Face masks have become the first line of defense for health care professionals around the globe battling COVID-19. Yet through prolonged use, that same protective equipment may be putting them at further risk. In response, an unlikely company has come to the rescue. Its name is SpiderTech. Their medical team has developed a new kinesiology tape to prevent the skin abrasions that can become gateways to any number of health problems.
SpiderTech is the pioneer behind precut kinesiology tape, which is used by athletes worldwide to take pressure off overused muscles and reduce pain. This new version, a 100% cotton breathable tape, was developed specifically to protect the faces of medical professionals and first responders forced to wear masks for long periods. Users apply one to three strips of the pre-cut tape, called Gentle Mini iSTRIPs, over the bridge of their nose or in a triangle pattern around the nose and mouth to relieve the pressure of surgical masks’ elastic bands. The gel-like acrylic adhesive on the strip maintains a seal on the skin without irritation and can be removed painlessly.
“We saw images of nurses and doctors on news and social media bearing cuts, bruises and friction marks from their masks and knew we had to do something for these brave caregivers,” said Dr. Nick Martichenko, SpiderTech. “Our kinesiology tape acts as a barrier between the user’s face and their mask or eye wear. Besides discomfort, broken skin caused by masks can open the door to very serious health complications.”
In fact, according to wound-care experts, open wounds under a medical face mask can become a portal for coronavirus to penetrate the body and allow other hospital-acquired infections access to the circulatory system.
Gentle Mini iSTRIPs are applied directly to the face under the worker’s PPE. It can be left on for multiple days and the user’s PPE can be worn or removed without affecting the protective base.
SpiderTech has also devised wide-roll kinesiology tape that can be applied on top of face strips to create a do-it-yourself mask. The user can place any piece of filter material behind the tape for added protection.