WOUND & SKIN CARE: When your patient is sensitive to tape

January 2006 
Volume 36  Number 1
Pages 17 - 17
  PDF Version Available!



YOU'RE CHANGING a patient's wound dressing when you notice contact dermatitis on skin that had been under the tape. Your patient appears to be sensitive to the tape. Knowing that unresolved dermatitis can interfere with healing, how do you dress the wound? In this article, I'll describe options for patients who react to adhesive tape.

Assessment first

When you take a patient's history, you'll ask her about allergies. She may assume that you mean medication allergies, so ask specifically if she's ever had a skin reaction (that is, red, itchy skin) to tape or adhesives. If so, ask if she knows what type of tape or adhesive caused the reaction. Also ask about latex allergy because some bandages and adhesives contain latex. If your patient has a latex allergy, consider using hypoallergenic tape and bandages, which may be safer on the patient's skin.

Irritant contact dermatitis caused by tape usually doesn't ...

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