How to Waterproof a Wound for Swimming

Ever wondered how to keep a wound dry when swimming? Check out our latest blog post for tips on how to waterproof a wound before hitting the pool!

Checkout this video:

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a waterproof bandage, like Band-Aid Brand Hydro Seal, and sterile gauze pads. You’ll also need medical tape, like Band-Aid Brand First Aid Tape, and scissors.

Antibiotic ointment

If you have a cut or scrape that is deeper than a quarter inch, you will need to clean it thoroughly and then apply an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection. You can find these ointments over the counter at your local pharmacy.


You’ll need to choose a bandage that will be able to stay on in water. Band-Aids® Water Block Plus™ bandages are good for small cuts and grazes, while Band-Aid® Tough-Strips are better for larger wounds. Choose a size that will completely cover your wound and extend past the edges by about 1 inch (2.5 cm).


A water-resistant adhesive bandage or tape is an important item to pack if you’re heading to the beach or pool with a wound. “Tape provides a waterproof barrier that will hold up in chlorinated and salt water,” says Alioto. “It’s also good for areas where a lot of movement occurs, like joints.” Look for hypoallergenic options made with breathable materials, like paper or woven cloth, which won’t stick to skin when wet and won’t result in itchiness or irritation. waterproof options are also available.

How to Waterproof a Wound

Waterproofing a wound is important if you are going to be swimming or spending time in water. There are a few different ways that you can waterproof a wound. You can use a waterproof bandage, waterproof tape, or a waterproof sealant. Let’s get into the details.

Apply antibiotic ointment to the wound

Applying antibiotic ointment to the wound helps to keep it clean and free of infection. Make sure to apply the ointment liberally, covering the entire wound. Let it dry for a few minutes before proceeding.

Place a bandage over the wound

If you have a cut or scrape that’s large, deep, or actively bleeding, it’s important to keep the wound covered with a sterile bandage until it heals. This will help protect the wound from dirt and bacteria that can cause infection. Once the wound has healed enough that it’s no longer actively bleeding and is covered with a scab, you can try to waterproof it so you can swim without worry.

Cover the bandage with tape

If you have a waterproof bandage, skip this step. But if you have a regular bandage, you’ll need to cover it with waterproof tape to prevent the water from seeping in. Look for surgical or waterproof tape at your local drugstore. Cut a piece of tape that’s large enough to cover the entire bandage, plus a little bit extra. Place the piece of tape over the bandage and press down firmly on all sides to seal it.

When to See a Doctor

It is essential to take care of a wound before swimming, to make sure that it does not become infected. There are a few things that you can do to waterproof a wound, but it is still important to see a doctor if the wound is more than a quarter-inch deep.

If the wound is not healing

If your wound is not healing as quickly as you think it should, or if you have any concerns about the appearance of your wound or the amount of pain you are in, you should see a doctor.

If the wound is red or swollen

If the wound is shows any of the following signs of infection, you should see a doctor as soon as possible:
-Redness that extends beyond the edge of the wound
-Swelling that extends beyond the edge of the wound
-Increasing pain
-Pus or drainage from the wound

If you have a fever

If you have a fever, see a doctor right away. A fever is a sign that your body is fighting an infection, and you’ll need treatment.

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