Waterproof tape has many uses from wound dressing to use during sports. It is particularly good for protecting against blisters and preventing chafing too.
As waterproof tape stays in place even if you sweat, swim or experience wet weather it is far more efficient than using non-waterproof tape on skin.
When looking for the best waterproof tape to use on the skin it’s important to choose the right option for what you will be using it for.
Key Uses Of Waterproof Tape
When choosing waterproof tape, make sure you choose the right tape for the purpose you need it for.
You can’t just use any waterproof tape and use it on your skin as some tapes contain chemicals that will react to certain situations.
Keep in mind many waterproof tapes are made for DIY or fixing household items so these are not good options for use on skin.
Blister Prevention and Sports
One of the most common uses of waterproof tape on skin is to prevent blisters and injury during sport.
The best tape for preventing blisters and for use in sports is a flexible, high tensile strength option.
A flexible tape moves with your body and the high strength means the tape will hold without the need to constantly reapply. This makes it the best option for preventing injury and skin irritation.
If you need to apply the tape to areas of damaged skin it’s best to use a medium adhesive option as this is a strong but breathable tape that will last a long time.
Natural fibre tends to be a good option too as it’s less likely to cause adverse reactions.
Using tape for kinesiology is a regular practice used by athletes to help faster recovery and reducing swelling and bruising.
Tape for kinesiology should be strong, flexible and waterproof.
The strong adhesive helps the tape stick to your skin and the flexibility makes sure the muscles continue to work and move without stiffness.
It’s important for the tape to be waterproof as this makes sure it stays in place even as you sweat.
The tape should also be breathable to allow sweat to pass through otherwise it will become saturated and peel off.
If you are looking for waterproof tape for dressing a wound look for a breathable option.
The tape should have high tensile strength, be hypoallergenic and have limited flexibility.
The limited flexibility helps to keep the wound in place.
The more waterproof the tape is the better it will be as the dressing will stay in position for longer.
Alternatively, you can also use a purpose-made waterproof bandage.
What To Look For When Buying Waterproof Tape
As there is lots of waterproof tape to choose from, looking closely at the features listed below will help you choose the right tape for the situation:
The flexibility of the tape is very important. Stiff tape doesn’t work well on skin as it cannot stretch freely and won’t adapt well to the natural curvature of the body.
This means if you need the tape to work during sports a highly flexible option is key.
However, if you are using the tape for a wound then you want to use a less flexible tape as it will hold the dressing in place better.
Also Read: How to Waterproof A Cast For Swimming
As this tape will be being used on skin it is important to make sure it is completely safe to use.
Choosing a medical grade tape is particularly important if you will be using the tape to dress wounds.
Medical grade tape tends to be versatile, reliable and easy to tear.
The Best Medical Grade Tape:
- Transpore tape is a popular option as it is very versatile, breathable and sticks to any surface, even if there is hair, sweat etc. This is the one to choose if you need waterproof medical grade tape. It’s quite commonly used by emergency medical services.
- Micropore tape is also popular, particularly for everyday use. It can stay in place for a few days and is gentle on skin. While able to withstand moisture micropore tape is not fully waterproof.
There are lots of different types of waterproof tapes available.
Pick a user-friendly option if possible as this will avoid problems with applying and using the tape.
The tape should be easy to cut or tear, easy to stick and it should naturally repel water.
If the tape has a rough edge this can easily scratch or cause bruising when used on skin.
It should also not leave any sticky residue on skin when it is removed.
The tape should be strong and durable if it is going to last well. One of the main reasons people look for waterproof tape is so it won’t come off as easily if it gets damp.
The tape should hold its position well.
Tape that isn’t durable will need to be replaced regularly, this is not efficient or cost-effective.
Different tape comes in different sizes to suit a variety of uses.
Make sure it is the right width for your needs.
If the tape is too wide it won’t be well suited to use in narrow places but if the tape is too thin won’t be as effective to use in a wider area.
Consider the areas you will use the tape when choosing the size required.
Level Of Waterproofing
Not all tapes are fully waterproof.
Check the waterproofing level and take a look at user feedback if you’re not sure if the tape is waterproof enough for your requirements.
Look for waterproof rather than water repellent.
How To Remove Waterproof Tape From Skin
Waterproof tape should hold its position well and this means it may not be the easiest tape to remove.
Especially if the tape is positioned over damaged or sensitive skin.
When it comes to removing the tape, always check the manufacturer’s instructions. There are 2 main methods of removal:
- Hot water and soap. This is the quickest, most simple method of removing waterproof tape. The hot water and soap should be enough to loosen the adhesive so you can gently remove the tape from your skin without leaving sticky residue behind. This should also make it possible to remove the tape without pulling the skin or hair. However, if the tape has a very strong adhesive it may require something stronger to get it off.
- Rubbing alcohol. Applying rubbing alcohol can be the best way to remove the very strong tape while still preserving the skin underneath. Taking a small amount of rubbing alcohol and applying it onto the taped area will help to lift the waterproof tape away from the skin. This stops you from needing to pull it off with force. If you try to pull the waterproof tape off without using hot water or rubbing alcohol you risk damaging the skin.
Benefits Of Using Waterproof Tape
Waterproof tape can be used for everything from wounds to sports.
There are many benefits to keeping a high-quality waterproof tape in your kit:
- Sticks even when wet
- Stays on in water making it ideal for use during exercise, in wet weather, when swimming etc.
- Flexes and stretches with skin (making it more comfortable)
- Can seal out water, germs and dirt
- Provides waterproof protection for cuts, blisters and wounds to help keep them dry
- Can be used for first aid purposes
Also Read: Is Skin Waterproof Or Water Resistant?
Tips For Using Waterproof Tape
Waterproof tape can hold its position extremely well in a range of situations but only if it is applied properly.
When choosing and applying tape to skin, keep the following tips in mind:
- Dry the area before applying the tape
- Ensure the skin has no oil, lotion, sweat or water on it before applying the tape
- Choose a low allergy or hypoallergenic option
- If the tape starts to come away, apply fresh tape rather than trying to use the same piece again
- Always wash your hands before dealing with a wound
Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape
This is a flexible, breathable tape that is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. It is a great option for a first aid kit.
- Use during first aid
- Preventing blisters & protecting existing blisters
- Securing gauze
- Use in water
Meglio Kinesiology Tape
This tape is great for use during sports and exercise. It can stay in position for up to 72 hours, is latex free and is flexible enough to offer freedom of movement.
- Exercising & working out
- Promoting circulation
- Improving healing
- Suitable for individual and professional use
Fansir Kinesiology Strapping Tape
This medical grade tape is perfect for use on skin as it is hypoallergenic and latex-free. This tape is sweatproof and waterproof to ensure it stays in position as long as you need it to.
- Workouts and gym sessions
- Improving recovery time
- Relieving aches and pains