The Effects of Equine Skin Preparation

Tape can be a very practical thing to have around!  In animal health, tapes and wraps are often used to support, help with healing, bandaging, and to improve performance.  But there are other, lesser-known applications as well.

In a paper published in 2006, authors were looking at ways to improve absorption of topical medications into the skin of horses.  Different topical treatments can have different rates of absorption, skin irritation, and can lead to side effects if it doesn’t absorb quickly.

These authors worked in a lab with frozen skin samples of Thoroughbred Geldings.  They then worked with the skin samples the following ways:

  • No skin treatment
  • Cleaning the samples with chlorhexidine (mixed in solution or alcohol)
  • Shaved
  • Tape-stripped using adhesive tape

The authors found that all techniques of chemical cleaning increased skin absorption, but also that the skin previously treated with tape also had greater absorption, without needing to use any chemical preparation.  This approach showed that horse skin reacts to topical treatments very differently when the skin has been prepared prior to treatments, which is important for caregivers to consider.  Furthermore, the study shows that adhesive tape can be an effective skin preparation technique that doesn’t require chemical treatments applied to the skin.

Is this an approach you use in your practice? If so, we’d love to hear from you!  Contact us at


← Older Post Newer Post →