Skin Friendly Bandage & Dressing Alternatives

If you suffer from allergies to latex, adhesives, or other common materials used in wound dressings, there are ways to avoid allergic contact dermatitis. 

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a form of contact dermatitis that is the manifestation of an allergic response caused by contact with a substance; the other type being irritant contact dermatitis. Individuals with allergic contact dermatitis may see a reaction within hours or days when exposed directly to the allergen. According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs and symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis include:

  • Red rash or bumps
  • Blisters, draining fluid and crusting
  • Itching and swelling

In areas of skin trauma, these symptoms may be exacerbated by the presence of allergens. 

Below are some simple, but effective alternatives and tips for those with sensitive skin and allergies.

Skin Preparation Barrier Film

Applying a barrier film to the skin surrounding the wound us a method of protecting the patient from direct contact with adhesives or dressings. In some cases the barrier may even reduce the chances of skin tears or stripping. Most are easily removed using soap and water or a recommended barrier remover. However in areas of high sensitivity, like the face, a skin barrier is not recommended. In many cases a patient with sensitive skin may have reactions to skin barriers. For seniors and infants with thin skin or who are dehydrated skin barriers are not recommended.

Gauze Held with Tubular Netting

When skin barrier and tape is not an option some opt for gauze half with pressure by an elastic tubular band. Caregivers will recommend hypoallergenic gauze. Depending on the wound location, a combination of dressings and fluff gauze rolls are used to create tension between the wound bed and the elastic band netting to keep it from slipping.

This may not be an option when wounds are in a cumbersome place or where clothing is tight. 

Hypoallergenic Latex Free Tape

Cases of allergic contact dermatitis have been increasing in recent years. Presently, less than 1% of people in the US have a latex allergy. While this number is low, those who suffer from allergic contact dermatitis often have other health related issues. It is also of interest that almost 17% of care professionals and those who use latex gloves are allergic to latex. Often times the adhesive is the problem. In some cases tapes that tout themselves as latex free still cause skin issues. Adhesives that are overly aggressive can stress the skin in cases when repeat applications are needed.

Hy-Tape is an Ideal Choice for Those with Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Hy-Tape is known for over seven decades as a leader in medical adhesives and provider of one of the most gentle tapes on the market. Hy-Tape is a high-quality, latex-free, non-reactive medical tape. Perhaps just as importantly, Hy-Tape is occlusive, waterproof, and its zinc-based adhesive is soothing to inflamed and irritated skin. Hy-Tape holds firm and releases gently.

If you suspect you have tape sensitivity and may benefit from a latex-free, non-reactive medical tape, contact Hy-Tape for a free sample.