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Daniel More, MD

Allergy to Adhesive Bandages

By March 4, 2012

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There are a number of people who experience allergic skin reactions as a result of using adhesive bandages. After wearing an adhesive bandage for a day or two, an itchy red rash appears in the shape of the adhesive bandage on the skin. These reactions are caused by contact dermatitis to the adhesive, latex, or even medication (such as a topical antibiotic cream) placed under the bandage. In addition, as the delivery of topical medications -- such as nicotine patches and birth control patches -- becomes more common, so do the reactions to the transdermal patches. Again, these reactions can be caused by the adhesive, latex, or even the medication itself. Learn more about the causes of adhesive allergy, including the diagnosis and treatment of this increasingly common problem.

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Comments
October 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm
(1) rosie says:

I am allergic to some bandage adhesives and have found Curad makes a great non-stick pad with adhesive tabs that work for me. I had a mole removed on my back and found the 3 x 4 inch pad a perfect size. Although I needed this for my back, my legs and arms do fine with a “regular” bandage.
Paper tape works, too. Rosie

December 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm
(2) Dawn says:

I never had an allergy to bandaids until one day about seven years ago. I developed a rash that would not go away, and had it for four months. Nothing that my dermatologist gave me worked, and finally I had to use a a scouring pad to remove the thickening tissue, which seemed to just keep getting thicker, and kept whatever “poison” was in my arm. I rubbed it until it was all gone, leaving me raw and a bit bloody. I kept green clay on it at night for two nights and then put olive oil on it during the day. It was gone in two days. I then called the Bandaid company to find out what was going on, and they informed me that the entire industry had switched over to adhesives that were “stronger,” albeit, toxic. The chemicals used in the adhesives were universal, and the entire industry had switched over to these toxic new adhesives. They were even used in the “non” allergenic bandaids, and even those still leave a rash on me, even if left on for only a half hour. I can’t use any bandaids on the market without getting a terrible rash. I spoke to my dermatologist about this information, and she admitted that she knew this was the case, and that children were coming in with horrible rashes from the bandaids. The reason that the company gave me for the switch? That so many parents had written in and asked them to create something that didn’t fall off in the water, like our good old bandaids used to do. They used to “slide” right off when hit with water, and kind of gum up, but they NEVER left a rash. When I asked the company outright if these chemicals were toxic to the human body, they admitted that they were. They didn’t even try to lie about it. These bandaids need to be yanked from the market and we need to go back to something that isn’t toxic. It is a pain to get rid of the rash, and who knows what we are taking into our system. The kids are getting a dose of these chemicals regularly, all for the convenience of a sticker bandaid.

January 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm
(3) Susie says:

I’ve recently had a horrible experience. I had 3 small moles removed and I told the derm. I was allergic to band-aids/adhesive bandages. His assistant, who was not real bright, used paper tape but didn’t put any kind of gauze with it, just the tape. Anyway, that was a month ago. I still have this awful rash in the shape of the tape on all three spots. Absolutely nothing I have purchased or have been prescribed has helped. It is good to know about the change in the formulation of the adhesive itself and that it was applied to all products, as I was previously able to tolerate paper tape but now it is no longer an option. I will write my concerns to the FDA.

March 27, 2014 at 5:46 pm
(4) Cindy says:

I just also had a mole removed and had a bad reaction to the bandage after 2 days I tore it off and left it off that. I went to today to get my stitches out and the doctor said the area was still clearly reacting to the adhesive. It has been 9 days since I had that bandage on. He said to make sure if I have any procedures anywhere to make sure to let the hospitals/clinics know that I have a reaction to adhesives he also warned me that if I get a cut to only leave band aide on until it stops bleeding and to immediately remove it once bleeding stops.

These Mfg. Company’s clearly need to make some sort of bandages for those of us reacting so badly to the adhesives they are using.

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