Worth It: Space-Age Technology For Your Festering Wounds

Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our daily recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.

Walking until you get a blister is painful enough; walking while you have a blister is downright ungodly, particularly if you're like me, unable leave well enough alone and simply cannot resist popping them, even though you know damn well that doing so will make things considerably worse.

In these scenarios, basic bandages — fabric or plastic — are a waste. They don't help in the least. Your shoes rub against them just like they did your raw flesh, and the bandages end up getting all balled up and twisted around and eventually slide around to some spot on your foot that is nowhere near the problem. You are now more uncomfortable than you were before you tried to treat the wound.

So it was with tearful joy that I tried, on a whim, Band-Aid blister cushions and Activ-Flex bandages (they're basically the same thing, just in different shapes and sizes). Slap on one of these skin-like bad boys, and it will mold to your flesh like a tiny, rubbery piece of latex, creating a completely airtight cocoon for your wound. It feels very...futuristic, even if they've been around for a few years. These are the only bandages I've ever used that are truly waterproof, completely flexible, and stay on for days. When properly applied (on clean, dry skin — no lotions or ointments or gels), I've never had one fall off. You just press it on to your skin and hold it there for maybe 5 seconds, giving it a second to warm up and kind of mold to you, and that's that. Bonus: Once the bandage is on, it creates a nifty little gel-cushion around the blister (or cut or scrape — these things work on any kind of wound), which promotes healing. Go ahead and just leave it there for a week while your skin heals; Activ-Flex isn't going anywhere.

I've seen generic versions from CVS, Walgreens, and Duane Reade (usually marketed under some variation of "advanced healing"); they're all the same and just as good. Both the Band-Aid and generic versions are more expensive than basic bandages, but you'll also use half as many since a single one can last for so long. It will stay in place even while you run for miles or splash around on the beach for a week. I wouldn't advise spraying DEET anywhere near one (something weird and melty happens if you do, which is a story for another time), but otherwise these bandages are invincible.

Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister Cushions, $4.79 for 6 at Drugstore.com
Band-Aid Activ-Flex adhesive bandages, $4.79 for 10 at Drugstore.com

Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.