Skin Rashes after Bariatric Surgery

hives after bariatric surgery

Skin Rashes after Bariatric Surgery

Why You May Have a Rash after Surgery?

During surgery, you’re exposed to a wide variety of materials and medications. Any of these can cause a rash if the material irritates your skin or you’re allergic to it. This is called contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis are usually localized to one or two spots on your body.

Oral medications given during surgery can also cause a rash if you’re allergic to any of them. This often called a drug rash. Drug rashes are different from contact dermatitis in that they tend to cover most of your body.

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Rash after surgery

A postsurgical rash may appear on only one or two localized spots on your body, or all over your body.

Localized rash

A localized rash is almost always a reaction to something your skin has come into contact with. There are two types of contact dermatitis:

. Allergic contact dermatitis. Things like antibiotic ointment placed on your skin and surgical glue or tape are the more common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. You will develop a rash only if you are allergic to the substance you come in contact with.

. Irritant contact dermatitis. This happens when your skin becomes irritated from contact with something like harsh cleaning products. You don’t have to be allergic to the substance to develop irritant contact dermatitis.

Developing a rash around your surgical incision is fairly common. It’s usually caused by the glue or adhesive used to close the wound, or antibiotic ointments applied to the wound.

Body-wide rash

A postsurgical rash that covers most of your body is usually due to a medication you have been given that you’re allergic to.

It usually starts as a few red spots. These spots get bigger and merge with new spots until the rash covers a large part of your body.

What causes rash after surgery?

There are three main causes of a postsurgical rash.

. Medication

You can develop a rash to medication taken orally as a pill or applied topically to your skin. Common medications that cause a rash include antibiotics and general anesthetics.

. Contact with surgical supplies

If you’re allergic to any of the supplies used during your surgery, you could develop a postsurgical rash.

Most surgical instruments and supplies are hypoallergenic. This means they are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.

However, some surgical instruments and supplies aren’t hypoallergenic and can cause a rash after surgery. Surgical supplies that are more likely to cause an allergic or irritant rash include:

. Rubber products, such as a blood pressure cuff

. Surgical glue and other adhesives

. Nickel or other metal components in surgical instruments

. Antiseptic solutions used to prep the skin for surgery

. Surgical dressings like bandages and tape

. Infection

Shingles is an infection that can cause a rash after surgery. After you have chicken pox, the varicella-zoster virus that causes it lies dormant in the nerves near your spine. The stress of surgery can reactive the virus, causing the painful blistering rash associated with shingles.

If the skin around your incision gets very red, swollen, or painful and has yellow or cloudy drainage, it’s most likely to be an infection instead of contact dermatitis. But sometimes it can be hard to determine. It’s best to have your doctor evaluate your incision to be sure.

Other symptoms with rash after surgery

Other symptoms you might experience when you have a rash after surgery include:

. Itchiness

. Low-grade fever

. Pain

. Open or oozing sores, especially if you scratch because of the itchiness

How are postsurgical rashes diagnosed?

To determine the type of rash you have and what’s causing it, your doctor may:

. Examine the rash, noting its size, location, color, shape, texture, and other characteristics

. Ask you if you’ve ever had a similar rash or allergic reactions

. Perform a patch test to determine what you’re allergic to

. Ask what other symptoms you have

Occasionally a skin biopsy is needed to make a diagnosis.

Treating postsurgical rash

It’s a good idea to let your doctor know if you develop a rash after surgery. While your rash may resolve quickly, you may need to change bandages or medications your doctor has prescribed.

When to seek emergency care

A rash can be an early sign of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. We recommend emergency care if you have any of these symptoms:

. A rash that appears quickly, spreads, and covers all or most of your body

. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

. A fever with rash

. A rash that is painful to touch

. Blisters with rash

. A rash that appears infected

. Home remedies

Always check with your doctor before using any remedy on or near your incision site.

Things that you can use at home to relieve itchiness or irritation from a postsurgical rash include:

. Moisturizers

. Over-the-counter cortisone cream

. Over-the-counter antihistamines

. A bath with two or three cups of oatmeal in the water

. A cold compress

. Medical remedies

Your doctor might prescribe medications to treat your rash. These include:

. Prescription antihistamines

. Prescription cortisone cream

. Antibiotics if your rash is caused by an infection

. Steroid pills if your rash is severe

. A replacement medication if your rash was caused by a drug allergy

. Antiviral medication for shingles

What is the outlook if you have a postsurgical rash?

Most contact dermatitis and drug rashes start to get better when contact with the substance causing it stops. It should be completely gone within one to two weeks. Cortisone cream may help it go away a little faster.

If your rash is caused by shingles, it can last up to four weeks.

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10 common questions about skin rash after bariatric surgery

1Is bruising normal after gastric sleeve?
Normal Symptoms You may experience some of the symptoms below, which are considered normal. Moderate swelling and bruising. However, if you experience severe swelling and bruising, notify your surgeon, as it may indicate bleeding or infection
2What is skin separation?
Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a type of severe skin reaction. ... A few days later the skin begins to blister and peel forming painful raw areas. Mucous membranes, such as the mouth, are also typically involved
3What triggers Steven Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens-Johnson syndrome /toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) is most often a reaction to a medication or infection. Some researchers suspect that a combination of medication and infection may trigger the condition in some people. In many cases, no particular trigger of any kind is identified
4How quickly does SJS progress?
The typical clinical course of SJS begins within 8 weeks (usually 4 to 30 days) following the first exposure to the causative agent. Only in very rare cases where an inadvertent rechallenge occurs do symptoms appear within hours
5Can you have a mild case of Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Some individuals may have severe skin symptoms and mild mucosal involvement while others have mild skin involvement and severe mucosal symptoms. ... Some individuals who survive the initial, acute episode of SJS or TEN may experience severe, chronic symptoms
6Does SJS go away on its own?
It takes time to recover from SJS, and most people do. Severe cases can be fatal, though, especially during the 3 months after it started
7How long does it take for stomach to heal after gastric sleeve?
four to six weeks This entire process aims to let the stomach heal and patients usually return to work and their normal routine four to six weeks after the surgery.
8Can you drink alcohol after gastric sleeve?
Drinking Alcohol A: Alcohol is not recommended after bariatric surgery. Alcohol contains calories but minimal nutrition and will work against your weight loss goal.
9How much weight should I lose after gastric sleeve surgery?
How much weight do people lose after gastric sleeve weight loss surgery? People generally lose 60% of their extra weight over 12 to 18 months. So if you are 100 pounds overweight, you'll lose about 60 pounds, though some lose more and others less.
10Why is there a very strict diet patients must follow after bariatric surgery?
Protein may be the most important of these foods early after surgery. Your body needs protein to build muscles and other body tissues, and to heal well after surgery. Low-fat protein choices include: ... Dairy products, which includes low-fat or nonfat hard cheeses, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt.

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