Allergic reaction to dressings

Hi, has anybody else found that they have developed an allergic reaction to some dressings? I have never had any problems previously but when I had my biopsy a coupke of months ago I blistered really badly from the dressing.
i have now found that my skin reacts to the adhesive in the white dressings. The only dressings which don’t cause a problem are the Mepilex (brown) dressings.
i have just had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction and had an infection which seriously compromised the skin on the reconstructed breast so I am very, very wary of letting any dressings near my skin.

I am allergic to the adhesive on plasters and dressings. I was in hospital for a completely different operation, before I went to theatre I told them I was allergic to plasters and the white tape. When I woke up I said my back was burning and what was on it. In the end someone come to look and like you I had got blisters. Talk about painful it was honestly like having a hot iron stuck on me and peeled all the top skin off. They said no one had had such a reaction (like I believed that). So please if you find you’re having a reaction make sure someone listens to you.

I seem to be more reactive too than I used to. When I had my WLE I reacted to the paper steristrips and blistered slightly. I always ask for the paper micropore tape rather than bandaids over my port site.

I cannot take that plastic clear tape at all, and personally think that should never be used directly on skin! … On anybody!

Mepilex is very gentle, but not very sticky and will not really adhere on its own. Mepilex border has an edging of paper “Me-fix” tape, that is quite gentle also, but doesn’t stick well to everyone in my experience.

I have developed a few allergic reactions to dressings over the last few weeks with no apparant rhyme nor reason.
The Opsite ones straight after surgery were a nightmare then 2 weeks ago, mepore set me off with burning itching and blisters.

Flippin frustrating!

Jan x

Yes I too developed an allergic reaction to the dressings after I had an infection following WLE and SNB and ended up blistering. I found the best way of dealing with it was to just have the dressings held in place by my bra (one of the Bellisimo soft stretchy type ones) as I was having dressings changed daily this wasn’t a problem and I would change my bra at the same time as getting my dressing changed! Once the infection had been treated I found my skin was less sensitive but very dry so moisturised with doublebase cream till this settled down then I could use the adhesive and waterproof dressings again ( which made showering easier!!). Good luck!

Me too! Never had any problems with plasters or dressings until breast surgery. Lost a strip of skin when dressings were removed which was really painful. Had haematoma also so had dressings on for 6 weeks or so. The only thing I could tolerate was the soft white woven dressings with micro pore tape. Unfortunately as they aren’t waterproof, I had to do strange contortions in the shower to avoid getting the area wet! Good luck and hope you find something that works for you Duffer :relaxed:

Me too! Have never had any allergic reactions until breast surgery. After my DIEP in Nov 11 I developed blistering on my tummy from the big white plaster. I can honestly say it was more painful than the DIEp wound, the mx area and the underarm all put together.
A week ago today I had nipple construction and lipo on my hips plus tidying up on the DIEP scar. I woke up with another big white plaster across my tummy and yet agin I have a painful itchy sore rash. I have found the old fashioned calamine lotion helps the most.

Me too. Blimey there are lots of us. My first reaction was in Jan, when I had a 24hr heart monitor on, they used hypo allergic plasters to keep it attached and it went really red and the whole area came up in little white heads. Diagnosed with bc in April and had a reaction to the dressings from the biopsy and the wle and snb, could have clawed my skin off. Skin is now very dry. another wle on 10th July so more itching to to look forward to!

Hi, first suffered this reaction to adhesives in 2004 at first mx. It has not gone away since, just had another double mx and had reactions despite warning the staff this would happen. Just now have wound infection and leaking seroma (lucky me) and have daily dressings. My tip is find a dressing that suits and ask your GP to prescribe you a box, mine was really kind about it. I use mepilex border and allevyn gentle and don’t have nearly as much of a reaction. You can take your own box to outpatients with you in case they don’t have the correct type. Maybe your GP will be helpfully too, we have enough going on without extra blisters, rash, itch and breakdown! Po.

