How to remove adhesive residue from patch medications

by Cricket Webber ; Updated September 28, 2017

Olive oil has been used for centuries as a beauty treatment.

olive oil jar with empty eathenware container image by elmgrover from

Transdermal medications deliver medication directly through your skin into your system. The plastic patch adheres to your skin, usually for 24 to 72 hours, and releases consistent amounts of medication. Transdermal patches deliver all kinds of medications. Most commonly you can find nicotine patches available over the counter, but you will also find many pain medications delivered through the patch system. The patch is convenient and comfortable to wear, and you do not have to worry about when to take your next dose of medication. The adhesive used on these patches can be very stubborn to remove, however.

Dip your finger in a small amount of olive oil and gently massage it into the adhesive residue on your skin. Gradually you will notice the adhesive releasing. You can also lightly use your fingernail to ease the adhesive off your skin. Be careful not to scratch too hard so you do not break the skin. Continue adding olive oil in small amounts until all of the adhesive has released itself from your skin. Olive oil is gentle on skin, and contains antioxidants that moisturize and protect your skin.

Use a mild soap and lukewarm water to wash the olive oil from your skin.

Dry the area with a clean, dry towel and check to see that all of the adhesive has been removed.


  • If you are having difficulty removing the patch itself, you can use olive oil around the edges to ease the medicated patch off your skin.

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About the Author

Cricket Webber began writing for fun as a young adult and started writing professionally in 2010. She is based in the deep South. Webber specializes in articles on greener living. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Converse College.