Skin Rash After Surgery

by Anonymous

I had rotator cuff surgery 8 weeks ago. The day after the surgery, I started to itch. I thought it was the Pergoset and so I stopped that. It then became a strange rash. It comes out as a little bump, then turns into lines or circles. The doctor said it was my immune system reacting with some of the things in the anesthetic and it would go away as soon as it all came out of my system.

A few weeks later, I went to a dermatologist and she said the same thing, gave me Zyrtec and cream to use for two weeks. It has not gone away. Some areas fade and some more come out. The itch is worse than the surgery. Will it get better and do you concur that it is from the medicines I had?

There is no cure for dermatographism but I am not sure if this is what you have. Antihistamines help control the symptoms if it is dermatographism and for some people the symptoms eventually dissipate. Surgery has been often linked to starting the dermatographism skin hives problem. It may be just a rash from the medication that will eventually go away.

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Jul 11, 2022
Post Surgery Rash and Hives
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to say that I am so thankful to have found this posting! I have been searching for others that might be going through the same thing.
I had a surgery several years ago on my back and broke out in the preparation area with a rash and hives. They told me that I must be allergic to the skin glue they used.

I just had a laparoscopic hysterectomy 1.5 weeks ago and made sure to tell them no skin glue, please. Ha! A few days post-surgery, same rash and hives, not in the surgical preparation area.

I am on a steroid and itch cream that helps but it was absolutely unbearable. I am concerned that it might be worse post-steroid from the comments. It’s definitely not fully gone and seems to be reforming. It must be the drape, adhesives, or Betadine. Seems strange to be a delayed reaction, too.

Jun 16, 2019
Rash After Hip Fracture Surgery
by: Anonymous

On vacation, I fractured my hip and had surgery. I developed a rash that started under my breasts. My doctor says it is a fungal infection likely caused by antibiotics. Five weeks later, it is still there and spreading - under my arms, around toward my back and now on tummy. The itch is making me crazy and I have been through two scripts (tubes of ointments and small things of powder). No help. I take Zyrtec during the day and Benadryl at night and have kept the drug store in business trying everything. Any sugggestios?

Mar 14, 2019
Post Operation Rash
by: Mike l

I have the same rash issues. I am post-op left shoulder arthroscopic RCT with swivelock anchors and tiger tape sutures. A horrible rash started under my left armpit one day later. I went to two different dermatologists five times, I went on Benadryl and Chobetasol cream. The rash went from one area to the next such as lower back, other arm pit, waist band, elbows, etc. I was told it was contact dermatitis.

Here is the other story. I had right shoulder surgery 12 years ago and the same thing happened! It was thought to be the Betadine scrub, but that was not used this time. It appears I am "slightly" sensitive to adhesives from the bandages and the glue. But now, five weeks later, my dermatologist suspects it is the surgical "drapes" that are used and the adhesives on them during the surgery. The drapes have adhesives and the extent of time they are in contact along with the skin not getting air during this is very bad for some of us. This is especially true for me. I am allergic to Betadine as well. I was starting to think it was the Tigertape sutures and or the anchor that was and still is placed in me, but there is now redness or skin reaction at the surgical site ONLY where the drape was.

Please look at images of how a shoulder or for that matter ANY drape is placed according to you own surgery. My rash is starting to abate now five weeks post-op. Good luck to you all!

Jun 08, 2018
Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)
by: Mark

Be very careful if you have a rash after surgery, it could be SJS/TEN. This is a very painful rash that can be deadly. I have survived this 3 times with each time being worse. It is considered rare, but I believe most people just do not know what it is. The TEN form of this has a 25% mortality rate. That is when it covers over 30% of the body. A medication or substance introduced in the body is the cause. When the lips have swelled to about 3 times normal size and continuously ooze blood, this is the final stage before the red blotches peel like a sunburn with clear new skin that is sensitive for a couple more weeks.

Mar 07, 2018
Itchy, Burning, Jellied rash
by: Laurie

Denise that commented on this problem on December 24, 2011, did you ever discover what was causing it or how to treat it? I had shoulder surgery Thursday and this rash that burns and itches and looks jellied developed within two days.

Sep 28, 2017
Shoulder Surgery and Rash Everywhere
by: Anonymous

I had a bicep repaired and reattached to the outer rotator cuff. It was done using titanium mesh. Immediately after surgery I developed blisters and a rash in my armpit. The blisters weeped for a day then a rash like wildfire spread down my arm, back, sides, and chest. Today is 10 days after the surgery and now it looks like a chemical burn and I can barely stand it.

