What is Duct tape?

Duct tape is a cloth tape with a poly- ethylene resin coating on one side and a rubber based adhesive on the other side making it extremely sticky.

It was originally invented in the 1920’s by a group of researchers led by Richard Drew of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co (3M) and then further developed by Permacel (now Johnson &Johnson) during the Second World War. Its primary use was to keep moisture out of the ammunition cases, it was referred to as `Duck tape` due to its waterproof qualities which the soldiers likened it to “Water off a Ducks back”. However, in later years as it was frequently used in America for joining heating and air conditioning ducts together and became more commonly known as Duct tape.

What it is used for?

I think it is likely that most households have a roll of duct tape in the house or garage and its uses seem to be endless, there are many online clips of interesting applications of duct tape and along with WD40, and you can pretty much fix most things!

Personally, I have used duct tape to fix household items on temporary or permanently basis. Securing my car wing mirror three times after knocking it off, is still very clear in my mind. I removed the drive post in the end as it was much cheaper than replacing my wing mirror. Duct tape helped me drive legally until the part was replaced again and again!

Why Duct Tape is bad for your skin?

I recognise the slippy side of the tape is great at reducing friction but these are the reasons why I wouldn’t use it on the skin.

  • Duct tape has an industrial not a medical grade adhesive and has been known to cause allergic dermatitis when applied to the skin.
  • It is an impermeable barrier tape to water or air and ultimately sweat will build up under the tape leading to the maceration which will either blister or breakdown the skin
  • Duct tape lacks flexibility and will crease easily when applied to the feet, creasing on any tape will be a causative factor in blister formation.

What tape I recommend for blisters.

Taping the feet prior to an activity to prevent feet blisters is commonplace and works for a lot of people but if you are going to tape then use the ones that have a medical grade adhesive.

Hypafix® and KT pro® tapes are Blisterhelp’s preferred choice for this purpose but I know that there is a love for the less stretchy, rigid tapes and therefore would recommend Leukotape ®P tape under these circumstances.

Leukotape ®P is a zinc oxide plaster it is a rigid tape but could be a problem for those who struggle with base metal allergies. A solution to this problem is to apply hypafix® tape to the skin prior to using leukotape ®and this will help to overcome this issue.

With all these choices of tape for the prevention of foot blisters, there is no need for the application of industrial tapes to the skin. Keep the duct tape in the toolbox for all the household repairs that it is so brilliant at doing and be kinder to your skin.

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