Proper bandages are helpful with a number of health issues. From providing coverage for inflamed skin to covering wounds and making it easier for them to heal, the uses for bandages and medical tape are plentiful. How much do you really know about the tape and what you can do to ensure it’s stored and used properly? Here are a few basic tips that will make it easier to use the product and do so safely.
Choosing the Right Type of Medical Tape
Did you know there are several different types of medical tape? Some of them are more appropriate for certain kinds of purposes. Your medical professional can help you determine what qualities the tape should possess in order to provide the greatest range of benefits.
The location of the wound or area where you will apply bandaging does make some difference. Perhaps using cloth tape would work best in certain areas. You may find that using waterproof tape would be a better choice in your case. There are even instances when the use of paper tape would be the right choice.
Remember that the materials are only one aspect to consider. Pressure-sensitive tape is a good fit when constant movement would cause other forms of tape to work loose. Ask your doctor if some sort of micropore tape would allow the skin to breathe and reduce the risk of irritation. Once you know what sort of tape is best for you, it will be easier to use it with confidence and enjoy a measure of safety.
Storing the Tape Properly
Now that you’ve found the right type of medical tape online and placed your order, think about where you will store the product. Obviously, you want to keep some handy in your first aid kit. That ensures you have everything needed when it’s time to change a bandage or wound dressing.
Since you likely ordered additional tape for use in the future, find a dry place to store those rolls. Bathrooms are not always the best option, since the air may be slightly more humid after someone showers. A better approach is to consider storing the tape in a bedside table. You’ll always know where it happens to be and it’s easier to control exposure to humidity and changes in temperature.
When you buy medical tape, think about investing in a container to keep those spare rolls. It should be airtight and easy to tuck away in a convenient area. Doing so will ensure the tape remains in top shape and is always ready for use.
Keeping the Tape Sterile
You already know that using dressing that’s sterile is important. The last thing you need is additional bacteria or dirt to get into an open wound. Have you thought about the importance of also keeping the wound care tape sterile?
It’s true that you don’t buy medical tape expecting it to come into direct contact with the wound. Even so, it’s close enough that it could irritate skin and lead to complications. Make sure that you store the tape in a container that is clean and likely to stay that way.
Knowing How Long to Keep the Tape
You probably haven’t thought of wound care tape as having an expiration date. In fact, it comes with a “best used by" date. That doesn’t mean the tape is automatically worthless when that date arrives. It does mean that the tape may or may not work as well once that date passes.
If you still have some medical tape on hand when the date arrives, it’s okay to keep it on hand and use it if necessary. Even so, you would do well to invest in some newer tape. Keep the older tape for use in less serious situations, and use the new tape as part of your approach to bandaging wounds that need optimum protection.
Understanding How to Apply the Tape
There’s a certain art to applying the tape. You’ll get some tips for doing so when you buy medical tape from any provider. Here are some basics to keep in mind.
Shaving the area around the wound is usually a good idea. Use a method that is less likely to result in irritated skin. If the skin is a little irritated, applying some type of soothing ointment and allowing it to seep into the skin first is a good idea.
Always clean the skin before beginning to apply fresh bandaging. Make sure that you clean an area large enough to cover the wound and remove any residue from products intended to ease irritation. This provides a smooth and sterile area that in turn makes it easier to apply the tape.
You’ll notice that when you purchase medical tape online, the manufacture is likely to recommend that you don’t skimp on the amount used. That’s not a ploy to get you to buy more tape. The intent is to ensure that the dressing stays in position and provides an adequate amount of coverage. If you try to get by with using less tape, there’s a greater risk of the dressing loosening just when you cannot do anything to correct the problem.
Avoid Stretching the Tapel
Many forms of wound care tape are designed to allow for a little stretching. That’s to ensure the tape remains in place even as you bend a nearby joint or while your muscles work under the skin as you walk. In order for the tape to work properly, do not stretch it at the time you apply the product.
When you buy medical tape, find out how flexible it happens to be and how easily it will move, stretch, and retract as you move about during the day. Apply it without any overt effort to stretch it as you apply it to the skin. Doing so will ensure it’s more likely to adhere properly and move with you naturally.
Removing the Tape
Peeling away wound care tape is best done quickly. Once you have the tape off, it’s time to look at the skin underneath. You can use a cotton ball and a little rubbing alcohol to remove any adhesive residue. That will also make it easier to determine if there’s any irritation underneath.
Remember to use some sort of moisturizer once the medical tape is removed. It’s not unusual for the skin to be dried out slightly. Washing with a mild soap and water is a good idea. Pat the area dry with clean towel and make sure it’s smooth to the touch before you apply a fresh round of tape.
Knowing how to use medical tape effectively begins with understanding how it can help you manage a recovery or an ongoing health condition. With the aid of your medical professions, it’s possible to select the right kind of medical tape online or in a local pharmacy, ensure it remains sterile, and know how to apply and remove it properly. Now is the time to begin your search for the right kind of medical tape online and begin to enjoy all the benefits it provides.