I went to a dermatologist immediately and the doctor had no idea what it was but thought it might be from the iodine or preparation cleanser hibiclense.

I am now on prednisone and two antibiotics and no one at the hospital knows what it is.

Sep 23, 2017
Itch Red Dot Rash that turns Brown
by: Renee

Shortly after my small bowel surgery I developed a severe itch. I thought my cat had fleas. I bombed the house even after an exterminator said I had no fleas because I did not believe him. I am still itchy today and surgery was 7/8/2017. It is red dot rash bumps that look and appear as a freckles and after the red dots it turns brown. It is itchy bumpy skin. Even on my scalp. I thought it was a mite of some sort and even tried scotch tape to catch it. Nothing! Thankfully I found this blog. What can I do to make the rash go away?

Sep 18, 2017
Allergy to Surgery Cleaning Product
by: Anonymous

I had three surgeries, two on my ankle and one on my shoulder recently. Every time my skin and the area where they used Iodine or other cleaning products, my skin got very itchy and the rash was very bad. Only the area where they put the product was affected. I also once donated blood and they used iodine to clean the area and got an allergic reaction as well.

Get iodine or similar products and test them on your own on a small area of your skin. See if you develop the same symptoms. The dermatologist said I might be allergic to those products.

Aug 28, 2017
Rash after Wrist Surgery with Titanium Implant
by: Anonymous

I had surgery for a broken wrist in March and had a small titanium implant. The surgery location has always itched and had some small bumps. I used a HWAV for electrotherapy for two months daily for an hour. In the beginning of July, I developed a small itchy bumps rash on the sides of my torso. After a month, it continued to the small of my back and shoulder area. It appears as small bumps and will sometimes clear up a little. I went to the Dermatologist and she thought I had Scabies, but after testing negative, she said she did not know what it was.

My wife found an article relating to someone who had titanium dental implants and had a similar rash but also other symptoms. I think I might be allergic to the titanium implant. The doctor who did my surgery listened to my case and has taped a piece of titanium to my arm to see if I have a reaction to it.

Anyone with rash symptoms months later after an implant surgery needs to get tested. The metal allergy test is called a Melisa Test and the doctor said it was expensive. They might be able to test my blood also. If anyone has similar symptoms and has any information regarding documented allergic reactions please post the information.

Apr 14, 2017
Skin Rash after Nephrectomy
by: Anonymous

I had a laparoscopic nephrectomy in February 2017.
Shorty after surgery, I developed an abdominal rash with acute itching (day and night). Coincidentally, I had an appointment to see my dermatologist a week later and was diagnosed with GROVER disease, a non contagious rash predominant in men over 50 years old with sun damaged skin and a challenged immune system. I ticked every box. Emoillient wash and Dermovate cream eased things but it worsened at night. Eleven weeks on and my scars have healed well and the rash has subsided so I think it is more a product of a stressed immune system. Keep healthy and things should improve. They have for me.

Mar 05, 2017
Appendix Surgery and Red Spot Rash
by: Anonymous

My 11 year old had his appendix taken out on Friday. I noticed some little red spots by the end of the night but thought they were from the adhesive on the patches. He woke up this morning with hives and it's spreading and almost looks like chicken pox. I gave him some Benadryl today and will call the doctor tomorrow. I just hope it does not hang around for months.

Feb 21, 2017
Rash after Breast Cancer Surgery
by: Marie

I had breast cancer surgery and then broke out with a rash that was red, bumpy, itchy, and warm to the touch. If I scratch it, I would get hives that started on my arm then went up to my shoulder, down my chest, and to my stomach. The doctor gave me a steroid cream that worked fairly well, especially for the itching. The rash is somewhat gone but it often comes back.

Jan 22, 2017
Itchy Rash After Total Hip Replacement Surgery
by: Anonymous

After having my hip replaced six weeks ago, I've developed an itchy rash that appears mainly on the back of my calves and back of my forearms and triceps area. The rash bumps are small and never appear in more than one area at a time. Most of the time they are the size of a quarter. The rash is never all at once and lasts for a few hours. Allergy tabs help but the problem persists. It's not my pain medications as I have stopped taking them. They seem to show up during or right after a hot flash. The surgeon brushes it off with no explanation. Anyone have this issue?

