Although tape works well for me, I did encounter drawbacks. These presented in the form of my known sensitive skin that tends to react to many adhesives. Through trial and error, we discovered that my skin tolerates RockTape brand tape better than KT tape brand. I am not trying to promote one brand over another, simply sharing what I have found in my experience. Once RockTape seemed to work well, I saw no need to keep trying other brands. Additionally, Cavilon skin barrier film (as wipes, swabs, etc.), helps protect my skin if we apply that first, allow it to dry, then apply tape over the top. The tape still adheres well, but the skin has a layer of protection between it and tape adhesive.
I soon found that kinesiology tape stays on well, even through showers, working out, and swimming. Because I am a swimmer, my favorite tape has been RockTape H2O as it stays on even better in water. Before my shoulder surgery, my shoulder was taped most of the time. I have gone as long as a week before removing it. However, my skin was not happy. The allergist who manages MCAS (mast cell activation syndrome), suggested a maximum of three days of tape, then give my skin a full day to breathe before being taped again. He also prescribed a steroid ointment to help calm tape induced rashes. This has helped keep reactions minimal and manageable.
I learned that Cavilon makes a lotion as well, that the lotion costs less, but also that it is easier to have issues with tape sticking as well with the lotion than the film. I also learned that tape works very well for a total sunblock over surgery scars to protect them from sun exposure. I used to use waterproof bandages, but tape is easier, and with healed incision scars, it does not matter if waterproof or not.
More recently, we have experimented some with leukotape. This tape lacks the stretch that kinesiology tape has. It is also a harsher tape, and needs to be placed over the top of another tape, called cover roll. It did not take me long to realize that this taping technique worked well because of how firm the support was, as well as my skin tolerating cover roll better than any of the other tapes!
My latest discovery is something called Thrive Tape. I was introduced to this first in a Facebook support group for EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). I then received an email about it from the Ehlers Danlos Society. My curiosity was piqued, but I was skeptical as usual. I knew tape worked, but why was this tape so special? They advertised using far infrared technology in kinesiology tape. I have asked about this, still do not fully understand. The best explanation thus far, is there is a chemical reaction with skin. I was also told it was designed with fragile EDS skin and reactive MCAS skin in mind! I had the opportunity to actually try Thrive tape for myself when I attended an EDS conference. Understatement--I am really impressed! Even knowing that kinesiology tape helped, I was not prepared for how much this tape helps. We applied it without any barrier film or lotion. My skin never got itchy under the tape as it does with other tapes. When I finally removed the tape after 5 days, yes pushing limits to give a test, my skin was fine! It was not red and irritated! That five days included showers, working out, a couple of swimming days. It stuck as well, or better, than other tapes, was easier on my skin, and was more effective. I definitely noticed when I removed the tape. Oh my. Sometimes there is gradual improvement with tape, but more noticeable and rapid return of pain after removal of tape. Additionally, this tape has instructions for taping for different issues, but also states that if unable to tape properly, simply place tape over painful areas. I have tried taping myself some, and am not as capable of taping correctly, but the tape is still helping! I have been following a three days on, one day break pattern with Thrive tape since the conference, as I received a free roll of tape. I use. I am officially sold on its worth. The next challenge, is balancing its cost, as it does cost more.
For those interested in taping, I found it helpful for physical therapist or chiropractor to tape me. We started with only very small area, and only left a day or two at most. As we learned what my skin would, and would not, tolerate, we tried other areas. There are videos and instructions on taping. However, my providers used variations specific to me. Some areas of my body I can tape myself--knees, for example. Others, I cannot, or not very well. My shoulder is impossible to do myself. Taping my own back is possible, but challenging, as it is difficult to get tape truly in most effective placement.
Again, these are only my experiences. I am not receiving anything from any of the companies mentioned. I am not trying to promote one brand over another, simply sharing what works for me and my skin and body. The point of sharing that different brands affect me differently, is that if one brand does not work, it is worth trying another. I have heard others who do better with KT tape than with RockTape. It is individual. I am sharing what I have found helpful over the past couple of years.
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