There are many different types of medical tape on the market, each with its distinct advantages and disadvantages. A lot of things need to be considered before choosing the one you will use after a medical procedure.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the various types of medical tape and the factors to think about before choosing one. With this information, you’ll be better informed on the types of tape that are available and can hopefully heal your wounds in full.
Things to consider when choosing a type of medical tape
A lot of consideration should be made when choosing the type of medical tape to use when securing a wound dressing. Your doctor or caregiver should be able to provide some insight into the type of tape that will work best for your situation.
Although your doctor may have a preference of tape, you might find that you prefer another type. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your caregiver to ensure you use a tape that is both safe for your skin and also comfortable for you personally.
When choosing your medical tape, keep these factors in mind:
- Latex content – Some tapes are made with latex, which can cause skin irritation. This can be especially problematic if your wound will be healing for days or weeks. If you’re allergic to latex, there are non-latex tapes that are designed to be more sensitive to the skin.
- Width of the tape – Most medical tapes come in a variety of widths. Some wound dressings only need a tape width of an inch while other wound dressings need a much wider tape. Depending on the size and type of wound dressing you’ll be wearing, you’ll need to consider tape width.
- Tape thickness – How thick is the medical tape? A thicker tape may hold better than a thin one that can tear easily. However, thicker tapes can restrict movement and cause irritation near the wound.
- Tape rolls and tape patches – Depending on the tape itself, it may come in a roll or a patch. Wounds such as IV sites benefit from roll tape because it can easily roll around the limb to keep the IV secure. Other wounds, such as large abrasions, may do better to be taped in place with a large tape patch.
- Waterproof and water-resistant tape – While no tape is perfectly waterproof, it’s important to consider your water exposure needs. Most tapes can handle the moisture from a daily shower, but only special patches can handle a bath. No matter what, you should regularly change out the tape and wound dressing according to your doctor’s recommendations.
Types of medical tape
Medical tape comes in a variety of forms. Some of the most common types of medical tape include:
- Clear tape – When monitoring a wound’s healing progression is important, clear tape is the best choice. It allows for a strong hold of the dressing and provides an easy view of the wound itself as it heals.
- Cloth tape – One of the most common types of medical tape, cloth tape offers a bit of stretch and maneuverability, more than some other tapes. It’s also more absorbent of skin oils and wound liquids, which is vital to the healing of certain wounds.
- Elastic tape – When comfort is a priority, elastic medical tape can’t be beat. This tape is very bendable, allowing for a range of motion without losing grip. Elastic tape is a common choice for many different types of wound dressings. Hy-Tape is a skin-friendly elastic tape designed to keep the skin safe from further damage and irritation. It features zinc oxide which helps protect the skin from damage when a bandage moves or is removed.
- Foam tape – Unlike other tapes which only stretch in one direction, foam tape can stretch across length and width, allowing for more comfortable movement. It’s also great for swollen wounds where the skin may bulge.
- Non-adhesive tape – As the name implies, non-adhesive tape doesn’t use any adhesive at all. Instead, this tape attaches to itself and tends to be wrapped around a wound dressing.
- Paper tape – Paper tape can hold well and is porous, making it a great option for wounds that need airflow. As you would expect, paper tape is the worst option for those who expect any amount of water exposure.
Protect the skin around the wound
An important aspect of taping a wound dressing in place is to keep the nearby skin safe from damage. Using Hy-Tape can help ensure a tight hold, comfortable movement, and a lack of skin irritation.
Hy-Tape is made to maintain skin health in every way. It’s made without latex, provides a gentle hold, is washable, and allows for a full range of motion. It also includes zinc oxide, an ingredient that is sensitive to the skin and helps reduce irritation. Hy-Tape comes in rolls and patches that can be cut to the perfect size for any wound dressing.
Whether dressing a wound for a day or a few weeks, make sure the wound dressing is held in place properly. Using Hy-Tape can protect the skin from irritation and keep the dressing in place to do its healing work.