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  • Writer's pictureSasha

Is Gauze the same as bandage ?


Gauze and bandage are two of the most common medical supplies. They're not just used in hospitals but have also become a an essential product for family first aid. Although it may seem that they are one and the same because of the similarity of their uses, gauze and bandage aren't exactly the same.

Many people use them interchangeably in a sentence but gauze and bandage are slightly different. Knowing the difference between them can help you figure out which item to use per time. Keep reading to know the difference between the two disposable medical items.

What is medical bandage?

Medical bandage is a piece of material applied to a limb or any other part of the body as a dressing. It is used to support a medical apparatus (such as wound dressings) or to provide support to the body. It can also be applied to wounds to inhibit the flow of bodily fluids such as blood, lymph fluid and more.

Types of medical bandage

There are basically two types of bandages: gauze and compression.

1. Gauze

This is the most common type of bandage and it used majorly for bandage and fixation after in vitro wound dressing as well as when dealing with majority of everyday accidents and injuries. It is typically made of breathable cotton and helps to control light to moderate bleeding.

2. Compression

This type of medical bandage is also known as elastic bandage because it is usually applied to a limb since it doesn't exert ever-increasing pressure during inactivity. Additionally, it is used to improve blood circulation and prevent limb swellings. Because of its versatility, this type of bandage can be used as a replacement for multiple abdominal bands after a surgery.

It's important to add that medical bandage is generally sold as a sterile product, which means it cannot be used in direct contact with the wound. Also, the ideal color for medical bandage is white and not yellow, and it should have no spot or smell.

What is medical gauze?

Gauze is a sterile fabric used to cover or wrap around wounds. Commonly known as "4×4s", gauze is a bleached white clothing that is made from fibers of cotton, rayon, polyester or a combination of these fibers.

Medical gauze is primarily used to absorb blood and other fluids from the wound surface in order to keep the wounds clean. Because it is made from woven or synthetic fibers, medical gauze allows wounds to "breathe" while absorbing the seeped fluids.

It can also be used for cleansing, packing, scrubbing, covering and securing in a variety of wounds. In the same vein, some forms of gauze come dry while others are soaked with antibacterial ointments, lubricants or other healing agents.

Types of medical gauze

When it comes to medical gauze variations, there are different ways to group them but the most popular form of classification is based on its weave form. Here are the two types of medical gauze:

1. Woven

This type of gauze is loosely woven, meaning that it contains layers of cotton layered together into multiple ply sheets. This allows for the absorption of exudate and other fluids into the open fibers. Woven gauze also feature different varieties, ranging from fine to coarse meshes with differing thread counts.

2. Non-woven

Non-woven gauze is usually synthetic material made from fibers that are condensed together to resemble a weave yet maintain the same aeration ability. This type of weave form allows for greater absorbency as well as better wicking while producing less lint and leaving behind clearer fibers than the woven gauze.


Medical bandage and medical gauze are similar in that they are both used to temporarily stop bleeding. Also, the materials used in making them are the same. However, the difference is that medical gauze is designed to be applied directly to a wound surface to inhibit the flow of liquids while medical bandage is not to be directly contacted because most bandages are not sterilized. Therefore, it is important to always keep their difference in mind so we can choose gauze or bandage according to our actual situation.

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