When it comes to "painless" bandages, many of us might assume that they're designed mainly for children, who simply don't like the sting that comes with the removal of conventional products. The fact is, however, that approximately 1.5 million patients in U.S. health care facilities receive skin injuries caused by bandage removal every year. Many of these patients are elderly, require repeated tapings in the same area, or have fragile skin for other reasons. It's for people like these that 3M designed its new Kind Removal Silicone Tape.
The tape is claimed to remain attached to the skin just as securely as regular medical adhesive tape, due to its lower-than-average surface tension - this allows it to settle into crevices in the skin and hold on. It is also repositionable. Additionally, however, it comes off with a minimum of skin disruption or pulling of hairs. 3M states that this is because the tape's silicone adhesive interacts with skin differently than the acrylate adhesives used in most other products. The energy of the bond is said to dissipate through the adhesive instead of the skin, resulting in less pulling on the skin when the tape is removed.
When tested alongside a popular paper tape that is known for its gentle removability, subjects who did express a preference reportedly chose the silicone tape by a factor of two to one. In an 11-day repeat application study, the 3M tape was also shown to cause less skin damage on volunteers than a control tape.
Kind Removal Silicone Tape was launched this week at the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society conference in New Orleans. It should be available via the 3M website as of June 22nd.