Have you ever been at the back of an ambulance with someone who’s bleeding heavily? It could have even been you. If you are a paramedic, this question will be a no-brainer.
If your answer to the above is yes, you must have seen medics trying to stop the bleeding with a kind of fabric. This fabric is what we are going to discuss today. It is called adhesive tape.
After this brief description, if what comes to your mind is a white sort of spongy tape, you may not be far off. Not all adhesive tapes are white or have holes, but some do.
Adhesive tape for skin goes by several names, including adhesive bandage, surgical tape, medical tape, and so on. The medical tape has been around for a long time and so, of course, has been constantly improved. There are now five major types of adhesive tape, all better suited for different situations.
You will find lots of adhesive tape in hospitals, first-aid boxes, and ambulances, but they are not restricted to the medical scene. In a first-aid box, adhesive tape serves various purposes, including taking part in the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) process. It is used to apply compression to a particular area of a body.
This is only one of the several functions of adhesive bandages. In the rest of this article, we will discuss the other functions, elaborate on the types and guide you in making the best choice when it comes to adhesive bandages—first, the types.
Types of Adhesive Bandages
● Micropore Paper Tape
Micropore paper tape is a kind of adhesive tape filled with tiny uniformly-placed holes; this is where it got its name. It is usually made of light, hypoallergenic materials, which vary from brand to brand.
The impressive breathability of this tape can be attributed to the presence of these holes. Breathability can be an essential factor for a speedy recovery. Allowing good filtered air to pass in a reasonable amount through your bandage can quicken the healing process. This is one of its biggest advantages.
Micropore paper tape is not as sticky as most other types but is sticky enough. This subtle adhesion ensures that the tape is easy to remove when the time comes. It may not stay as long as transpore paper tape, but it is quite effective while it does. The adhesion also reduces the chances of the tape leaving sticky residues on your skin. For this reason, micropore paper tape is often preferred when daily bandage changes are required.
Lastly, micropore paper tape is not waterproof but can withstand a little moisture.
● Transpore Polyethylene Tape
This type of adhesive bandage contains several holes, just like micropore paper tape. This means it is also breathable, hence, suitable for fast recovery. However, this is just one of the many impressive facts about transpore polyethylene. This tape, of all the types of adhesive tape, is the most readily available in the hospital. Why?
The first reason transpore tape is highly favored in hospitals is its strength. This tape is sturdy and will stick with you through a hurricane. Its durability is a result of this strength. Despite being so strong, this tape is easy to tear, making it ideal for emergencies. No wonder why it is a paramedic’s favorite, right?
Still, among the many pros of transpore tape, we have its adhesion. This is arguably its best feature and greatest advantage over other types of adhesive tape.
Transpore polyethylene tape can stick to just about anything; skin, hair, and plastic. It can also stick through anything, blood, sweat, or water. This is important when you have to secure medical equipment to the skin.
The adhesion of transpore tape is impressive, but it has its downsides. First, it can be painful to remove, especially if hair or blood is present on the skin before application. Glue strength does not always translate to pain, but it is likely with this type of adhesive tape. Another downside of this tape is that it may leave behind sticky residues. Hence, it is unsuitable for daily bandage changes. It is also not best for people with delicate skin as it can easily irritate or even damage their skin.
Transpore polyethylene tape is reasonably moisture-resistant. Its flexibility is not worthy of note, but that has never been one of its strong points.
● Zinc Oxide Tape
This type of adhesive tape is often referred to as the athlete’s favorite because of its combined characteristics. Its ability to resist moisture is a no-brainer for athletes who are constantly drenched in sweat. When we consider this tape’s comfortability and flexibility, it becomes the perfect package for an athlete.
Zinc oxide tape is also breathable. Athletes can easily move around in it without feeling suffocated or uncomfortable. It can also be used for protection from injuries.
● Durable Cloth Tape
The best qualities of durable cloth tape are its flexibility and strength. As its name suggests, it feels like your regular clothing. It is flexible, which makes it perfect for contours and edges. It is also breathable and comfortable.
Durable cloth tape can not withstand excessive moisture. Its adhesion, like that of micropore tape, falls on the average side. It is not painful to remove and does not leave a sticky residue. This also makes it suitable for daily bandage changes.
● Waterproof Tape
This type of adhesive was made specifically to withstand as much moisture as possible. As a swimmer, this will be very useful for you. Even if you are not a swimmer, if you think you will be engaging in a lot of water-related activities while wearing tape, you can go for this. Note that waterproof tape is only moisture-resistant on the outside and will not stick well to wet skin.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Adhesive Tape
With the neverending options of adhesive tape available, making a choice can be arduous. Here’s a guide to help you with this decision-making process.
First of all, consider what purpose the bandage will be serving. A huge part of your decision will rest on this one factor. Are you using it to support a muscle? Is it to cover a wound? Are you trying to speed up your recovery? Will you be using it to secure a splint, prevent injuries, or simply hold a dressing in place? After you have ascertained which of these functions your tape will be performing, you can move on to the next step.
Think about breathability. If you are using the tape on a wound, you may want transpore or micropore tape because of their breathability. They will help speed up your recovery.
The next thing you want to consider is adhesion. Make sure you pick an adhesive tape with quality adhesion. Without sticking properly, the tape will be ineffective.
Also, look for tape that will not leave a sticky residue behind or damage your skin. Hampton Adams is a brand that fulfills these qualities. Furthermore, adhesive bandages like transpore tape with strong adhesion are not the best option when you are frequently changing the bandage. Therefore, for daily bandage changes, steer clear of transpore polyethylene tape.
You should also think about your comfort. This is a by-product of the materials the tape is made of. Keep a lookout for tapes that are made with quality, hypoallergenic and latex-free materials. Those are the ones you should go for. If you have a certain allergy, look for tapes that specifically state that they do not contain your allergen.
Lastly, consider the strength of the tape. No matter the type, you always want something that will last long.
How to Apply Self Adhesive Elastic Tape
Step 1: Find a suitable adhesive bandage.
Following the guide above, find the type of adhesive tape that best serves your purpose.
Step 2: Clear the affected area
Before applying any kind of tape, clean, shave, and dry the skin. This is to improve adhesion and increase effectiveness. Transpore tape may be able to stick through anything, but it is still best to clean your skin before applying it.
Step 3: Apply the Tape
Once you have gotten your skin ready and have decided on which tape to use, you can proceed to apply it. For some tapes, you may need a tape cutter or scissors.
Trying to tear tape that requires a cutter with your hand can make it messy. If you require a long roll of bandage, do not unwind everything at once. Rather, unwind as you apply so it won’t get tangled.
Do not apply the bandage too tightly but also make sure it’s not too loose. If you notice your condition getting worse, unwrap the tape.
Hampton Adams Adhesive Tape
Our Hampton Adams 2 in by 3.3yds of non-woven adhesive bandage tape is a perfect choice. It is comfortable, flexible, breathable, and latex-free. All the materials used to make our tape are quality and hypoallergenic. Visit our page at Hampton Admas to get answers to any further questions you may have.