Jan 03, 2017
Rash After surgery
by: Anonymous

I had Gastric Sleeve surgery on December 7, 2016. Two days after the surgery I started itching. On the third day I broke out all over on my arms, legs, buttocks, and private area. One doctor was stumped. Another doctor prescribed a cream and told me to take Zyrtec. It did not help. Another doctor prescribed Prednisone, which did give relief, but still the itch was present. It's been four weeks since the surgery and I still itch. It's not as bad anymore but still would like to resolve this itching.

Dec 09, 2016
Horrendous Rash from Adhesive used in Surgery
by: Anonymous

I had a Da Vinci vaginal hysterectomy 12/5/16. Twenty four hours later, I began to itch just above my pubic bone and 2" below my breasts. There is a 2"×1" solid rash on the lower left of this. The rash began to take the form of a rectangle, as if a metal 'frame' had been laid on me during surgery. Hydrocortisone cream did nothing, and Benedryl barely takes the edge off of the intense itch sensation. The rectangle rash is so sensitive, it is painful to apply medicine to it. My doctor's office yesterday, said it is from the surgical drape/curtain that was adhered to my body. My allergic reaction is to the adhesive. It is the same reaction I get from nickel in metal. I have been getting rashes from bandaids the past couple of years. Now I know why. It isn't the latex, it is the adhesive. This rash framing my entire abdomen is far worse than the surgery and recovery. Thankfully prescription Clobex, from my bouts with poison ivy, is healing this adhesive rash, while the Benedryl is keeping me sane.

Aug 18, 2016
Itching for Almost Two Years
by: Anonymous

I've been itching for almost two years and have been given every prescription known for itching and nothing is working. I am now on Prednisone, a steroid for three months and still no go. If I had it all over to do again I'd never would have had the surgery. This has been hell! The recovery from the Rotator Cuff procedure was simple, but you absolutely have to do your therapy and exercises. But the itching is hell.

Mar 24, 2016
Skin rash when skin is broken
by: Anonymous

I get an itchy bumpy rash anytime I get a cut or puncture. It started when I got my tattoo 20+ years ago and I thought it was the lotion I was using. It then happened again when a garment rack fell and scratched up my face. Since then I have developed a rash when I got my belly button pierced and had surgery on my elbow and a hysterectomy. The doctors finally told me I'm allergic to the chloraprep and adhesives. That explains some of the rashes, but not all. Each time it looks the same and each time it develops only when the the skin is broken. If it was a metal allergy, I would think I would show signs while wearing jewelry such as rings or necklaces but I do not. Does someone have any ideas? I have been scared to have anymore tattoos or piercings done and I had to remove my belly button piercing.

Mar 23, 2016
Same issue and no answers
by: MG

I had it three times in less than a year. I thought it was poison ivy the first time then six months later I got it after shoulder surgery. The last bout came after preparing for a vacation by going to a tanning salon. Symptoms are the same as reported by others. Chest and shoulder although opposite shoulder from the post surgery reaction. I'm just dealing with it and like one person wrote, it goes away after 4-6 weeks. Benadryl helps.

Dec 16, 2015
Rash after Surgery
by: Anonymous

Hi. My husband just had a long surgery for spinal fusion. He developed a rash on each side of his lower stomach. The surgeon came to see him and explained that it was from his skin pressing on the operating room table. The skin in that area must have sweat and mixed with antiseptic on the table. They gave him some ointment and it was better the next day. So the rash could from the operating room table, especially if you have had a long surgery!

Jun 17, 2015
Skin Rash after Surgery as well
by: Theresa

I also had rotator cuff surgery three weeks ago. The rash began a few days after surgery, and has now spread to the full length of both arms, hands, chest, upper thighs, and of course, not only the shoulder that was operated on but the other one too! So far, the only thing that's helping is Benadryl and Aloe Vera gel.

Jun 08, 2015
The worst, Hemmoroidectomy
by: Anonymous

I have the exact same rash everyone is describing only it is around my anus and between my buttocks. I am serious. I am still itching and by far the BEST thing is vasoline. Petrolium jelly soothed me and protected my skin. I would have to wipe off the area and reapply nearly 2 tablespoons, 3-4 times a day.

My surgeon said that the stiches had healed but the skin around it was weeping (sort of leaking) and that the moisture causes skin irritation. He agreed with the vasoline and suggested any baby rash ointment with zinc oxide would help as well.

