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Kinesio tape

What is Kinesio® tape?

Kinesio tape is a specific type of tape that is applied to an area of the body to:

  • increase circulation to the tissues under the taped area.
  • decrease swelling by raising the tissue and relieving the pressures beneath the skin surface.

Depending on the direction it is applied, Kinesio tape will also:

  • help strengthen a weakened muscle by providing information from the skin and muscles to the brain to increase muscle activity; or
  • help decrease pain and muscle spasms by providing information from the skin and muscles to the brain to decrease muscle activity.

The tape is waterproof and has holes to allow air circulation. It is hypoallergenic and does not contain latex, reducing the chances of allergic reaction.

How is Kinesio tape used?

The tape is applied to the area by a trained rehabilitation therapist. It works best if it is left on for three days.
Some children are bothered by the tape. It might feel itchy or uncomfortable at first. Try to keep the tape on for at least 24 hours before removing. Each time the tape is applied, try to increase the wearing time until it stays on for three days. Once the tape is removed, it will not stick to the skin again.

Removing the tape

  • The tape comes off easiest when wet.
  • You can also apply olive oil or baby oil on the tape and let it soak in.
  • Remove tape in the direction the hair grows.
  • As you pull the tape with one hand, use the fingers of your other hand to press against the skin.
  • Rub the skin as you remove the tape to help reduce sensitivity.

How do I care for my child?

Watch for skin problems around the taped area. Redness under and around the tape may be normal, as the tape increases circulation. It should go away within 24 hours. Remove the tape right away and call your therapist if:

  • redness lasts more than 24 hours.
  • blisters appear on the skin.
  • itching occurs under the tape.

Your child can shower or bathe. The cotton fabric over the adhesive will absorb water, but will dry in about 20 minutes.

  • Blot the tape's wet areas dry with a towel. Do not rub the tape, as this will cause the edges to loosen.
  • Do not use a hairdryer to dry the tape. The heat will harden the acrylic glue making it very hard and uncomfortable to remove.

If the tape gets loose edges, carefully trim  the loose edges with scissors. Do not get too close to the skin.

Special information








This home program is to be used only under the guidance of your child's therapist. If you have any problems with this home program, or any questions, please call your therapist in the Developmental and Rehabilitation Services Department.

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Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Last Reviewed 7/2015 © Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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