A variety of factors are needed to be considered when choosing the right medical tape for a particular situation, fortunately, there are now various types of tapes available. Though there are situations where a tape is needed, this may not be suitable for all people. Factors such as skin’s sensitivity to adhesives, tape allergies, integrity and age of the skin need to be considered in choosing the quality of tape that will be used. It is also essential for those who will administer the wound dressings to determine the location of where the tape will be applied or placed.
Some of the most typical types of medical tape include cloth, paper, silicone tape, vinyl, clear plastic, silk, Kinesiology tape, Nonwoven soft cloth, Paper/plastic hybrid, and Foam.
The reason why most people use waterproof tape is to keep moisture in or out. It helps lengthen the time a dressing, tube or device stays in place. The patient can have the freedom to bathe and shower allowing the surrounding area of the dressing to be cleaned.
Some substrates and adhesives cause allergic reactions or contact dermatitis to patients, especially when they have sensitive skin. Some adhesives cause allergic reactions to people when it’s made from latex while others are allergic to glue.
In addition, medical tapes can also cause inflammation to:
- Re-aggravation from prior skin damage
- Hair removal
- Occlusion due to poor cleaning
- Skin damage due to repeated removal and application
Reactions can prolong and even hinder the healing. Some of the signs and symptoms include redness, rashes, itchiness, blisters and cracking of the skin.
Age must also be considered when choosing a medical tape for a wound or dressing as Infants and the elderly have thin and sensitive skin. When some tapes are removed, it can cause irritation and tearing.
Applying Medical Tape Properly
First, you should determine the appropriate tape you’ll need for the procedure. The patient must have knowledge on how to properly apply and remove the tape. Tapes adhere best on surfaces that are both clean and dry. It also works well when combined with a skin-prep which is liquid that creates a protective layer and reduces friction when the tape is removed on the skin. Though skin-preps are excellent with some adhesives, it might not be the same as others as it can cause adverse effects. Upon applying the tape, you should determine the tape’s elasticity and the area it will be placed. It is essential to make sure to apply enough tape on both the skin and dressing. At least half a inch of tape (1.5cm) is recommended to be spread on the dressing and skin.
HyTape has a strong-hold but releases gently on the skin which health professionals and caregivers appreciate. HyTape is not only waterproof but also has zinc-oxide in its adhesive that can help soothe irritated skin.