PEG tube and paper tape allergies

Laralyn Member Posts: 532
I wanted to post this in case it's helpful for anyone doing a search later who might benefit from this information. Maybe it's worthy of the superthread? :-)

I have a wicked paper tape allergy on my thinner skin areas (like inner arms, stomach, etc.) which never really came to light until I got my PEG tube. Sure, I used to have red rashes where the paper tape was on my arm after donating blood, but I thought that was just sensitive skin reacting to the tape being ripped off.

Then I came home with my PEG tube and my skin was ON FIRE where it was taped. It was so severe that the whole area turned red, the PEG site got infected, and I was in tremendous pain. Now, almost 5 weeks later, the skin in that area is still peeling off. I tried different kinds of tape and they all caused the reaction (although rubbery band-aid like tape caused the least).

I experimented with the stick-to-itself tape, but you have to wind it all the way around you. Within a couple hours of sitting and moving, it was all bunched up and uncomfortable. Then I found three things that work well for me, in the order of my preference:

You can order a PEG tube belt from this shop: It works fairly well, but my skin is so sensitive that the edges of the velcro started to itch like mad. It's great for when you need to go out, though, because it keeps everything cleanly tucked away.

You can get an ACE bandage and wrap it around yourself. I had trouble getting the clips to stick, so I would either just tie it around my waist or tuck it in. It covers the gauze on the site, and gives you a place to tuck the tube end. It tends to unravel unless you tie it, though, so you feel like the invisible man coming undone sometimes in public. A big safety pin would do the trick for sure.

Then finally last night, I figured out the thing I should have figured out in the first week! I take the split gauze around the bumper on each side and slide it down flat. Then I tape the split ends together to form a solid bandage. That largely keeps it in place. Then I tape the tube to the gauze (not my skin) in the right position to use it for feeding. Perfect! No tape on my skin, tube is safely secured, and I can use it easily.

I wear a tank top under other shirts because there is some drainage around my tube, and I just change tank tops as needed. It's the most comfortable way I've found to deal with the combo of the allergy, securing the dressing, securing the tube, propping up the end for feeding, and covering up any seepage. Hope it helps someone else down the road!


  • sweetblood22
    sweetblood22 Member Posts: 3,228
    The ace bandage trick, is
    The ace bandage trick, is already on the Superthread in a couple of places. There is also a netting that you can get from the hospital. It's stretchy, comes in a sleeve, and they cut it off, and you just put it over your head, and down around and over the peg tube, and it will hold it in place. I think you can see part of it in the peg tube photo. It is more breathable than an ace bandage too, because it's a stretchy open netting. You just have to make sure they cut the pieces big enough, because they get smaller width wise when stretched out. About a foot and a half to to foot piece was needed for me.

    I will look at the peg tube belt. I've never heard of that. Thanks! :)

    Dawn (I put together the superthread)

    I looked at the belt. Do you find the width of the belt to be irritating at all? It looks narrow to me.

    Here is a link for the belt for those that would like to view it. I can put the link in my notes for when I update the Superthread.

    PEG TUBE BELT used to hold peg tube in place
  • Roselvr
    Roselvr Member Posts: 30
    My hub is thin so a womens
    My hub is thin so a womens sports bra; 32/34 that did not have cups worked really well to hold the peg tube end. He also had tape allergies. A womens spandex tank top would also hold it snug. He wrapped the French drain end in gauze so it didn't leak.