Mar 07, 2015
Rash After Breast Surgery
by: Anonymous

I had breast reduction on Jan 2, 2015 and two weeks later after they removed the steri strip tape I broke out in a red, hot, rash all underneath my breast and on my stomach. I went to the surgeon and was given steroid cream. It didn't help so I went to my family doctor and was diagnosed with a yeast infection. I applied cream as directed and took seven days of Diaflucan. I returned to the doctor for a follow-up and I still had the rash, so he decided it was now a bacterial infection. He prescribed antibiotics so I took those for a week and was a little better. Two days later, I broke out again.

I have tried, medicated powder, over the counter creams, and anything that suggested it would help relieve itching. Nothing yet works. The best thing so far is Aveeno Baby Rash Cream.

Has anybody else had this problem? I am miserable and it is driving me crazy. The surgery wasn't bad but this itch is horrible. My next step is to the dermatologist.

Aug 18, 2014

I just had breast cancer surgery five days ago and two days after the surgery I broken out with rash. It's the most horrible itch I have ever had in my life. My doctor told me I couldn't use any kind of corticosteroid ointments because it will delay the healing of the surgery. I have used olive oil and it calmed down for a little while, then I applied coconut with lavender essential oil and it helped a little better, but then it comes back. I think that all of us who have had surgery and break out in a rash are allergic to iodine which the surgeon uses to prevent infections right before the surgery.

Apr 22, 2014
Skin Rash after Surgery
by: Anonymous

I am dealing with a reaction right now and I have dealt with it a few times before. I had surgery last Wednesday and started breaking out by Saturday. In spite of what my dermatologist gives me for relief, it takes about six miserable weeks to go away. Hang in there, it does come to an end. P.S. I was given steroids a few years ago to counter the reaction I was having, and it broke out twice as bad. So beware of steroids.

Nov 11, 2013
Rash After Surgery for Depuytrens
by: Anonymous

I had surgery on my right hand and the pain has not gone away. This was 2.5 weeks ago. About 1.5 weeks ago I woke up with a horrible itching and burning, and oddly enough it went away after my wife helped rub me down with soothing lotion. About five days ago the rash grew worse and spread to my core torso, arms, legs (mostly thighs)and back. I asked the doctor if this was due to infection at the surgery site. He said it would be different, it would have red streaks coming from the wound.

It has been almost three weeks and my hand still hurts. Tonight the rash and itching woke me up. I wanted to scratch my skin off, but endured it for about an hour, rubbing not scratching until I decided to shower off the cream the doctor gave me for the rash. I stayed in a cold shower rubbing with a bristle brush everywhere it itched and then running cool water over it. I feel better now, almost as if I was in a mikveh.

So, can it be that there is an infection at the wound/surgery site that is not showing but causing the itch and the rash?

Feb 20, 2013
Rash after Surgery
by: Anonymous

The same thing happened to my boyfriend. The problem was that the rash spread to me. I did some research and found it was a staph infection. That is what the rash turns into if you do not treat it right away. Also if you have ever had a staph infection inform doctors of this before getting surgery because they will treat you before operating. Staph is running rampid in hospitals so be careful to always wash your hands after encountering anyone.

Aug 14, 2012
Post Surgery RASH and HIVES
by: Anonymous

I too have suffered and endured this torture. Five years ago I had 1/4 of my kidney removed. The itch accompanied by a small bump and/or rash began shortly thereafter and lasted on and off for almost a year. Three months ago I had surgery to repair a ruptured bicep tendon. It wasn't long after that the same condition began again. The itch and rash is not limited to specific areas of my body. Depending on the severity of each reaction, the itch will start with a very small bump or just expanding redness. Ultimately many times it will result in the appearance of hives.

Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Jan 29, 2012
HELP...I need some answers
by: Kim

I have the same thing. I had surgery ten days ago and developed a rash. I thought it was the pain medicine that caused it. I was a week on steroids and the rash was a little better. NOW it is back and it is so much worse.

Dec 24, 2011
by: Denise

My husband had the EXACT same thing. He had ankle surgery and then rotator surgery within five months of each other. He developed the same exact rash after EACH surgery. After his ankle sugery, it did eventually go away but took about three months. He just had his rotator cuff surgery three days ago and has the terrible rash now. It looks like a chemical burn and even is a little "jellied" in an area under his arm and it burns.

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