Surgery often requires the use of surgical tape on various parts of the patient’s body. As with any tape exposure to the skin, there is a risk of skin damage in the process. It’s important for caregivers to be mindful of the risks involved with using surgical tape of any kind when working with a patient.
While some skin irritations may fade with time, others may cause permanent scarring or pain issues for the patient. Using skin-sensitive tapes such as Hy-Tape can help reduce the chances of serious skin damage for surgery patients.
Causes of skin irritation from surgical tape
A lot of factors can play into skin irritation and skin damage caused by surgical tape. Some patients may have an allergic reaction to ingredients in the tape. Others may have thin skin that becomes easily damaged from any friction. Still others may not have any issues at all but the tape is removed quickly or prematurely, causing damage to the surface.
It’s vital that caregivers discuss their patient’s skin conditions before using certain surgical tapes. Knowing about the patient’s allergies and examining their skin before applying tape can greatly reduce the chances of skin damage or irritation during or after surgery.
Types of skin irritations caused by surgical tape
Skin damage or irritation comes in a variety of forms and is brought on by a variety of issues. In the list below, we’ll discuss a few of the most common skin issues that arise due to the use of surgical tape:
Skin problem – Tension marks and tears
Problem cause – Wrapping tape over the skin before application can lead to tension underneath the tape. Too much pressure on the skin can lead to blistering and marks on the skin when the tape is removed.
Reducing chances of problem – Applying tape evenly over the skin with little tension, using stretchable tape like Hy-Tape that will move more freely, be mindful of patients with thin skin or other skin issues.
Skin problem – Skin stripping
Problem cause – Regular reapplication of tape to the same area of skin. When the tape is removed, a small amount of skin is removed as well, causing more irritation with each removal.
Reducing chances of problem – Cleaning and drying skin before tape application, using hypoallergenic tape, using lower-level adhesive tape.
Skin problem – Contact dermatitis (non-allergic)
Problem cause – Chemicals within the tape or preparatory materials can become trapped between the skin and tape. When the tape is removed, the skin may look red and irritated, and be sensitive to the touch.
Reducing chances of problem – Avoiding using tackifiers before taping the skin, ensuring the skin is clean and dry before applying tape, using skin-sensitive tape like Hy-Tape.
Skin problem – Contact dermatitis (allergic)
Problem cause – Chemicals within the surgical tape cause an allergic reaction on the patient’s skin. The skin may feature erosions or vesicles.
Reducing chances of problem – Checking the patient’s allergy history before choosing a surgical tape,using tapes with no known allergens.
Skin problem – Maceration
Problem cause – When water or liquid soaks into the skin and softens the cells, maceration occurs. The skin can be more easily damaged, leaving raw, exposed skin behind the macerated skin is scratched away.
Reducing chances of problem – Ensuring the skin is completely dry before applying tape,using clean tape and replace tape if it becomes dirty, cleaning the skin thoroughly before applying tape, using breathable tape to help aerate the skin.
Skin problem – Folliculitis
Problem cause – Irritation of the hair follicles is typically caused by having but it can also be activated by surgical tape. Bacteria can become stuck in the follicles, causing skin irritation or damage.
Reducing chances of problem – Remove hair from the area before applying tape.
Use Hy-Tape to help avoid skin irritation of all kinds
Hy-Tape is the best tape on the market today for use as surgical tape. It’s designed to be sensitive to all types of skin and helps to avoid skin damage of every type.
Hy-Tape is designed with zinc-oxide, a common chemical in sunscreen. This ingredient soothes the skin and helps protect it while the adhesive attaches to the skin. Once removed, the skin has no issue.
Hy-Tape is designed for move-ability. Patients can freely move with the tape in place without worry of detaching the tape itself. The adhesive is designed to provide a strong hold without irritation.
Make sure your patients are as safe as possible from skin irritation, allergy, or damage. Choose Hy-Tape as your go-to surgical tape of choice. Contact us today to place an order.