What Are The Risks of Using Adhesive Appliances Regularly?


What Are The Risks of Using Adhesive Appliances Regularly?

Last updated 01/06/20

Look after your skin and it’ll look after you. If you’re one of millions of people who need to regularly apply adhesive dressings or appliances because of a chronic wound, a stoma or another medical condition, it’s vital that you take care of your skin.

Repeatedly applying and removing adhesives to the skin without adequate aftercare can result in a condition referred to as a medical adhesive-related skin injury (MARSI). MARSI can take a range of forms, from irritation to redness and stinging, to more serious issues such as skin breakdown and stripping. Being a broad category of conditions, MARSI can be caused by a range of factors related to adhesive dressings. Examples include moisture trapped under a dressing resulting in maceration to mechanical injuries caused by applying tape under tension. [1]

For individuals with chronic ulcers performing daily dressing changes, or diabetics using an insulin pump or monitoring system, MARSI can become a pressing concern, complicating the process of providing your body with the care it needs. Especially for patients with fragile skin such as older adults, young children and people with pre-existing skin conditions, MARSI can be a painful and common occurrence without adequate preparation.


What can you do about it?

As adhesive dressings are a continuous part of your care, managing and addressing MARSI is an ongoing process. Basic changes in technique such as selecting hypoallergenic tape and choosing the right strength of dressing for each application can minimise the risk of stripping or other injury[2], but for patients in vulnerable demographics, other precautions may be required.

If you’re intent on looking after your skin, ConvaTec is here to assist you. The use of a skin barrier such as Silesse prior to application of a dressing can protect skin from damage caused by adhesives, moisture and friction. Creating a breathable silicone barrier between the dressing/appliance and the skin, it reduces irritation[3] while still enabling strong adhesion[4]. Equally, an adhesive remover such as Niltac can help to minimise trauma and skin stripping[5], especially for patients requiring no touch removal of appliances.

Discuss your needs with your healthcare professional to find out if these products could be right for you.






[3] Steele N. Skin care protection for urostomates. Journal of Community Nursing. 2009; 23 (6):16-17

[4] Trio Products Test Report TR- 012. September 2010. Data on file. ConvaTec, Inc.

[5] Black P. Peristomal skin care: an overview of available products. British Journal of Nursing. Vol 16. No 17. 2007. Page 1054