Grotesque bandages make your boo-boos look like horrific wounds

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Boo-Boos bandages make ordinary cuts look much worse. Photo: Sherwood Forlee

Blood makes Sherwood Forlee squeamish, it really does. So imagine the surprise of friends who know his weakness when he created a type of bandage for the everyday boo-boo that creates the illusion of a stomach-churning wound that would make most people call 911.

Forlee’s sense of humor is sicker than the images on his Boo-Boos bandages, though. He says he was in a “jovial spirit” when he began drawing up plans for the morbid adhesive strips.

“They look disgusting, but they also look funny,” Forlee told Cult of Mac. “While I was doing the research, I was at the point of quitting. I would google search ‘terrible wounds’ and I could only handle like five minutes at a time.”

A small cut becomes a small-caliber bullet wound with "Boo-Boos Bandages." Photo: Sherwood Forlee
A small cut looks like a bullet wound with Boo-Boos. Photo: Sherwood Forlee

Forlee, a 35-year-old mechanical engineering consultant from Oakland, Calif., is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $5,000 for a limited run on Boo-Boos. He has 101 backers and is more than halfway toward his goal. With less than 30 days remaining on Kickstarter, Forlee will do a limited run and sell them on his website.

Once the supply runs out, Forlee will be on to other projects, he said.

Forlee is the inventor of Anti-Theft Lunch Bags, which, again, create the allusion of grossness. The clear, ziplock bags have greenish-black splotches on the outside to make it look like your sandwich is moldy. A deterrent, yes, but the cleaning crew — already disgusted by your work refrigerator — might just pitch your lunch.

For his bandages, Forlee commissioned a medical illustrator to create horrific depictions of sores, gashes and rotting flesh. He settled on five designs: slashing sharp force trauma, chemical burn, skin ulcer with skin slip, small-caliber gunshot and decubitus ulcer with maggot infestation (my favorite).

One of five designs: decubitus ulcer with maggot infestation. Photo: Sherwood Forlee
One of five designs: decubitus ulcer with maggot infestation. Photo: Sherwood Forlee
Chemical burn. Photo: Sherwood Forlee
Chemical burn. Photo: Sherwood Forlee

Don’t worry, the bandages are sterile, latex-free and safe to use on cuts.

Forlee got the idea from riding bikes a few years back with a friend who fell and badly cut her wrist.

“You could see the fatty tissue, it was all split open,” he said. “It looked worse than it was. A couple of days later, I saw the Band-Aid out of the corner of my eye and thought, ‘It’s too bad you can’t display what’s really underneath there.'”

Forlee’s creativity goes beyond the grotesque. He is currently working on a web application that turns photos and video clips into old-school flip books. He is also working on developing a robot kit made with paper that makes teaching robotics affordable in schools.

His background is in engineering but he always admired the graphic designers at the jobs he has held. From them, he said he learned how to transform ideas into products.

"Boo-Boos" look gross but are sterile and safe to use like any other adhesive bandage. Photo: Sherwood Forlee
Boo-Boos look gross but are sterile and safe to use like any other adhesive bandage. Photo: Sherwood Forlee