If you use HRT patches, such as Evorel, you’ll know first-hand how difficult it can be to get rid of the marks left behind from the sticky adhesive. Obviously, they need to be super sticky because you want them to stay put in order for them to work their hormone boosting magic. Nevertheless, looking like some patchy giraffe isn’t exactly the look you were going for when stripping off in front of the husband/hitting the beach/strutting your stuff at the swimming pool.
Fortunately for you, we’ve been on a mission to find some of most effective ways to remove the marks left by your HRT patches and we’re going to share them with you today.
Prepare The Area
OK, so the black marks your HRT patches leave behind… it’s more than just adhesive. It’s actually an accumulation of dead skin cells and fluff from your clothing. Moving forwards, one thing you can do to lessen the appearance of the marks is to wear lighter coloured underwear. The fluff will still stick to the patch, but it won’t show up as much as the fluff from black or dark coloured clothing.
It helps to prepare your skin prior to removal of the patch, and you can do this by having a warm bath, or soaking the area with a warm, wet flannel. This will help to soften the skin and weaken the adhesive, which will not only make removal of the patch a lot easier, but it will also leave less adhesive for you to remove.
Even after doing this, it’s highly likely you’ll have some marks left on you from your HRT patches. Here’s what you can do to get those last stubborn marks off.
Oils are the key to adhesive removal. Any kind of oil will do: baby oil, coconut oil, bio-oil, vitamin E oil, whatever you’ve got in the cupboard. Simply soak a reusable make up pad or flannel with your chosen oil and then apply to the marks. Hold it there for a minute or so and then gently rub. You’ll need to reapply the oil from time to time, and it will help to use a tissue to wipe away the adhesive as it comes away from the skin. The oil works by dissolving the adhesive and as it gradually loosens its grip on your skin it can then be easily wiped away. It’s really important you give your skin a good wash before applying your next patch as any leftover oil may prevent the patch from sticking.
Eye Make Up Remover
Eye make up remover is really good at removing sticky residue from skin. Apply marks with a cotton pad and gently wipe away. If the marks are particularly stubborn you could try giving it a gentle rub with a shower body puff.
Plaster Adhesive Remover
You can actually buy plaster adhesive remover solution from places like Amazon or possibly from your local pharmacy if you ask. Brands like Zoff come as individual wipes, so whilst not particularly environmentally handy, they are super convenient and very effective at removing adhesive residue.
Surgical spirit is typically used to harden skin, for example on the soles of the feet or to help with the prevention of bed sores, but it is also good at dissolving most adhesives. Try rubbing a very small amount onto the residue left on your skin and leave for a few second before rubbing away. This technique is not recommended if you have sensitive or dry skin as the alcohol in surgical spirit will dry the skin out even further. Always make sure you moisturise the area of skin after you have used surgical spirit and allow enough time for it to be absorbed into the skin before applying your next patch.
Nail Polish Remover
Most of us have a bottle of nail varnish remover in the house, but you’ll need to check whether what you have contains acetone, because if it doesn’t it won’t work. Acetone is the key ingredient for removing the adhesive from your HRT patches. Apply with a cotton pad, flannel, or cotton bud, leave for a short while and then wipe away.
Vaseline is probably the most useful product ever; it is so versatile. You can use it as a lip balm, to remove make up, to prevent chaffing, to hydrate nails, to relieve dry skin, plus it’s also really good at removing marks left by your HRT patches. Rub a thick layer over the marks and leave it to work its magic for 5-10 minutes. After this time, wipe away with a clean cloth or tissue.
If you can bear it, try wrapping a cloth around an ice pack and then applying this to the sticky residue left on your skin. The cold will freeze the adhesive which makes it brittle, and it should then be much easier to peel or rub off.
Use HRT Gel Instead
If, despite all of the above, you’re finding the removal of your HRT patches really annoying and time consuming, you could of course change the HRT you’re using to help alleviate your perimenopause symptoms. An alternative is an HRT gel like Oestrogel, which can be prescribed by your GP. This gel needs to be applied daily to a large area of skin, such as the thighs. There is no sticky residue to deal with, but you do have to allow time for the gel to dry before getting dressed and you also have to wash your hands very carefully afterwards so that you don’t spread hormones around to the rest of the family. There are pros and cons to be had from both the patches and the gel, so do some research and speak to your GP so that you can make a decision that’s going to be right for you.
Hopefully, these tips will help make removal of your HRT patches and the marks they leave behind a lot easier and a lot quicker. If you have any tips of you’re own we’d love to hear from you.