Band-Aids Come in Different Colors to Match Skin Tone
No longer are people limited to buying only one color of Band-Aids because the first aid strips come in different colors, closer to everybody's skin tone.
Long ago, everybody had to buy the same color of Band-Aids. That's because they used to come in only one color. Johnson & Johnson manufactured only the soft pink item in 1920. The New Brunswick, New Jersey company has sold billions of the rose colored product worldwide over the years, with about 62 percent of all Band-Aid sales in the United States.
The adhesive first aid strip was advertised to be flesh color. African Americans were stuck with a Band-Aid that was nothing like their own flesh. They had no other choice but to use the pink Band-Aids on their cuts, scrapes, and wounds.
Band-Aid is a brand name.
Not all adhesive bandages are Band-Aids. Band-Aid is a brand name for adhesive bandages made only by Johnson & Johnson. Since it is a brand, the first letters in the hyphenated word are always capitalized. Since the strips were first invented, the name has become a generic term for all adhesive bandages in the United States and Australia. However, all adhesive bandages are not Band-Aids made by Johnson & Johnson. Some bandages have also been manufactured by other companie
Origin of the Band-Aid
The Band-Aids that are found in households today were invented by accident, like many other products. Johnson & Johnson employee, Earle Dickson, had to think of something that would help his wife Josephine take care of her own cuts, burns, and wounds without his constant assistance. He was not always around when she continued to cut and burn herself when she was cooking.
Dickson's makeshift invention worked. When he showed the prototype to his employer, it was accepted. Johnson & Johnson produced and marketed the product as the Band-Aid because the German word for tape is, "band." Dickson was honored by being made vice-president of the company.
For four years after the invention, Band-Aids were made by hand. In 1924, Johnson & Johnson began making them with a machine to keep up with the demand. Even so, they were still made in just one color.
Ebon-Aide First-Aid Strips
Adhesive Bandages Made in Different Colors
It was about 15 years ago that adhesive bandages were manufactured in colors for different types of skin tones. New York entrepreneur, Michael Panayiotis, invented Ebon-Aide. The first aid strips were made especially for African Americans. Since there are many different shades of African Americans, there were various shades for them to choose from. The strips came in black licorice, cinnamon, coffee brown, and honey beige. Unfortunately, Ebon-Aides were not on the market long.
Panayiotis thought he had found a niche market after most of the retail giants, like Wal-Mart and Rite Aid, agreed to carry his product. They did attempt to sell Ebon-Aides, but the product was not on shelves with the Johnson & Johnson items. Instead, they were placed in specialty sections only for African Americans and Hispanics.
Panayiotis manufactured one million boxes of bandages. By 2002, he had sold only about 20,000 boxes. After such a major loss, Panayiotis gave up trying to sell his brand.
Skin Tone Band-Aids on the Market Today
Even though Panayiotis gave up trying to market adhesive bandages for people of color, there are still some products on the market today for all types of skin tones.
Consumers are not limited to just the pink Band-Aids of long ago. Today, people have choices. They can choose a first aid strip to match the color of their skin. Many people are delighted to have that opportunity. A man posted a comment on Twitter about how he finally found an adhesive bandage to match the color of his dark skin. He also posted a photo where it is hard to tell if he is really wearing one on his fingers. Can you see the bandage on the finger in the photo below?