Adhesive tapes are available in a variety of styles and forms to meet patient and healthcare provider needs. They range from medical surgical tapes made of "paper" and "silk-like" materials, adhesive gauze and non-woven elastic tapes, to heavier support tapes used in sports medicine applications. Some tapes are also designed to with elastic properties which allow them to provide light compression.
Designed specifically for use in healthcare applications, medical adhesive tapes may be used on fragile or at-risk skin, as well as in moist skin environments. Air permeable, they allow outside air to penetrate and reach the underlying dressing or skin, creating a "breathable" healing and support solution. Although designed to securely fasten, they can also be removed without damaging underlying skin or disrupting wound beds.