Medical Adhesive Tape 101

Chances are, you have a roll of medical adhesive tape in your medicine cabinet, or you’ve seen some come into play at a sporting event. Sometimes referred to as surgical tape, this staple of the medical supply world has many different types and uses. If you’ve ever been curious about either, then it’s time for a crash course and put the ‘eas’ in adhesive.

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The Fab Five

It’s true—there’s not just one type of adhesive tape, there’s five. Knowing what they are and what they do is lesson one.

The first of the five is Transpore Polyethylene Tape. This hypoallergic tape is most used in the operating room. Sticking to the patient and not surgical gloves, allows doctors and nurses to work uninhibited. It’s also good for patients who are bleeding and sweating before and after a procedure. When a patient leaves the operating area, they might find their recently operated area covered with Micropore Paper Tape. This adhesive material secures bandages and dressings to the skin. Because it doesn’t leave a sticky residue when removed, it makes it ideal for the post-op stage of surgery.

If you’ve ever watched a boxing match, you may have noticed boxers taping up their hands before putting their gloves on. This is Zinc Oxide Tape. Primarily used to prevent sports-related injuries, it also works very well in humid conditions that cause a lot of perspiration. By preventing soft tissue damage while applied, it allows athletes to perform at their peak physical levels.

While Zinc Oxide Tape can retain its durability when it meets large amounts of moisture, it’s not advised to use it for any aquatic-themed activities. Waterproof Tape, the most self-explanatory of the five different types, retains its integrity while submerged in water. This tape only works when attached to dry skin, so it’s best applied before entering the water.

What the athlete and medical patient both have in common is that they both might require the final member of the adhesive family, Durable Cloth Tape. Because of its structure, you won’t find Durable Cloth Tape applies directly to a bandage or dressing. However, when you have a sprain or splint, this tape is highly effective in allowing the skin beneath it to breathe properly and lasts for a long time.

Should you find yourself in a situation that merit one of the five types of medical adhesive tape, put your trust in Sarasota Medical. One of Florida’s most reliable medical suppliers, we’re constantly innovating new ways in which products are manufactures and developed. Visit us online at We’re here for you, your wellness, and your longevity.