How to remove tape, without taking skin along for the ride.
SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape should last 5 to 7 days when applied correctly, but there comes a time to say goodbye to your tape application. Sometimes activity and movement has loosened the adhesive and the tape peels off of you, and sometimes the tape doesn't want to let you go. Here's some tips to make sure that you have the best possible experience removing the tape.
Choose the right tape. Most people find standard SpiderTape to be the best fit. It is latex free, made in Canada from breathable cotton and it is affordable. If you have sensitive skin or have had problems with adhesives on your skin in the past, check out SpiderTech Gentle. It has a gel adhesive specially formulated for delicate or fragile skin. If you find that standard adhesives don't have the sticking power for your skin, try SpiderTech Pro. Made with the original kinesiology tape, developed in Japan, SpiderTech Pro is the clinical standard for medical practitioners.
Avoid Extras. All SpiderTech Tapes do not require extra spray adhesive or any chemical skin prep, we do not recommend using commercial products meant to improve adhesion. Soap and water or an alcohol wipe should be the only thing needed to prep the skin for the tape. The same goes for tape removal spray.
Apply your tape application correctly. This includes prepping the skin and not over stretching the ends of the tape. If the tape is pulling the skin it can lead to irritation and blistering, so always make sure that the ends are not stretched. We did a more detailed post about how to apply the tape for best results here.
Dry off. Removing the tape after soaking it in warm water can seem like a good idea, but don't remove the tape while it's wet. The adhesive in quality kinesiology tape is made to be non water soluble so warm water won't actually loosen the hold. In fact, soaking the tape can create suction that pulls the skin with the tape. OW! Air drying is best, or pat dry with a towel.
Stretch the muscle. Much like during application, flex as much as possible to keep the skin tight, but not so much as to be uncomfortable or cause pain. For example, when removing a knee application, bend the knee. (If you did not shave the area prior to application you are going to start feeling those hairs at this stage.)
Hold your skin. Use one hand to hold the skin tight around where you are removing the tape. Use your thumb and index finger to frame the area. If you don't have a free hand, hold your skin down with your pinky and ring finger while you use you thumb and index finger to roll the tape. Pressing down on the skin close to where the tape is lifting, will keep the skin taut and help reduce area feeling the pull of the tape.
Roll don't pull. Start from the top of the tape application, roll the tape from the edge in the direction of hair growth. Even if you did shave before application, it is always wise to go in the direction hair growth as it will reduce the amount of irritation to the follicles and pores.
Soap and water. Once you have rolled off the tape, in rare cases there may be some adhesive residue. It should not be sticky, but sometimes there is a thin residue. This should come off with a bit of soap and water or hand sanitizer. If your tape is leaving a sticky residue, like a bandage or plaster, we recommend trying SpiderTech.
Give your skin a little break. For some people kinesiology tape is an everyday solution to mobility problems. If you are removing an application and replacing it with fresh tape on a regular basis, we do recommend giving your skin an hour or so to rest between applications. SpiderTech Tapes are breathable and latex free, but after removing an application skin can get a little flushed and puffy. Allowing about an hour between applications gives your skin some time to recover.
Any tips or advice we missed? Let us know!