All About Cohesive Bandages

All About Cohesive Bandage
25 October 2022

All About Cohesive Bandages

Cohesive bandage is an ingenious invention designed to make bandaging easy and efficient while providing optimum support and protection. Thanks to the intelligent design of cohesive bandage it’s widely used by physiotherapists, nurses, athletes, and veterinarians.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about cohesive bandage.

What is a cohesive bandage?

Cohesive Bandage Meaning

Cohesive bandage is a type of compression bandage that offers light support and elasticity. 

Although it’s called a bandage, cohesive bandage is also considered a type of tape or strapping because of it’s unique self-adhesive property. Cohesive bandage sticks to itself but not to skin, clothing, or hair. This means it can be used for snug-fitting taping jobs without the difficulty of removing adhesive tape from the skin, however it won’t slip around, slide down, or bunch up.

This self-adhesive feature makes it easier to apply and adjust tape as needed, for faster and more straightforward applications.

How does cohesive bandage work?

Generally, cohesive bandage is made from a blend of cotton, polymer yarns, and sometimes, latex. Steroban Cohesive bandages are made of Polypropylene, polyurethane, polyisoprene rubber and elastic. Its weave resembles a stretchy gauze, and its elastic quality gives cohesive bandage a puckered texture. 

The combination of the ridged texture and the rubber coating are what give cohesive bandage it’s self-adherent property. The elasticated weave means the bandage will cling and conform to the contours of the body, compressing layers together and helping the bandage to hold firm.

Steroplast Cohesive Bandage

As a leading supplier of first aid materials and sports injury rehab equipment, Steroplast’s brand of cohesive bandage is used by healthcare and injury rehab professionals across the UK. Our cohesive bandage comes in four popular widths and seven different colours, ideal if you need it to go with certain branding or sports team colours. 

Alongside Steroban Elastic Cohesive Bandage, we also sell Steroban Cohesive Riplite which is easier to tear and made for use on the go. 

Benefits of Steroban Cohesive Bandage and Riplite:

  • Latex-free
  • Hand tearable
  • Range of widths and colours
  • Individually wrapped and sealed rolls

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What is a cohesive bandage used for?

As a versatile, highly adaptable wrap, cohesive bandage is used to a wide range of ends.

Cohesive Bandage Uses


The light compression and breathability of cohesive bandages, make it a good material to cover and protect body parts following surgery. Post-surgical immobilisation with cohesive wrap helps to cushion joints and soft tissues and ease movement preventing over-extension.

Cohesive bandage is also useful for securing splints and covering plaster casts as it can be securely wrapped and readjusted without the difficulty of removing adhesive.

Cohesive bandage can be used as a comfortable alternative to dressing retention tape when dressings and other medical devices need to be held in place against the body. If you need to use surgical tape instead, take a look at our range.

Injury recovery and first aid

Whether covering up a wound dressing or supporting a soft tissue injury, the stretchy nature of cohesive bandage helps to hold everything in place. Snuggly wrapped around the body’s contours, the wrap will keep out of the way and provide excellent support while allowing the wearer to carry on with everyday activities.

Cohesive bandage can also be used to wrap around an ice pack and hold it against the body. It’s a good idea to apply a layer of cohesive bandage to the injured area first so that the ice pack isn’t directly against the skin.


Cohesive bandage does not stick to hair, making it an excellent candidate for bandaging animals with fur. In fact, cohesive bandage is sometimes called ‘vet tape’. Veterinarians use cohesive bandage to wrap injured animals to protect and offer support to aid healing and hold dressings in place of animals and pets like dogs and cats. 

Cohesive bandage is also used to wrap horses’ legs to protect them from knocks and provide added support during transport. 


Cohesive bandage can be found in virtually every sports first aid kit or physio’s bag. Apart from its excellent use for compression and support to soft tissue injuries, cohesive bandage is used in sports for the following:

  • Holding team socks to players’ own ankle socks.
  • Securing shin guards in place.
  • Wrapping and stabilising fingers and hands for goalies.
  • Wrist taping for goalies, hockey players, basketball players, and other athletes that need extra support in their wrist joints.

For more rigid immobilisation and protection, such as with finger taping or taping hands and wrists for boxing, zinc oxide tape, or even stickier Sterotape Premium, is ideal. Find out about zinc oxide tape and how to remove zinc oxide tape in our blog.

Cohesive bandage is easy to apply, adjust, and reapply. If you need an adhesive bandage or strapping that sticks down firmly, take a look at our elastic adhesive bandage range:

For tape that actively promotes muscle movement and reduces pressure and pain from swelling, find out about kinesiology tape or buy K tape from us. Adhesive tapes can be used in conjunction with underwrap to protect the skin.


Cohesive bandage is unrivalled in its ability to provide compression. The fact that cohesive bandage can be loosed and reapplied makes it easy to achieve intermittent compression (varying the pressure level over time) for the best results.

How to Use Cohesive Bandage

Because it’s hand-tearable and can be easily re-applied, cohesive bandage is simple and straightforward to use. Here are some best practices for how to apply cohesive bandage in all situations:

  • Start with two or three wraps around the same area to get started and create an ‘anchor’ for the tape to stay in place.
  • When covering a part of the body, overlap the previous section of bandage by 50% with the next to ensure even compression and coverage.
  • Compression bandage can stretch up to twice it’s resting length, but it doesn’t always have to be this tightly wrapped. Check with the patient to ensure the wrap is comfortable.
  • Check the patient’s fingers or toes periodically to ensure circulation isn’t being interrupted. If the patient’s fingers or toes feel very cold, look pale or blue, or have lost feeling it’s a sign the bandage needs to be loosened immediately.
  • There’s no need to fasten cohesive bandage once you’ve completed the wrap. Just tear it off and press the end down against the bandage.

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