What if skin irritation develops?

Unfortunately, a few children do develop mild irritation on the skin from adhesive patches. Below you’ll find some tips to handle irritation.


  • Make sure you are not leaving the patch on overnight.
  • Use a warm washcloth or sponge to wet the patch before removing. It is often the ‘pulling’ of the skin when taking off the patch that causes the irritation.
  • Switch to a different brand of adhesive patch.
  • Vary the size or position of the patch so that it adheres to a different part of the skin each day.
  • Cut various holes or sections from the adhesive portion of the patch. Ensure the patch remains secure and doesn’t allow peeking.
  • Try ‘pre-sticking’ the patch to clothing or your arm to reduce the amount of adhesive before applying.
  • Rub A&D Original ointment (not the diaper rash type) on the edges of the patch 15-20 min before removing. After setting, the adhesive will ‘melt’ and enable easy removal.
  • Apply a thin layer of milk of magnesia (Maalox or Mylanta) to the area of skin to which the patch is applied. Let it dry and then attach the patch to this area. This will protect the skin and enable the patch to come off easily.
  • Vary the schedule of patching to allow the skin to rest. For example; if you are prescribed 4 hours of patching per day, you could patch 8 hours one day with a break the next day.
  • Try placing gauze or hypoallergenic paper tape over the irritated area and then attach the patch to this rather than the skin. The skin under the tape may heal on its own.
  • Rub Aquaphor Healing Ointment (makers of Eucerin) or Cortaid (over the counter ½% hydrocortisone cream) on the irritation before bedtime to promote quick healing.
  • Apply 3M Cavilon No Sting Barrier Film to provide a protective barrier under adhesive (available at
  • If all else fails; you can try an alternative form of patch rather than the adhesive type.

©2008 Riecke, OC(C). This was reprinted with the permission of Jillian Riecke, CO.