Having a wound that requires a dressing does not mean that you can not swim. However, there are several reasons that it is important to properly cover and waterproof your wound before going for a swim. It is also important to protect the area from the suns UV rays.
When swimming in the ocean, it is most important to secure your dressing. Building a .5 to 1.5 inch waterproof border around the dressing can create a sufficient hold. In salt water waves, currents, and body movements will loosen any dressing, so making sure the securing adhesive is flexible and able to adhere to contours will increase the odds the the dressing will remain waterproof.
Pool water, whether chlorinated or treated with salt can also slow the healing process and cause irritation. The presence of bacteria is also a danger, especially at public pools.
Even tap water will increase the risk of your wound becoming infected. A wound in the early stages of healing should remain dry. Tap water, while often the cleanest, can still aggravate the wound especially in the presence of soaps, shampoos, and bathing products.
In all water germs and microorganisms can potentially intrude the wound and cause an infection. Whether treated with chemicals or from a natural body soaking in water can soften the skin surrounding the wound causing it to shrink and swell, slowing the healing process. Waterproofing the wound is not difficult or expensive, if done with the correct products.
There are many different products available, from sleeves, to plasters, to wraps, but the most versatile and cost effective is a waterproof, UPF 50+ tape that is thin, adheres to contours, and is flexible. That is where Hy-Tape shines. Hy-Tape can very effectively protect a wound dressing by making it occlusive, thereby prolonging wear time and protecting the underlying dressing. It is latex free and has zinc oxide in the adhesive which keeps skin reactions and allergic reactions to a minimum. Hy-Tape is also UPF 50+ so you need not fear the sun. It is important to apply Hy-Tape to clean, dry skin with no lotions or skin prep. There are several different options that can make the covering of a dressing easy and effective. Our 4” and 5” adhesive patches can completely cover a large area. We also sell our rolls in various widths from .25” all the way up to 4”. If you do not require a full tube of tape, we offer tape in packs of three starting at $13. We have received many testimonials from swimmers, surfers, and parents who continue to use Hy-Tape when a waterproof adhesive is needed.
We hope that you will try Hy-Tape and that you let us know your experience.