Tape is used as an adhesive to hold wound bandages, dressings, or other medical appliances in place. The tapes used for medical purposes are typically skin-safe, easy-to-use, and strong enough to work when bending, moving, or even when the skin is wet. Each product may have different uses and strengths that will depend on what its intended use is.
4 Types of Tape And Their Uses
While we might think that medical tape may be the same, there are different types of adhesive tapes used for different reasons. Some are made of softer materials while others are more elastic and firm. Here are four types of tape and their uses:
Waterproof Tape helps prevent water from seeping through the bandage or dressing and into the wound. It may be single- or double-sided. Moreover, waterproof tape can typically be used even when showering or exercising. One limitation is that this type of tape will only work if the tape is applied to dry skin, or if the tape is dry from the start. If the tape gets wet before it could adhere to the skin, it would not be effective. It is an extremely flexible and malleable tape, which helps it conform to the body’s shape and structure.
Micropore Paper Tape
This type of tape is commonly utilized to secure bandages and dressings. Micropore paper tape’s adhesive sticks to the skin firmly without leaving a sticky residue and is hypoallergenic, so it can be used long-term with no fear of irritation. The main design of this tape is to stick to the skin, directly to dressing materials, or to underlying tape. This is not as flexible or elastic as other types but is still widely used in the medical field because of its easy tear-away ideal for emergency situations.
Transpore Polyethylene Tape
Similar to the micropore paper tape, this type of tape is easily torn and is hypoallergenic. Unlike the micropore paper tape, the transpire polyethylene tape is transparent. The main advantage of using this tape is that it does not stick to gloves or other surgical tools and can be used to adhere to any surface, including wet surfaces. That means the transpire polyethylene tape can be applied to patients who are bleeding, wet, or sweating with no issue. Apart from this, it is also used to secure tubing or dressings that need a stronger adhesive. Although versatile, this tape is also not very flexible, however, it makes up for it in its strength.
Durable Cloth Tape
Another popular and versatile type of tape is the durable cloth tape. It is best known to be used directly on the skin more so than to a cloth dressing or bandage. The durability and breathability of the tape make it a good option to use for securing splints. Another plus of this type of tape is that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue once it is removed.
Each tape has its own strengths and being able to distinguish the tapes and their specific uses will help you choose the right adhesive for your concern. Arming yourself with this knowledge allows you to provide you and your loved one's quality wound care in emergency and high-stress situations.