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The Effect of Kinesio Tapes on the Growth of Human Skin Bacteria

*Andi Fleming, *Makayla Sims, **Mary Ellen Oesterle, **Teresa Conner-Kerr, *Paul Johnson, *Dobrusia Bialonska

*Department of Biology, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega GA

**Department of Physical Therapy, Radford University, Carilion VA

Kinesio tapes are adhesive tapes used in physical therapy to alleviate discomfort and facilitate lymphatic drainage by minimally lifting the skin. It is believed that kinesio tapes reduce inflammation, prevent injuries, and promote circulation. However, in order to achieve these effects, these tapes are often worn in contact with the skin for several consecutive days with the producers of these tapes stating that they are hypoallergenic and wearable as such.

In this study, we studied the effect of nine of these kinesio tapes on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus (ATTC 12600), Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATTC 14990), and Micrococcus luteus (ATTC 4698) in a standard diffusion-based assay. Both the adhesive and the backing of each tape were evaluated for their antimicrobial properties. Upon evaluation, it was observed that none of the tapes caused formation of inhibition zones in the opportunistic pathogen S. aureus, including the tape that was claimed to possess antimicrobial properties. One tape, Leukotape P, caused growth inhibition in non-pathogenic S. epidermidis and M. luteus. In addition, the adhesive material present on all the studied tapes inhibited the growth of all of the three bacteria. These results indicate that kinesio tapes have a potential to impact the normal skin microbiota. Further, extended exposure to the tape could lead to significant changes in normal skin microbiota, which might contribute to an increased risk of skin infections such as the MRSA infections.

Kinesiology Tape, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Growth, Growth Inhibition, Skin Microbiota


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
18.4 MB



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event date
    • 17 April 2020

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dobrusia Bialonska, Paul Johnson, Teresa Conner-Kerr, Mary Ellen Oesterle