Medical Tape – Essential Tips for Better Adhesion

Generally speaking, those working with medical tape of any kind will no doubt have gone through quite a lot of training and targeted education. But at the same time, there will always be those who are new to the subject and could do with a few pointers. These days, 3M medical tape converters are coming up with the most outstanding products ever devised for an incredible array of purposes. In fact, it’s safe to say that such providers have to some extent revolutionised the way in which patients in a variety of settings are cared for – not to mention the way in which sell for ministered care is carried out in millions of homes.

But even when armed with the very best products on the market, it is still of crucial importance to know exactly how to use them. In the case of medical tape, this means following a few guidelines when it comes to ensuring the best possible adhesion, thus guaranteeing the best possible performance. Much of it comes down to common sense, but there are a few bits and pieces it is worth reminding yourself of from time to time.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick rundown of just a few essential tips for better adhesions when using or working with medical tape:

1.  Skin Prep:

First of all, approximately 60 to 90 minutes before the tape is to be used, it is a good idea to clean the skin comprehensively and dry it as well as possible. This means using an appropriate cleansing product to prepare the area where the tape will be added, or perhaps something like an antiseptic/antibacterial wipe or rubbing alcohol. It is important to then give the skin as much time as necessary for it to dry completely, as any excessive moisture may make it difficult to achieve proper adhesion. If the skin is in any way dirty or moist, the tape will not be able to do its job properly.

2.  Time Prep:

If the individual in question is likely to be showering, bathing, exercising or taking part in any kind of athletic activity, it is of crucial importance to apply the medical tape a minimum of half an hour beforehand. In most instances, exactly how long is needed for the tape to achieve full adhesion will be disclosed in the guidelines supplied with the product. As a rule of thumb however, 30 minutes is generally the recommended minimum time that should be given, before taking part in any exercise or showering.

3. Rounded Corners:

One extremely important and helpful tip when it comes to cutting medical tape, always be sure to cut round shapes, rather than angles and points. The reason being that rounded shapes are much less prone to fraying and more often than not stay fixed to the skin from much longer than straight edges with corners.  You can always ask your adhesive tape manufacturer to pre-cut the shapes needed on your behalf.

4.  Skin and Body Position:

Always ensure that the part of the body and the skin itself are in the proper position, before applying the medical tape. For example, if the tape is to be applied to an elbow or knee, it may be necessary to ensure that the joint is bent and the skin stretched before the tape is applied. Otherwise, it will simply come loose as soon as the joint is flexed.  If the tape is to be applied to an area of relatively loose skin, it may be necessary to pull the skin tight before applying it – again, in accordance with the instructions provided.

5.  Backing Paper:

When it comes to medical tape, it is of the utmost importance to remove the backing paper as quickly and smoothly as possible, being shown not to touch the sticky side with anything else before application. The reason being that doing so could have an impact both on the performance of the adhesive and the general hygiene of the tape to be applied.

6.  Tape Placement:

Last but not least, always be sure to apply adhesive tape directly to the skin of the patient, as opposed to covering or partially covering other pieces of tape.  Unless the tape has been specifically designed for this purpose, doing so is likely to affect performance. In addition, and again unless otherwise specified in the instructions, medical tape should not be stretched this can likewise impede performance.