Do you think you’re allergic to tape? If you’ve got a red rash or blisters after being dressed with sports or medical tape, you may have allergic contact dermatitis.
Here, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about hypoallergenic tape. We’ll also talk about what you can do to treat it, provide you with some product recommendations, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Read on to find out more!
Can I be allergic to surgical tape?
Yes, you can be allergic to surgical tape. If you develop rashes after surgical tape or glue is used, you most likely have allergic contact dermatitis as rashes will only develop if you’re allergic to the substance you come in contact with.
What are the symptoms of tape allergies?
If you’re allergic to tape, you’ll most likely have contact dermatitis which will occur after you’ve been exposed to the tape for a couple of hours.
The common symptoms show up around where the tape was placed and include:
- Red rash or bumps
- Itching and swelling
- Cracked or peeling skin
How do I find out if I’m allergic to tape?
If you develop any of the symptoms listed above, it’s more likely than not that you’ve got allergies to the adhesive. One way to diagnose an adhesive allergy is to head to the allergist to conduct patch testing. This process helps with identifying the particular chemical that’s causing contact dermatitis and can also reveal if you’re allergic to certain materials such as latex.
If I’m allergic, what tapes should I avoid using?
If you’ve got allergies, you should avoid using some of the tapes indicated below:
Ideally, you should also opt for a latex-free non-reactive tape that can be used over gauze rather than directly on the skin to prevent any further irritation. If you’ve got a severe reaction however, you may need to purchase over-the-counter antihistamines or corticosteroids cream.
Are there any hypoallergenic tapes for sensitive skin?
Good news! There are hypoallergenic tapes out there that are designed to firmly adhere to the skin but won’t damage sensitive skin. They’re usually lightweight and are made with material that allows the skin to breathe.
Ideally, you should look out for tapes that have the following features:
One example of this is micropore and transpore tapes. While micropore is a paper tape, transpore is a transparent plastic tape. Both of these tapes are latex-free, hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. And, they adhere well but still leave minimal adhesive residue upon removal.
3M Micropore Paper Tape
Tips for Managing Tape & Adhesive Allergies
If you’re dressing a wound and are sensitive or allergic to tape, here are some steps to take to minimise allergies.
Start by using a skin preparation barrier film. You’ll want to apply this film around the wound to form a protective layer between the skin and the adhesive on the tape or dressing. This skin barrier will not only reduce the chance of contact dermatitis, but it’ll also reduce the stripping of the epidermis around the wound. Removal is also easy as you’ll just need to use soap and water to remove it.
Once the skin preparation barrier film is in place, you can use a hypoallergenic tape or surgical cloth tapes that are suited for the skin.
After the tape is removed, you may wish to use a moisturizing lotion or aloe vera cream to help soothe the area that came into contact with the tape.
6 Top Rated Hypoallergenic Medical & Sports Tapes
If you’re allergic to the medical or sports tape that you currently have, consider purchasing any of these hypoallergenic tapes listed below.
If you’re looking for some hypoallergenic tape that’s gentle and breathable, the 2683 Medipore is the way to go. It’s easy to tear and comes with excellent cross and diagonal stretch to accommodate both swelling and movement. It’s not made with rubber latex and is both hypoallergenic and water-resistant.
Cover Roll Stretch
Last on the list is this Cover Roll tape that’s both soft and stretchable and made of non-woven polyester material. The adhesive helps to hold the dressing safety and reliably, and it’s also breathable. Since it’s not made of latex material, it’s a great hypoallergenic alternative.
3 Top Rated Hypoallergenic Tapes for Women
No more fashion disasters with any of these hypoallergenic fashion tapes by your side! Double sided and discreet, these options are also latex-free and perfect for any fashionista with sensitive skin.
FAQS – You Ask, We Answer
Below are answers to some of the commonly asked questions we’ve received.
What is the best tape for sensitive skin?
Take a look at some of the options we’ve listed above! If you’ve got sensitive skin, hypoallergenic tape is the way to go. They’re generally breathable, latex-free, comfortable and great for sensitive skin.
What is the difference between micropore and transpore tape?
Micropore tape is made of paper while transpore tape is a transparent plastic tape. Both tapes are latex-free and hypoallergenic so they're great for those with allergies.
What can I use if I’m allergic to medical tape?
There’s some other hypoallergenic tapes that we’ve listed above that are great alternatives. Take a look and see if you’re able to find a hypoallergenic tape that best suits your needs! If your skin is ultra sensitive and reacts to hypoallergenic tapes as well, look for a cotton wrap or bandage that has no adhesive yet is able to hold gauze in place.
We hope that this article gives you a comprehensive overview of hypoallergenic tape and what causes tape allergies in those with sensitive skin. By switching to a hypoallergenic tape, you should be able to eliminate any itching or swelling that stems from allergies.