How to Treat a Cut Using Duct Tape?

Duct tape can be used as an effective adhesive bandage for cuts. Wrapping the tape around an injured area can help stop bleeding and keep the area clean and protected.

A cut is one of the most common injuries that happen when you least expect it. Whether you’re working in the yard or cooking dinner, a sharp edge can quickly cause a deep cut. While minor cuts can usually be treated at home, more serious cuts may require professional medical attention.

If you find yourself with a cut that is bleeding heavily, it’s important to take quick action to stop the bleeding. If you are out in the bush, live in a rural area, or are bugging out and do not have access to any medical supplies, what you may have lying around is some handy dandy duct tape.

Most people would expect to use duct tape around the house for odd jobs, as it can be used for pretty much anything, though most people would not expect to use duct tape for a cut. While it may seem unconventional, duct tape is actually very effective at stopping a cut from bleeding.

Here are the whys and hows of using duct tape for your wound.

tape over a wound
The Ideal way to place tape.
pic reference

How to treat a cut with duct tape?

When all else fails, almost any method to keep the edges of a wound together will suffice. Your body will take care of the rest. The main thing here is to keep the wound closed. If left open it has a higher chance for bacteria to get inside and will slow the healing process. So close that wound up!

How do you know if your cut needs to be tended?

If the cut is bleeding and is open to the air that’s a pretty good sign that you should do something.

Duct Tape in action

Taping a cut together is difficult if the skin surrounding the injury is moist. Other than that, taping a cut is straightforward. Here’s how.

Treating a wound – Step-by-Step Approach

1. Clean the wound

The first step is to clean the wound and surrounding area with soap and water. No surprises here. Apply pressure to the area with a clean cloth. You want to get the blood to stop or slow, before putting anything else on because if the skin is wet nothing will stick.

2. Get some duct tape

Cut a two-inch-long piece of duct tape from the roll. Tear the strip lengthwise into strips about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide as you can see from the above pic.

4. Apply

Apply at the beginning of the cut and work your way along one side. Attach a piece of tape along one side of the cut to the other. The next strip should be near with a tiny gap between each layer. Don’t make it too tight as it will then be uncomfortable.

5. Close

Close the gap by placing the strip of duct tape across the cut to the other side and repeat the steps until the cut is completely closed.

6. Use cream

Antibiotic ointment should be applied over top of the area and in between the duct tape strips to prevent bacteria from spreading.

Tips to Keep the Area Clean

Cover with a dressing.

You will want to cover the area to prevent bacteria from entering. You will need to keep the area clean and dry for the adhesive to work as well.

Change the dressing.

As the wound heals, you will need to change the dressings. The frequency will depend on how well the wound is healing.

Watch for infection.

Apply ointment and a dressing every day. If the dressings become soiled or wet, apply it sooner rather than later.

If you notice redness, swelling, or pus, see a doctor right away as this could be signs of an infection.

Use Antibiotics if necessary

If the area surrounding the wound becomes red and hot, or if the cut begins to ooze, begin a round of antibiotics.


While using duct tape may not always be necessary what is – is the mindset. If you find yourself in a survival situation you will be forced to be creative and make use of what’s around you. And in many instances that will likely be the single most important skill to have.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya/Pexels

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.


More Articles