of advantages. For example, it treats mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and can also positively influence people with large tonsils or long uvula. However, holding TRD in place is only possible when the mouth is closed, so it may not be the most relevant choice for those having nasal congestion unless it has holes allowing mouth-breathing.

Compression stockings

Compression stockings are elastic hosiery worn around the leg. One of the functions of the heart is to pump blood against gravity up to veins and legs. The regular contraction and relaxation of calf muscles around the veins is very important, as it helps blood move back to the heart. Some people have a weakness of vein walls or valves which complicates venous circulation and causes leg swelling, achiness, and leg fatigue. Compression stockings are designed to reduce venous pressure by supporting the veins and increasing circulation. In other words, wearing compression stockings prevents circulatory problems, cramped conditions, and more particularly the occurrence or further progression of diseases such as edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis. They improve blood flow and thus positively influence the work of valves and relieve pain. This product is not only used by people at risk or with medical conditions, but also by athletes, flight attendants, nurses, pregnant women, and others. They are most effective when put on in the morning and removed at bed time. Different compression stockings differ in the quality of fabrics, their sizes and levels of compression. There are knee-high, thigh-high stockings, and tights. Moreover, there are compression sleeves which cover just the tube part without the feet. The most appropriate type depends on the reason for wearing them. Patients who need to wear compression stockings due to a medical condition are instructed by their health provider.

Insoles for foot problems

Insoles, also known as footbeds, are offered by pharmahouses as a solution for any feet-related problems. They are pieces of material that are inserted into the shoes and attached to the upper side for a more comfortable fit and to provide support to exhausted feet. There are a few different materials which insoles are made of including foam, leather, and gel. Different insoles have different prices and satisfy different needs. Everyone’s feet are different which makes it difficult to always find the perfect pair of shoes. Apart from decreasing the size of a shoe that is slightly bigger, insoles also positively affect odor and moisture, absorb shock, and prevent blisters. There are more specialized types of insoles, referred to as orthotics or orthotic insoles, that can help those with more serious feet and posture problems. Orthotics relieve arch pain, heel pain, and pain in the ball of the foot and are a good option for people with plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. One way to deal with the pain and aches for the admirers of high heels is to insert a foot cushion or metatarsal pad which reduces the pressure on metatarsal bones. Some insoles are available over the counter, while others require a prescription by a podiatrist. If wearing this product in their everyday life, it is advisable for users to wash insoles every once in a while or at least take them out and let them breath out and dry from the moisture.


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