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Allergic to steristrips?

Old 12-13-2020, 07:05 PM
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Allergic to steristrips?

Hello! I had my surgery on Friday (lift with new, smaller implants) and I warned the surgeon that I'm allergic to glue and steristrips, but I'm still pretty sure they they used something over the incisions (maybe something mesh?). Itching started this morning and now a rash has started. I know rash can mean infection, but I'm 99% sure its an allergic reaction- as I've had this happen a few times in my life when I come in contact with medical glue. I'll be calling my surgeons office in the morning, but just wondering if anyone else has been through this and how you managed? I vaguely remember my surgeon saying something about keeping the mesh on my incisions on for as long as possible (2 weeks?) but does that mean the incisions won't heal well? The rash isn't crazy- but is definitely spreading. My hubby is going to go pick me up some benedryl, so I'll take that tonight to help with the intense itching. I was supposed to keep my bandages on until tomorrow AM for my first shower, but I'm going to take them off tonight (eek- so scared!) so I know what's going on under there, and to switch from large bandaids to just gauze, since maybe its the bandage tape that's causing the rash.

I will definitely call my surgeon first thing, but am just looking for others who've experienced something similar. Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RoundTwoSmaller View Post
Hello! I had my surgery on Friday (lift with new, smaller implants) and I warned the surgeon that I'm allergic to glue and steristrips, but I'm still pretty sure they they used something over the incisions (maybe something mesh?). Itching started this morning and now a rash has started. I know rash can mean infection, but I'm 99% sure its an allergic reaction- as I've had this happen a few times in my life when I come in contact with medical glue. I'll be calling my surgeons office in the morning, but just wondering if anyone else has been through this and how you managed? I vaguely remember my surgeon saying something about keeping the mesh on my incisions on for as long as possible (2 weeks?) but does that mean the incisions won't heal well? The rash isn't crazy- but is definitely spreading. My hubby is going to go pick me up some benedryl, so I'll take that tonight to help with the intense itching. I was supposed to keep my bandages on until tomorrow AM for my first shower, but I'm going to take them off tonight (eek- so scared!) so I know what's going on under there, and to switch from large bandaids to just gauze, since maybe its the bandage tape that's causing the rash.

I will definitely call my surgeon first thing, but am just looking for others who've experienced something similar. Thanks!
I didnít have steristrips, but after the first week check up I was to wear micropore tape for 12 weeks. Well it turns out, Iím allergic to that. And combined with my body rejecting a couple of stitches I ended up with a small superficial infection.

Basically it was similar to you, I was itchy and a slight rash that spread just outside where the tape was. I had to leave the tape on a week at a time so when I removed it the first time I noticed a small amount of yellow on the tape and rang my surgeon. He switched me to a different tape that I didnít react to and I was on antibiotics for another 2 weeks. It all cleared okay but was stressful as hell, infection is never good. I would definitely check if there is another option your surgeon could offer you. I thought I was being a hypochondriac when I rang him but it was the best thing I could have done.
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:09 PM
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Ah- I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. Super stressful on top of just regular recovery. What was the different tape that they switched you to that you didn't react to? I'd love to know, for when I call my surgeon tomorrow...maybe it's an option for me! How did everything heal for you in the end?

I just got all the bandages off- such a nerve wracking ordeal! Everything looks good, except for the rash. No steri-strips, but there is mesh all around my aerola, which appears to be held down by something sticky. If so, I'll be super upset! I told my surgeon and my nurses that I'm allergic to any type of medical sticky stuff (adhesives and glues), so if they used a glue to attach this mesh stuff, that's totally what's causing the rash. Ugh! It looks like it will be really hard to remove too. Wah! I just want a smooth recovery. Office doesn't open for another 14 hours, so I'll stuff my bra with some gauze and take some benedril and hope I can get a hold of the surgeon first thing.
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RoundTwoSmaller View Post
Ah- I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. Super stressful on top of just regular recovery. What was the different tape that they switched you to that you didn't react to? I'd love to know, for when I call my surgeon tomorrow...maybe it's an option for me! How did everything heal for you in the end?

I just got all the bandages off- such a nerve wracking ordeal! Everything looks good, except for the rash. No steri-strips, but there is mesh all around my aerola, which appears to be held down by something sticky. If so, I'll be super upset! I told my surgeon and my nurses that I'm allergic to any type of medical sticky stuff (adhesives and glues), so if they used a glue to attach this mesh stuff, that's totally what's causing the rash. Ugh! It looks like it will be really hard to remove too. Wah! I just want a smooth recovery. Office doesn't open for another 14 hours, so I'll stuff my bra with some gauze and take some benedril and hope I can get a hold of the surgeon first thing.
Hypafix was the good tape, I googled it at some point and it seems a lot of people who have adhesive allergies seem to be okay with this one. I didnít remember until after I got the rash that when I had my contraceptive implant in, I reacted to their tape/bandaids, wish Iíd remembered at the time!

