The irritations, abrasions and dermatitis produced by adhesive plaster when used with wound dressings are too well known to require elaboration. In addition, there are many patients for whom adhesive plaster cannot be used at all, owing to allergies and extreme sensitiveness of the skin to the plaster. Two other disadvantages invariably connected with the use of adhesive plaster in surgical dressings are the varying degrees of discomfort to the patient and the necessity for removing adhesive debris with solvents that may further irritate the skin.
The foregoing objections led to a search for a substance which could be used in place of adhesive plaster and which would have the following characteristics: (1) adhesive qualities, (2) elasticity, (3) ease of application, (4) ease of removal without debris, (5) freedom from toxic and allergic effects, (6) ready availability, (7) low cost and (8) freedom from staining.
In order to achieve these