Itchy Skin Rash After Surgery

by Ofelia
(Texas)

I recently had to have surgery for an umbilical hernia repair. All went well with the surgery. The surgeon used Dermabond adhesive to close the skin openings, which I have had before for a C-section. I had gotten a small infection only on my C-section incision a year ago, so when this incision started getting a little red and also started to itch, I was not too alarmed about it. I figured it was just due to the Dermabond adhesive and I must be allergic to it. I thought this skin rash would pass just like it did with my C-section. However, within about a day of this, I broke out into a full body rash that was all over my torso and back. This rash itches so badly, it is unbearable.

To keep the incision from the hernia surgery covered and dry, I had put some strong strip bandages on the incision and started wondering if I was allergic to the adhesive glue on those bandages. No telling what it could be and the surgeon was not sure either and could not diagnose it properly. He said it could even be an allergic reaction to the internal sutures that he had applied during the surgery. He said it definitely started from the incision, though. For treatment, he was just going to prescribe me an ointment for the incision because it looked dry but nothing for the actual rash problem and said that should help with the rash too. Nope!

Thank God my sister works for a dermatologist and I had called her before the appointment. She told me to have him prescribe me an anti-itch pill call Hydroxyzine or Atarax! He did and thankfully, almost immediately after taking it, I had relief. It was not until the second dose that I felt pretty much normal again. The itching had been so bad, I was in a bad mood and taking it out on my husband and kids. It is pretty hard to stay sane and level headed when there is incredible itching and discomfort going on all the time.

I am so relieved my sister knew what to tell my doctor. I also put Caladryl Hydrocortisone lotion on the rash since the Calamine did not help me at all. Anyhow, I hope this might help someone else in need of relief! I know that there are many individuals out there that do develop skin rashes after surgery. The causes for the skin rashes are often extremely difficult to determine, but rest assured that relief for the rash and itch is possible.

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Dec 07, 2017
Rash Appeared After Shoulder Surgery
by: Chris (Australia)

I am a 74 year old male and had a TSR (total shoulder replacement) about five weeks ago. Within a week post op, I developed hives across my chest and back and upper thigh with intense itching, which worsened at night. No antihistamine product helped at all and only relief came from a five day program of prednisone. Within a few days later the rash returned. Nights are terrible. Possible contribution could have been from a very heavy chest cold, which was contracted the day of surgery but only obvious by the third day and persisted with chest and lung infection for about ten days.

I have no prior history of allergic reactions. The hives appear to intensify at night when the skin appears to heat up and any scratching will precipitate hours of itching and red welts mainly on the upper torso. It is very debilitating in terms of sleeplessness. The trigger appears to have been the surgery with extra stress from the flu episode. Normal work is not possible as long as this condition persists, which is now very serious in terms of outcome.

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