Band-Aid is the brand name for Johnson & Johnson's line of adhesive bandages and related products. However, much of the consuming public in the United States, India, Canada, Brazil and Australia uses the term band-aid generically, to refer to any such adhesive bandages (see genericized trademark). Such bandages are better known in many parts of the world as an 'adhesive plaster', 'sticking plaster' or simply 'plaster'.

The phrase "Band-aid" has also entered usage as a term for any temporary fix. (e.g. "Band-aid solutions were used to fix the leak.")


The Band-Aid was invented in 1920 by Earle Dickson, an employee of Johnson & Johnson, for his wife Josephine, who frequently cut and burned herself while cooking. The prototype product allowed his wife to dress her wounds without assistance. Dickson, a Highland Park, New Jersey, resident at the time, passed the idea on to his employer who then went on to produce and market the product as the Band-Aid. Dickson had a successful career at Johnson & Johnson eventually becoming a Vice President before his retirement in 1957.

The first bandages produced were hand-made and not very popular. By 1924, Johnson & Johnson introduced the first machine that produced sterilized Band-Aids. In World War II, millions of Band-Aid bandages were shipped overseas.

In 1951 the first decorative Band-Aids were introduced to the market. They continue to be a commercial success today with decorative themes such as Superman, Spiderman, SpongeBob SquarePants, Smiley Faces, and Batman.

Johnson & Johnson makes a variety of different products under the Band-Aid brand. These include Band-Aid liquid bandages and Scar Healing bandages. Their newest products include Active Flex bandages, which come in a variety of shapes, forming a fluid-filled barrier to help wounds heal faster. They also include waterproof Tough Strips, which have a strong adhesive, allowing for longer wear. In addition to wound treatment bandages, the company produces Burn-Aid, a burn gel which is applied as a prepackaged bandage. In order to protect the name as a registered trademark, the product is always referred to as "Band-Aid Brand" and not just Band-Aid.


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