Rash After Surgery: Diagnosis, Causes, and Treatment

There are many patients in this world who suffer from serious diseases which need surgery for a complete cure. Surgery is a medical procedure in which it deals with some unwanted growth of the body or the infection that causes dysfunction of the organs. In layman’s terms, surgery means curtailing into the body to cure the disease. Many cases are seen having rash after surgery.

But what happens if the problem transpires more frequently after the surgeries. 20-30% of the people suffer from rashes or allergies to the medicine or the creams that were suggested to them. So, in this article, we will know about rashes and how can we cure them without any hardship?

What are rashes?

Rash After Surgery

Rashes can be termed as the redness in a particular area which can be a little swelled with having continuous itchiness and burning sensation. When the skin is exposed to various kinds of medicated creams and lotions that irritate or cause uncomfortable situation for the skin can cause severe rashes. Uncommon to medicine that was convey can cause terrible rashes after surgery or during the surgery.

The main question that arises that how can rashes occur after the surgery? So, the body is very sensitive to any chemical. To some drugs, it gets compatible very easily without any kind of complications. But with some drugs cause difficulties that can be severe over time. Rashes that are caused after the surgery are uncommon to people. About 20% of the patients suffer from this kind of problem. The irritation caused after the surgery is often called contact dermatitis.

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Types of rashes after the surgery:

Mainly two types of rashes are caused after the surgery.

  • Body -wide rash.
  • Localised rash.

Body-wide rash:

The name itself suggests that it covers most of the body parts. It occurs due to the drugs or medicine which was prescribed when the patient is allergic to. The rash occurs after the surgery for which is called post-surgical rash.

It often starts with redness on the skin. Then taking a severe turn as blisters. This rash occurs in a few areas and merges with another area of the skin for which it covers a wide part of the body. This is can be painful with a lot of burning sensation.

Localised rash:

The most common form of a rash that the skin always experienced. In medical term, the localised rash is called contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is of two types.

  • In the allergic form.
  • In the irritant form.

Allergic contact dermatitis:

Many people do have an allergy to some or other things that they didn’t know about. Some people have an allergy to fruits or veggies, some have an allergy to dust and some have an allergy to sunlight. Similarly, allergy to some kinds of drugs or chemicals is common. Before every surgery, saline is given to the patient so, they don’t suffer from any kind of weakness. The glue or surgical which is used can be one of the reasons for the surgical rash. The ointments which are prescribed to use after the surgery to overcome the scars can be the reason for the rash. The allergic rash only occurs if the patient is hypersensitive to it.

Irritant contact dermatitis:

This type of allergy only occurs if the skin is not getting compatible with the substance. The symptoms can be a burning sensation, feeling uneasy towards the substance. The sudden occurring of the redness spot on the skin. If the product contains any kind of brutal substance that can create irritant contact dermatitis. To avoid this kind of rash, one should check the ingredients before using them.

Is it normal to have a rash after surgery?

Every effect has some or other kind of side -effect. There is no drug which doesn’t have any side effect.  It is not so common to have a rash after surgery.

According to a research done by the American Academy of Allergy, it has been shown that 20-30%of the people suffered from contact dermatitis which is called a surgical rash.

Some people suffer from allergies due to medicine that was used or prescribed. This starts redness on the skin to the high fever. Some people suffer from breathlessness (difficulty in breathing). In some cases, rashes can be so severe that they can be treated only at the hospital. According to some research, it has been shown that 5%of the people suffer from some or other kinds of allergy to medicines.

Causes of surgical rashes:

There are many causes of surgical rash. Some rashes occur before the surgery due to the surgical tape and some occur after the surgery. If the rash occurs after the surgery, then it would be called a post-surgical rash. The instruments which are used in the surgery are sterilized properly so that any kind of infection could not occur during the surgery.  Instruments are hypoallergenic that means they cannot cause allergy to the patient if it is used. But in some cases, instruments are not hypoallergenic and cause infection. For example, rubber products, adhesive, ointments, blood pressure cuff, metal instruments, solutions that are used before the surgery.

Symptoms of surgical rash:

Before any disease, some symptoms arrive first. Every disease has some symptoms which show that the disease can occur to the patient. Every disease has different symptoms, similarly surgical rash shows its indications. Some of them are redness, burning sensation, itchiness, severe pain. In severe cases body ache, fever, headache, blisters, and many more.


There is a saying in the medical field if you want to cure the disease. Then there should be a proper diagnosis. If there is a proper diagnosis 50% of the treatment is done.

To know what kind of rash it is, a proper diagnosis is required. So the doctor may ask some of the few questions regarding the surgical rash.

  • First, they would ask that when did it occur.
  • Is it painful?
  • From how many days, you were suffering?
  • When did the pain occur in daytime or nighttime?
  • Does it happen in the past or is it the first time?
  • Do you experience any type of rash before?

Then the doctor would examine the rash. Its colour, shape, and markings. Examining the patch to know what you are allergic to. Asking what kind of symptoms that they are facing.

Treatment: What helps a rash after surgery?

Every problem requires treatment. So does this one also. Treatment involves medical treatment and home treatment.


  • Use of any ayurvedic treatment like paste of turmeric and Chandan paste. This will provide coolness to the burning area.
  • Use of any cortisone cream.
  • Bath in the oatmeal water.
  • Using any wet cloth In the infected area.
  • Not using any chemical related drugs to the infected area.


When the treatment of home doesn’t work and the case turns severe. Then medical treatment is offered.

  • Use of prescribed antihistamines.
  • Use of prescribed cortisone cream.
  • Use of steroids if the case is severe.
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial drug medications.
  • Substitute of any drug if it causes allergy


Every problem has some solution to it. Either it is related to the life or body. Though it may be sometimes difficult to handle the pain or the gross. But it can be cured. Before going into the surgery, one has to discuss all its default points with the doctor, so the surgical rash can be avoided. Any allergic things that can be harmful to the health should be informed before the surgical process. So there should not be any kind of default after the surgery. It’s a patient duty to inform all the main data of the body to the life savior. And it’s the duty of a doctor to ask every possible detail of the patient.

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