Hi, I’m also allergic to every dressing used so far. Got blisters and rashes all over right boob and under arm, look worse than scar. I just use one of those bra things advertised on tv and put surgical pad inside so scar doesn’t rub, not the most attractive thing, bit like sanitary towel, but better than blisters. On way to hosp now for results, also got some swellingngmso if they aspirate il look like I’ve grown another boob with another pad in!! Got another wle soon what’s the betting wake up with dressing on again, thing il write on my tummy no dressing before surgery! Have good day all off to get the crappy news now!!!

Me too! I had an infection in my SNB wound, which took months to heal - during which time I had increasingly strong reactions to every dressing going. Even micropore left a red stripe for a week.
For the WLE I had an old fashioned fabric bandage - I couldn’t wash for a fortnight but I had no reaction.

I have also developed allergic reaction to dressings and tape since breast surgery I never had a problem before, does anyone know why so many of us have developed this xx

I’ve come to this a bit late, but in the hope that my experience may help others in the future…


I became allergic to dressings after my first WLE 6 years ago.  So when I had to have a Mx earlier this year, I told the doctors and nurses.  In the end they used ‘glue’ to fasten the wounds together and no dressings.  I woke up from the DIEP with no dressings on breast or stomach.  My only dressing was on my arm where they had to take a vein.  I was in hospital for 5 nights and a bit worried about the wounds bursting, but I had no problems at all and everything has healed really well 7 months on.  And no blistering!

Bless Google:- it found this thread, when all I’d asked it to look for was ‘allergic reaction cosmopor’.


I have just had bilateral scar revision after mastectomy, never had any issues with allergies of any kind, but from day of surgery, chest was very Itchy (no rash)…  


5 days later (one dressing change, same type: Cosmopor + Leukomed T) developed a bad rash corresponding to adhesive contact, so thankfully not involving scar area, and feeling unwell :-(


Dressing change to good old-fashioned Melolin & micropore, + Piriteze + Eurax cream and slept +++


If any of historic posters read this, can you confirm whether 

—  You were taking Tamoxifen / Anastrazole etc at the time

—  Whether the dressings allergy has continued as far as you are aware?



And again. I have never been allergic to anything before and I had a lumpectomy on 20/1. A thick foamy flexible dressing was put on, and removed in clinic the following morning. 3 blisters, skin came off with dressings, 1 kept its lid on. 

I thought  others reading this thread might benefit from what I’ve found to protect these areas and help them to heal. It’s hydrocolloid dressing. Forms a gell seal over the skin which helps healing without scars or scabs, protects and soothes. Not to be used on blisters that haven’t popped. And for the itchy areas otherwise, hydrocortisone ointment.

i got this advice from a relative who is a nurse and wound specialist, helped me hugely.

I also didn’t have problem with plasters until I had biopsies in Nov and the dressings with clear edges made my skin burn and left marks on my skin for over 2months. Before surgery I told nurses and they used the white fabric type of dressing over my scar and that was ok. The one that held the drains in place didn’t stick well and came off at home, I used surgical tapes to stick it back and ended up with awful itchiness. I think bc does something to one 's immune system.
I’m not on any other treatment at present, waiting for remaining drain to be taken out.

My operation went well only glue and no dressing however i developed on my left wrist some itxhy water blisters. We thought from the vien line tape originally but ive got on my back and 2 above my glue line. They ging me fucidin creamx

My operation went well only glue and no dressing however i developed on my left wrist some itxhy water blisters. We thought from the vien line tape originally but ive got on my back and 2 above my glue line. They giving me fucidin creamx and popped each blister with pin. The cream working. Im now waiting to go homex

I’ve ready your comments and shocked so many of us have developed allargic reaction to dressings/tape. Clear tape and film seems have done this. Rash and raw blisters at dressing sites. I had surgery April 20 17 and suffering intense itching which is making my skin crawl. Only relief was cold pack and cold wet flannels. Tried Eurex today instant relief for couple of hours. Get path results today so will try and get something better. Piriteze not helping either.

I had radiation dye injected in Nuclear medicine on day of op to show up the sentinel nodes. How many had this?. Could that be at the core of the intense itching from allergic reactions to dressings/tape?. Do u think the radiation is to blame rather than just dressings.