I hope someone can help me. I have been on the patch for about a year now. Ive dropped all the way down to the 7mg patches; but in order to drop down even further without quitting completely....I now cut the patches into smaller and smaller squares and where them for up to 4 days.
A friend of mine was using a very similar method, he also cut the patches into smaller and smaller size.
Wearing them for more than 24h is not recommended for two reasons:
1. The nicotine dispersed in the active part of the patch is used up. wearing the patch for more than 24h is basically like wearing a band-aid, it's sticky, but it has no nicotine (or very little thereof) in there. Even though there is some residual nicotine left in the patch when you take it off, it won't permeate into your skin, because the concentration level is too low (unless the concentration is above isotonic, the skin will repel most chemicals - this is why some creams will soak into the skin like moisturizer ointment, while others will stay outside if it, like sunscreen).
2. Hygiene. Unless you're using pre-incection swabs before you put on a patch, you're gluing bacteria, a few viruses and the odd fungal spore to your skin. A widened pore, a slightly more widened hair follicle, and you can get all kinds of funny infections.
Whether you can cut the patch into smaller parts or not, depends on the patches.
There are basically two kinds of patches:
1. The ones that kinda work similar to a band-aid. They have a section in the center with the nicotine dispersed in some sort of solution, and a sticky surface around it, which sticks the patch yo your skin.
He're how they look like:
These cannot be cut into smaller sizes. The part with the nicotine might be sticky as well, but they pretty much only work when the nicotine containing part is applied directly to the skin, without air coming in from the side.
otherwise, they will just dry out quite quickly. So while a patch might be meant to be worn for 24h, it'll dry out in just three hours.
Here's another one:
You can clearly see the gauze section with the active ingredients in the center part, and a thinner, sticky part around it.
2. The ones that are already cut-outs of a larger sheet. These have the nicotine dispersed into the gel-like sticky part of the patch.
Here's what one of them looks like:
They don't have to be translucent, mind you.
Anyway, these can be cut into smaller size, because the nicotine is evenly dispersed into the gel. The way a nicotine dose is selected, is simply by selecting a larger or smaller surface area the gel touches the skin.
Im trying to diminish my brains addiction to as little nicotine as possible before I quit totally.
Yep, that's exactly what a friend of mine did. He cut off a quarter of the patch before removing the protective plastic that sticks to the gel. He kept the cut-off parts for when he was at a very small dose.
I know it is not recommended to do this...but i cant find any sites that explain WHY?
Because people usually don't know there are different types of patches, ones that can be cut, and other that cannot. It's not recommended, because most people have trouble understanding which patches can be cut or not.
Also, it's making the market bigger for nicotine patch manufacturers. It's easier to tell people not to cut them and sell sets of smaller, pre-cut patches and earn some extra money, than explain to them how to cut them, etc.
Does anyone actually know the reasons why cutting into smaller pieces and wearing for longer than 24 hours is not recommended?
The reason for cutting them: because there are two types and people usually don't know which can and which cannot be cut.
The reason for not wearing them over 24h: because the patches usually don't have more nicotine to disperse into the skin, but also, it's like wearing an old, dirty band-aid, so for hygienic reasons alone, the patch shouldn't be worn for more than 24h.