Prewraps (underwraps) come in a thin, porous foam material and usually in 3 inch rolls. Therapists usually apply them to high friction areas of the body, or to bony prominences, prior to taping in order to reduce irritation of those areas. Underwrap will usually conform well to contoured surfaces like the ankle and will also stick lightly to itself upon application. This makes it a perfect choice to serve as the first layer in a taping job, protecting the injured area from direct contact with the zinc oxide adhesive present on athletic tape. For patients with sensitive or broken skin, this protection is very important.
In addition to this primary use, prewraps also come in useful as a means of holding equipment or clothing in place or even to keep the athlete’s hair away from the eyes during training or competition. Underwraps can even serve as temporary patellar tendon straps to those experiencing patellar tendonitis.