The “latex-free” tag is quickly becoming a common term in the market space these days, adorning many articles ranging from body products (like cosmetics) to medical accessories (like bandages, exam gloves, and particularly, medical tape). The reason is not far-fetched. The tag assures the consumer that these products are free of latex and other natural rubber products that may cause allergies.
This article discusses latex allergies and why they are such a big deal. Then, we discuss the benefits of latex-free medical tapes and factors to consider if you want to purchase the ideal medical tape. If you are a sports enthusiast seeking to embark on the “tape journey” or a medical therapist seeking the best tapes, this read is for you.
What is Latex Allergy?
Latex allergy is a condition in which a person’s immune system is hyper-sensitive to latex and natural rubber products. Latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. It is typically used in products like balloons, gloves, and condoms.
When a person allergic to latex comes in contact with latex-containing products by skin contact, airway exposure, or ingestion, it sets off abnormal body reactions, and this is because the body identifies these products as “foreign” and attacks them like a disease-causing pathogen.
Usually, these reactions are mild and only cause some minor discomfort in their wake. However, they could be fatal or debilitating in the most severe cases.
What Are Some Symptoms Of Latex Allergy?
The following symptoms arise due to the immune system’s interaction with latex and other natural rubber products.
- Skin Irritation and Rash: People with latex sensitivity could develop itchy, reddish skin on body surfaces where they come in contact with latex. For example, the hands of a latex-allergic person might turn reddish after using latex gloves. They could also develop a skin rash that spreads when it comes in contact with other body parts.
- Runny Nose, Sporadic Sneezing, and Hives: If the latex comes in contact with the airway of an allergic person’s nose and irritates its surfaces, sneezing and abnormal mucus secretion could ensue.
- Difficulty Breathing: In severe cases, when latex particles creep into the lung airways of an allergic person, they could cause reactions that set off wheezing in the allergic person. They could also cause difficulty breathing, typical of asthmatic episodes.
- Anaphylaxis: This can be fatal and is the most severe symptom. Anaphylaxis is a generalized allergic reaction that causes low blood pressure and shock. It is usually a cause of an emergency.
Less than 1% of Americans suffer from some form of latex allergy. While this low percentage suggests that it is a rare condition, it is still significant. Why? For a country like the US, whose people number in the hundreds of millions, the number of cases is still many. Latex allergies have no cure. The only way to manage it is for sufferers to avoid triggers.
Notably, the number of latex sensitivity cases has reduced in recent years because products on the market are increasingly becoming latex-free. Nonetheless, it is still a cause for concern if you are a sports enthusiast seeking to embark on the tape journey or a medical therapist who seeks to use them for treatment.
What Special Benefits Do Latex-Free Medical Tapes Then Offer?
Medical tapes are typically designed to secure or hold bandages and other forms of dressing firmly in place on a wound. They are usually strapped on for long periods until recovery. This “recovery” period could last from days to weeks. These tapes are also generally very convenient because attachment and detachment are not stressful. They come as precut strips or rolls in most cases.
However, these tapes are typically used differently in sports or competitive settings. For example, many athletes usually wear the tape directly over the skin. They do this to prevent injuries and stabilize joints, bones, and muscles amidst the rigors of sports. Despite the differences in these two cases, these tapes are usually applied close enough to the skin to exert their effects.
Now that we have discussed latex sensitivity and its symptoms, it is evident that the major benefit of wearing latex-free medical tape is that you are spared adverse hypersensitivity reactions. In other words, hives, rashes, difficulty breathing, and sporadic sneezing are out of the question whenever you use these tapes!
What’s more? You get to use your medical tape to its fullest potential! How so?
Here goes: Usually, when latex-containing tapes are used, barriers such as non-woven fabric are put between the tape and the skin as a precautionary measure to prevent allergic reactions. In the process, the remarkable ability of these tapes to latch on tightly to surfaces is diminished.
This reduction of adhesive strength consequently makes these tapes less effective than they would be. Latex-free tape alleviates all these concerns; when strapped on, the tapes hold tighter and for more extended periods.
How Do You Know Good Medical Tape When You See It?
It is easy to be carried away by the variety of medical tape on the market or make poor choices when you need to get the good stuff. However, beyond ensuring that you steer clear of allergenic products, there are other factors you should also consider. They include the following:
- Breathability: The best medical tapes can readily transmit air and some moisture through them when you strap them on your skin. This is a property that should be of utmost priority. You wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Why? Because tapes that lack breathability cause discomfort and unwarranted skin reactions when you use them. These reduce user satisfaction, and you should steer clear of them!
- Adhesive Property: How good a medical tape is, is also based on its adhesiveness. How long does it hold? How firmly does it blend with the skin? The best medical tapes have remarkable adhesiveness that can last for long periods without waning in effectiveness. Moreover, good medical tape does not leave unsightly residue after use. So, when you seek to purchase one, consider this.
- Durability: This property comes in handy if you are into rigorous sports/athletic endeavors. The best tape, like ours at Hampton Adams, is durable enough to withstand the rigors of different activities, thanks to its unique reinforced cotton fabric makeup.
- Waterproof Properties and Ease of Use: The best tapes can hold their own against moderate exposure to moisture. This property is particularly useful if you find yourself in wet environments. Also, good medical tapes are easy to tear, attach before use and detach after use.
While this may seem trivial, it certainly is worth considering. Why? For example, some tapes may be troublesome and uncomfortable to rip off after use. Ideal medical tapes are meant to offer comfort – as are other sports accessories.
- Extra Features: Some tape boasts some additional features that prove very useful and increase the value of medical tapes. For example, some tapes are infused with zinc oxide, accelerating healing. This comes in handy when you use these tapes to dress wounds and support your joints, muscles, and the like. Therefore, if products possess features like this, you could opt for them ahead of the seemingly “ordinary” ones.
You do not have to settle for less. Get the best!
Our Hampton Adams 3-pack White Athletic Tapes are tailored to perfectly suit your needs as they boast all the ideal properties you could seek in medical tapes at great, consumer-friendly prices. First off, and most importantly, they are latex-free. They spare you the trouble and discomfort of allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin.
Also, their 100% cotton fabric makeup makes them breathable, lightweight, and durable – ideal for physical support. Our tapes are also infused with zinc oxide, a compound that accelerates wound healing – a valuable property for dressing wounds. They are medical-grade material.
Our tapes are also easy to tear with your fingers off the roll before use. They are also easy to attach to and detach from the skin, making them very convenient. All these, added with their sticky adhesive (that does not leave residue) and their remarkable versatility, make them easily pass as the ideal choice for medical therapists and sports enthusiasts worldwide.
The cherry on the cake is our consumer-friendly policies. We offer a 60-day refund time window if you have any valid reservations.
What are you waiting for? Pay a visit to the Hampton Adams website to let yourself in on the flavorful medical tape journey today!