• How to apply a patch

How to apply a patch

It is important to use your patch as directed by your doctor. Some patches need changing every day, whereas some need changing less frequently so it is important to be sure how often your patch needs to be changed. If you’re in any doubt, or have any other questions or concerns you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Your patch should be applied to an area of clean, dry and hairless skin, such as the upper arm.
  • If finding an area of hairless skin is difficult, it is best not to shave an area as this will cause irritation. Instead you should clip the hair as close to the skin as possible.
  • Avoid applying the patch to sensitive skin or areas of skin that has cuts, spots or other blemishes on it.
  • It is important not to apply the patch to the same area of skin twice in a row, so you will need to ‘rotate’ the area of skin that you apply your patch to. For example, if you apply your first patch to the upper left arm, the next patch cannot be applied to the same place, but could be applied to the upper right arm instead.
  • If the patch is being used by a child, it is best applied to the back of the upper arm as this minimises the risk of the child pulling the patch off.
  • Once you have prepared a suitable area of skin, you will need to remove the patch from its packaging and apply it to the skin.
  • Most patches will come in a pouch that should be carefully opened before removing the patch. If you have problems getting your patch out of the packaging, you could ask somebody to help you, or speak to your doctor.
  • The patch will have a sticky side covered by a plastic backing. The plastic backing should be removed (and thrown away) to reveal the sticky side, which can then be placed on the skin firmly.
  • You should press the patch onto the skin firmly with the palm of your hand and hold it is place for at least thirty seconds to ensure it is firmly in place, especially around the edges. Try to avoid touching the sticky side of the patch with your fingers when applying it. Once the patch is securely in place, wash your hands.
  • When the patch needs to be removed, carefully peel it from the skin, fold it in half so that the sticky side sticks to itself and place in your rubbish bin.

Most people find they do not have too many problems using their patches but some people may find their skin becomes irritated or sore especially in the first few days. If this happens, it will usually settle down after a few days but if it bothers you, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist. Your patch should stay in place for as long as needed. However if it falls off, replace it with a fresh patch.