Monday, January 24, 2011

The Sticky Patch - Help Article!

I receive a lot of emails and pleas for HELP from parents on the topic of adhesive patches. The biggest 'problem' tends to be with how adhesive patches are so rough on our children's tender skin.  Having patched with adhesives, this is something that I can respond to from the Been There and Done that school of knowledge. 


Yes, my daughter has had her eyebrows and lashes yanked out and the skin pulled raw from peeling off 'easy peel' patches that are essentially band-aids. It is not fun at all.  My daughter has super senstive skin and many adhesive patches we used were so incredbly harsh.

All Patches are not created Equal.
First, I will say that if you are using adhesive patches they are not all created 'equal'.  Just like kids band-aids there are some that fall off, some that come off easy, and some that hurt!   The patches that stayed on well and didn't hurt when coming off - making them acceptable for use on my daughter's tender skin were the Krafty Eye Patches and the Ortopad Elite patches.  The other brands we tried like Fresnel (MYI) and CVS Nexxcare were too sticky or abrasive. 

Keep it Clean
In terms of making sure a patch will stick and stay stuck, it is essential that the skin be clean and free of any moisturizer, sunscreen, or sweat.  Before applying a patch, simply clean the area around the eye with a babywipe or gentle washcloth - it makes a world of difference for the patch staying on and in place. And in the long run it will also save you money because you aren't having to toss and put on another patch partway through the day.   Also, in a pinch you can stick the patch onto a clean slick surface and re-use it later in the day if you need to take it off for any reason.

Products that COULD help cut the Ouch!
When we first started using adhesive patches I received a suggestion to put a little bit of MOM - Milk of Magnesia under the patch.    A lot of moms stand by this home remedy and claim that it works.  Unfortunately, my daughter had an allergic reaction to the Milk Of Magnesia - so that bombed for us.  However, if it works for you it can be a lifesaver.

In the medical field, those patients who require frequent bandaging use a product called Cavilon Adhesive Barrier.  I saw it being sold on the Fresnel Prism (MYI patches) site - and considering that their patches are super super sticky I can see why this adhesive barrier film might be needed.  However, had I sticker shock when I saw that they were selling a box of 25 swabs for $50. As if the price of adhesive patches isn't enough!  The good news is that you don't have to pay even close to that price. The same box of 25 can be purchased online for under $20.  It comes in swabs, wipes or a spray. I wouldn't suggest using the spray (to avoid getting it in your eye)  unless you first sprayed it onto a cottonball.  Many claim huge success with Cavilon No-Sting as well.  Given that my daughter has such sensitive skin, I haven't tried it. 

We prefer to use gentle patches that don't require 'harsh' or extra products.

Consider Cloth!
Know that cloth patches are also an option if your child wears glasses.

With cloth patches it is very important to know that your child isn't able to peek and that the patch you are using offers full occlusion.  My daughter has a stash of cloth patches and some do better than others at being peek-proof.  My daughter knows that if she is caught peeking, that I will "double patch" her - which means I put an adhesive patch under the cloth patch.  She prefers the look of the cloth patch over the adhesives, so if she chooses a patch that she can peek with - she might get double duty that day.   The cloth patch that I know for a fact offers 100 percent peek-proof occlusion is Framehuggers patch.  I know without a doubt when she is wearing the framehuggers, she's got it covered and no adhesive is needed.

Do you have any tips? Please feel free to share them in comments!


  1. Good timing! We got Ortopad patches from Zoe's doctor, and they worked fine, except that they were the boy patterns, and after 2 weeks, Zoe asked if she could have patches that were sparklier. That seemed like a totally fair request, so I bought the Ortopad Elite patches. They're sparkly, but that adhesive is just so danged sticky. They don't cause any reactions or break outs, we just can't get the patches off her face. Today I put a little moisturizer around her eye and it sounds like her teacher had no problem taking it off. Of course, it didn't stick nearly as well, but it stayed on just fine for now.

    Oh, and we use a piece of parchment paper to put the patch on after she's worn it, to take it back home to put on her patch chart. It stays on the parchment paper, but peels off easily and then sticks to her poster.

  2. For the Ortopads -If you don't need to reuse the patch try wetting the adhesive area. Once it is wet it becomes a lot easier to remove