#846 How to patch test for tape allergy - DOC

#846 How to patch test for tape allergy

Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about how to patch test for tape allergy.



Taping is one of the oldest and simplest ways to treat foot pain and injuries to the toes, feet and ankles.

There is a specific way to take your ankles after an ankle sprain so you can start running earlier. 

If you have a plantar plate sprain you might try taping the toe to decrease some of the stress and strain on the plantar plate ligament when you run.

If you have a broken toe, buddy-splinting with tape can really help hold the broken bone still so it can hurt less and heal faster. 

But if your skin gets irritated, and you are forced to stop using it, the tape can’t help you at all. 

Yesterday I was on a call with the runner in the Injured Runner’s Aid Station who had tried taping, but had to quit using it because his skin got super raw and irritated and only three days.

The first reason skin breakdown can happen is that you’re putting the tape onto tightly. When the tape is too tight, it pulls on the skin and can cause the skin to become raw. 

But the one thing that we as physicians often worry about is a true tape allergy.

If you tell any doctor that you used to certain kind of tape and a cause skin irritation they will probably tell you to never use it again.

But there is way to tell whether or not you might be allergic to the tape. It’s a simple process doctors call patch testing.

Here is how to do it…

Step 1. Get the tape you want to test and two Band-Aids. Make sure the same band-Aids.

Step 2. Take the tape you want to test and cut out a small circle or square. The tape sample should only be about the size of a dime.

Step 3. Stick the dime-sized piece of tape on your left forearm. Put it in the spot where won’t rub on anything. Cover it with one of the Band-aids.

Step 4. Put the second Band-Aid on your right forearm and exactly the same location is the one on your left forearm.

Step 5.  Leave the Band-Aids in place for 1 to3 days. If you start having any itching, burning, pain or tingling, remove the Band-Aids, then wash both locations was mild soap and water.

Step 6. After you remove the Band-Aids hold your arms together and compare them side-by-side. If you have no redness or irritation on either forearm. you know that you are not allergic to the tape you tested and you’re not allergic to the Band-Aids either.

If you are allergic to the tape you were testing you will have redness, itching and maybe even some raw skin where you placed the sample of tape.

In that case, you may want to talk to an allergist or a dermatologist about a potential allergy to that specific tape, whatever you do, don’t ever use it again.

If you did find that you were allergic to the tape you have been using, you might want to try a different type of tape. If so, try to find one that’s listed as hypoallergenic.

That way you might be able to start taping again and get back to running a whole lot faster.

If you have a question and what to run it by me, join me in the Injured Runner’s Aid Station where I share all of the tips, tricks and strategies I use with runners who want to run, instead of waiting to run. I’ll be there…   DocOnTheRun.com/aidstation