I healed okay, the part of my incision which got infected has scarred a bit wider but it actually seems to be fading faster than the actual incision so maybe it wonít be permanent. Either way, Iím just so grateful I didnít need anything removed or more surgery that Iím happy with that. I hope you manage to get hold of your surgeon and have a less stressful experience than me!
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:40 PM
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Thank you so much for the quick reply! Looks like I should be able to get a hold of hypafix pretty easily, if my PS approves. I'm so scared this rash will turn into an infection! I'm just so mad that they used something sticky, when I said I was allergic. I really hope I can get a hold of my PS first thing to talk through options. I also really want to shower tonight, to rinse off some of the adhesive- but am not supposed to until tomorrow. I think this mesh stuff is going to be super hard to remove. Whyyyyyyyyyy did they use it?! I just popped two benedril and put gauze in my surgery bra, hopefully I can get some rest tonight before getting a hold of the PS tomorrow. It feels good to at least have the bandages off. I'm not usually allergic to bandaids, but I'm sure my body wasn't happy with the bandages with glue, being so close to my incisions.

Really appreciate you reaching out- so nice to have someone to talk to that's been through something similar. I'm glad things finally settled for you and your healing went smoothly after the infection went away. Such an ordeal!
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Old 12-13-2020, 09:56 PM
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My PS uses steristrips for the first two weeks and after that she recommends Metipac tape. I'm allergic to a lot of adhesives and I didn't have any issues with the specific steristrips that my PS used or the metipac tape (which is great for scar care). My PS is very careful with allergies and tries to use supplies with the fewest reports of allergic reactions. Maybe try the metipac? It may not work, but it might. It also lasts a long time and is reusable. I have two rolls and still haven't run out.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:31 AM
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Thanks so much ItNeverHappened! Did your PS provide the Metipac or were you able to find it at a drug store? Also, any chance you know the "steri-strip" type of material that was used for the first two weeks? I'm calling the PS as soon as they open this morning, so hopefully they have some good options. I'm on Benadryl at the moment- and that's helping with the intense itching, but the rash is still present on both sides and my tummy!
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:44 PM
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No worries! My PS provided the metipac at first, but I found it way cheaper on amazon. I doubt it is available at any drug stores in north america, since the company who makes it is I think Swedish (Or Danish. I can't remember).

The steristrips I had were almost like a normal medical tape material, but smaller and much more durable. The adhesive didn't cling to my skin after it naturally wore off in ~10 days. I didn't have any wound irritation from it and the incision healed beautifully. I honestly have no idea what the brand or type was. I'm sure different areas/surgeons have different suppliers for their steristerips and different manufacturers.

My PS was really great. She was really careful with my allergies and she was very knowledgeable about health stuff related to redheads (which I am). She knew that redheads tend to scar easier and tend to have more inflammation and weird response to random medications and mild resistance to anesthetics. I've never had a doctor, surgeon, specialist, or otherwise, who was quite so thorough as her.

With that being said, just make sure you don't remove the steristrips until your PS says so (even if they're causing an allergic reaction, I know it sucks). It would really suck if you got an infection on top of the allergic reaction. Don't apply any topical creams unless your PS says so. If you decide to buy the metipac tape for scar care, use that and nothing else (trust me, you won't need anything else) after 2 weeks or after your PS says.

It's possible that your PS used great strips and that you just reacted anyways. Reactions to even the best strips and other medical supplies, like sutures, are very rare but it does happen. There isn't much your PS can do about it if that is the case. But it may still be best to use them for the first few days at least anyways to prevent infection. It's hard to predict rare reactions.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:05 PM
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Thanks so much for sharing all those details- really helpful. I'm so glad you had such a great PS and healing experience. I have my post-op appointment tomorrow, so hopefully we can get things heading in a better direction. Surgery was Friday morning, rash started on Sunday night and has really progressed. I was already supposed to take off my bandages on Monday, but I did on Sunday night instead. But the rash has gotten so bad and I have dozens of blisters and it looks almost like a burn. It's awful. I was able to talk to a nurse from the PS office today and they said to remove the tape, so I did. It was seriously traumatizing. I'm very scared for how I will heal and my skin is such a mess. So far nothing looks infected- but just super super irritated and inflamed. I'm hoping that now all the tape and bandages are off, my skin can start healing. I'm sure they'll put me on antiobiotics to help prevent an infection- but it feels really awful to not have anything over my incisions except for the gauze (it's not actually painful- just makes my skin crawl to think about). At this point, I'm pretty scared to try anything else over the incisions until they've healed a bit and the rash is completely gone. I can't imagine how the incisions/scars will form without the help of medical tape. Ugh- I'm just so upset. I'm trying to stay hopeful that my PS will put my mind as ease and have some good options. Thanks again for reaching out with your advice and tips, it really helps to have someone to talk to....no one knows I had surgery except my husband- and I don't think he really gets how upset I am about this rash.
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