When talking about KT Tape, or any kinesiology, sports, or athletic tape for that matter; one of the first questions that gets asked most often is: '...So how long will the tape stay on for?'
And our honest answer - particularly when asked in the beginning of a conversation with a customer is: 'We simply don't know!'
As you might imagine, this very often raises an eyebrow, (or two,) from the person asking the question, frequently because they have actually already read somewhere that the tape will last 'up to 5 days' or even 'up to a week or more' and they want some sort of verbal confirmation or corroboration of these statements.
But our answer is the only truly honest answer, and I can explain why.
We hear the phrase 'everyone is different' quoted regularly these days, and when it comes to kinesiology taping, it is an extremely accurate one. Not only do people have very different skin types, (and temperatures,) but they also have very different lifestyles, grooming techniques, and live in widely different climates. Also, even on the same person, the skin on the inside of their arm can bear little or no resemblance to the skin on their calf, or thigh, or sole of their foot for example. Consequently, until we can establish what part of the body they want to tape, what they are taping it for, what they are going to be doing while wearing the application - run a marathon(?) take part in an Ironman(?) or just sit at the desk in their office? And until we establish what skin type they have – dry(?) oily(?) hairy(?) moisturized(?) covered in sun tan cream(?) - it is impossible to predict how long any specific application is likely to last.
Even weather conditions can have an effect, so it's important to know when and where they will be when applying the tape. For example, if you tape yourself outdoors on a cold damp day, the application is likely to last for a shorter period than if you apply the same app on a warm, dry day. This is why taping in good time, and indoors if possible, is always preferable to ensure you get the best from your application.
I always think that asking how long the tape will stay on for is exactly the same as filling your car up with petrol at the service station and then asking the attendant: How long is that tank of fuel going to last me??? He or she would have no idea! To even give a semi-educated guess, they would have to know what size of engine your car had, whether it was diesel or petrol, where you were planning to go, and on what type of road, and at what speed, and with how many people in the car etc, etc.
If you think about it, you could fill your car up with petrol, drive it home, and park it outside the house and not move it - in which case that tank of fuel will last for years. Equally, you could be driving from London to Paris, in which case you will only get a matter of hours out of it.
Taping, and the durability of any application, is exactly the same thing.
The final point I would make is that everyone talks about how well tape should stick, but that is not the issue. Not at all. The real issue is, how easily and painlessly does it come off? You can always get the tape to stick - most tape manufacturers produce a medical grade adhesive specifically designed for the skin, for anyone who needs it based on some of the points made above. We even have our very own Ultra Stick (see here) for just such a purpose. So no, the really important thing about top quality KT Tape is that it sticks when needed but releases when wanted, without leaving any painful red marks, itchiness, or gluey residue. Remember, KT Tape isn't just for athletes, it's for everyone, young and old, male and female, fit and not so fit. So we have to be conscious that the skin on a 25 year old triathlete's leg is very different to the skin on a 75 year old's post operative shoulder, and we must be able to treat them both accordingly.
For more info on our 'general' taping instructions and guidelines, please click here.