Wound Care

What color is the flesh color?

flesh-colored: yellowish pink. referring to the perceived color of the flesh of a Caucasian. (Chambers Dictionary)

An adhesive bandage is a small medical dressing used for wound care of small injuries. Band-Aid is a brand of adhesive bandages distributed by the American pharmaceutical and medical-devices company Johnson & Johnson. Invented in 1920, the brand has become a generic term for adhesive bandages in the United States and Australia. In a 1955 TV commercial, the company promoted the new generation of wound care on the skin of a Caucasian woman: “Neat, flesh-colored, almost invisible”, a voice-over said. Through the long history of the product, the color choices have been mostly limited to medical white (or transparent) and a “nude”, “flesh color”. These tones satisfied the default market – white customers. In 2020, more than 60 years later, dark skin tone bandages do exist – as an expensive and a special order product; as an exception that proves the rule. “Wound care” investigates the role of photography in addressing racial bias.