Finger condoms, also known as finger cots, are made of soft, bendable materials and are designed to slide over the tip of the finger and cover the finger from tip to base.
You can wear a finger condom to keep a cut on your finger from getting infected. It will stay in place better than a bandage. You should also wear a finger cot for protection when you are using fingers during sexual activity. Partners should as well.
There’s much more you can learn here about finger condoms: how to put them on, how they help and protect, and what risks they might present.
How to Put on a Finger Condom
Disposable finger cots, like traditional condoms, are made of latex and start out rolled up. Putting them on involves a similar process as well.
First, you slide the cot onto the tip of your finger and then roll it out over the length of your finger. Next, smooth out any bubbles and ensure that the cot lies flat on your finger.
After using a disposable finger condom, you should wash your hands thoroughly and properly dispose of the condom in a trash can. Disposable finger condoms should never be used more than once.
You might see finger condoms that are reusable, made of rubber, silicone, or even cloth. However, these finger cots are not intended for sexual use. They’re marketed to protect your fingers or help with tasks like turning pages in a book.
Some even have industrial uses.
When you use a finger condom for sexual activities, you should always dispose of it right after a single activity, so you may have to use more than one within the same sexual session. This prevents bacteria from being taken from one part of the body to another.
How Do Finger Condoms Help with Injuries?
When you get a cut or sore, you want to keep it covered so that it stays moist but not wet. Uncovered wounds can cause new cells to dry out and can delay healing.
But you may find it difficult to get an everyday adhesive strip to stay in place. You use your hands for a lot of things, from typing at work to washing dishes, and these activities can cause bandages to come off, leaving your injury exposed to the air and any nearby bacteria.
Finger condoms help solve this problem by covering the sore while you’re doing activities that would cause a bandage to come off. For example, you could put on a finger condom before washing dishes or taking a shower.
Although the bandage may come off when you’re removing the finger condom, you will have protected your finger during the activity you just finished. Then you can replace your bandage without worrying that you got something in your cut.
How Do Finger Condoms Help with Sexual Health?
Fingers are often used during sexual activities — a practice known as digital sex. However, when you move your fingers from one orifice to another, you can also move bodily fluids and bacteria, causing infections.
Protective barriers such as finger condoms can protect against most — though not all — STDs. You also want to keep your hands clean after, for example, fingering the anus and then moving those same fingers to other parts of the body.
Of course, you may not want to stop in the middle of sex to wash your hands. In that case, remove the finger condom after one sexual activity and put on a new one before the next, allowing sex to continue safely.
Are There Any Risks to Using Finger Condoms?
There are no risks with using finger condoms as directed unless you have a latex allergy. In that case, you may need to pay extra attention to which finger cots you buy, to ensure they are latex-free. Remember that most finger condoms are made with latex.
There is the risk that a finger condom may slip off and remain inside the body. To prevent this, make sure the finger condom fits snugly when you first put it on.
If you pull a finger out of a body and the finger cot does not come along, try to use a washed finger to pull it out. If you can’t remove it on your own, visit a health clinic right away to get help.
Keep in mind that the risk of your condom, finger or otherwise, slipping off during sex is much less dangerous than the risk of contracting an infection or STD because you weren’t using a finger condom.