woman removing plaster from arm

How to remove a plaster

A guide to removing plasters painlessly
It's an age-old debate. Do you rip a plaster off quickly to get it over and done with, or should you remove it slowly to minimise the pain? Some studies have shown that a sudden, sharp shock is the best option rather than drawing it out, with people reporting less pain when the plaster is taken off quickly. 

Though there’s no right or wrong way to do it, use our guide to removing plasters from skin to minimise any pain for you and your children.

How to remove a plaster from skin without pain

Removing a plaster with traditional adhesive can result in damage and pain due to the stripping of epidermal cells and hair. However following these three simple steps should help you remove the plaster from your skin without pain:

  1. Grasp one edge of the plaster and gently lift the edge
  2. With the other hand, place fingers on the surrounding skin and support removal by holding the skin taut
  3. Gently remove the plaster keeping it close to skin and in the direction of hair growth

Plasters that minimise pain during removal

Elastoplast Silicone Soft Plasters provide the perfect balance between secure adhesion and pain-free removal thanks to innovative silicone adhesive technology. These skin-friendly plasters have been designed to minimise trauma and pain during plaster removal, while ensuring reliable adhesion during wear.

Thanks to its extremely soft and gentle silicone adhesive, Silicone Soft is painless to remove, without disruption to the skin barrier. When removed, it leaves the skin free from residues, no matter how long it has been on the skin.


During wear, the silicone gel layer creates a perfect bond between the plaster and the uneven surface of the skin. As a result, the plaster sticks securely to the skin, even after being repositioned. These plasters can even be removed from hairy skin without pain.


Elastoplast Sensitive Plasters are also painless to remove while providing secure and skin friendly adhesion to ensure that the plaster stays in place. These plasters are the perfect solution for people with fragile, irritated or sensitive skin who require extra-gentle and soft wound treatment. They're also designed to help those experiencing pain or anxiety at plaster removal.

Elastoplast Silicone Soft plasters
Elastoplast Sensitive plasters

How to remove blister plasters

Blister plasters should only be changed when it peels off by itself. If you have a blister, the Elastoplast SOS Blister Plaster immediately relieves the pain and seals the affected area safely against dirt and bacteria. The hydrocolloid technology helps the blister to heal faster, and its extra-strong adhesion keeps the plaster in place for days.

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How to remove a child’s plaster without pain

While adults are more likely to be able to remove plasters without too much pain, young children may find the process very painful. However there are a number of techniques that parents can use for plaster removal:

  • Pull in the direction of hair growth: Place your fingers either side of the plaster and gently remove with your other hand.
  • Soak the plaster: Remove the plaster after giving your child a bath as the warm water can weaken the adhesive of the bandage, making it easier to peel off.
  • Lubricate it: Cover the plaster with baby oil, then soak some cotton wool in the same substance before rubbing it over the plaster until you can slowly peel off the corners.
  • Freeze the adhesive: Wrap some ice cubes or an ice pack in a thin towel and gently push against the plaster. This cold compress can make the adhesive brittle so it's easier to remove.
  • Get them to take a deep breath: Ease your child's anxiety by having them take a deep breath before you remove the plaster on the count of three.
  • Use a distraction: Make sure your child knows you're going to remove the plaster. Then provide a distraction like their favourite toy, or tell them a story, to keep their mind off the plaster removal.
Elastoplast Kids Plasters have your child's favourite characters on them and are suitable for all types of smaller wounds. They protect children's wounds from dirt and bacteria, while sealing all around the wound.

Elastoplast's range includes PAW Patrol, Marvel, Disney Princess, Mickey Mouse and more. All of these products stay firmly in place, but remove from the skin easily for painless removal.
Elastoplast Mickey and Friends plaster

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How to remove sticky plaster residue from skin

Some plasters can leave a sticky ring of glue behind once they've been pulled off, meaning you have to scratch or scrub it away from your skin. Try dousing a cotton ball with some nail polish remover and holding it on the sticky patch for a minute before gently rubbing off the residue. 

This works because the acetone in the polish breaks down common glues and adhesives. Once you've rinsed off any remaining nail polish remover, apply some moisturiser to the area to prevent dry skin. Do not try this if you have an open or sensitive wound.
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