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Blisters from surgical tape/SCS Trial

LittlesurferLLittlesurfer Posts: 92
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I underwent a second trial for a SCS. The trial lasted about a week and I experienced a lot of itching under and around the edges of the surgical tape. The tape and leads were removed on Tuesday and I'm still experiencing a lot of itching and the area is covered w/blisters. I think this is called contact dermatitis and I'm probably allergic to the surgical tape,or probably the adhesive material on the tape. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, how long before the itching and the blisters cleared up? This was my second SCS Trial and it, too, was a failure.


  • I'm sorry to hear the SCS trial didn't work for you. For the contact dermatitis use moist ice packs a few times a day to soothe it. Antihistamines can also help if itching is bad. If it gets bigger see you Doctor. They can prescribe a steroid cream to help. I had contact dermatitis due to a reaction from a floor wax I used when I worked at a church/school. My face was so bad and itchy. I ended up getting scarring on my face from the itching I had to get surgery dermabrasion twice. I hope yours heals soon. Did the Doctor mention a pain pump or anything else for your pain relief? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks for the info. I hope this heals up soon...it's miserable. My dr has never mentioned a pain pump. I have an appt. to see her again in 4 weeks.
  • Be real careful those blisters and such don't get infected. Have someone keep an eye on them for you.

    Don't wait the 4 weeks if you feel the blisters/itching etc are getting worse.

    In the future you'll want to avoid that type of tape product. Find out from your doctor what they used on you. Now that it has happened once, it will happen again.

    Hope you get some relief from the itching!
    Sorry the SCS does not work for your pain :(
  • I am so sorry that your second SCS trial did not reduce your pain significantly. I had the same experience.

    A long time ago I had contact dermatitis. It did not get better by itself. I would recommend going to a dermatologist.

    Have a nice holiday, if you can.
  • I too am allergic to tape. Even the band aids for sensitive skin. I had sores on my back from the tape but it cleared up pretty quickly IF I do not scratch it. That's hard to do sometimes. I even had a reaction from the paper tape they used when the PM saw what the other tape had did to me. The sores were oozing. The Doctor removed the bandages Monday and the sores are pretty much healed up now.

    I am so sorry the SCS did not work for you. But as we all know it just does not work for everyone. I don't know about you but I was crushed when the SCS failed me.
    My PM still says a pain pump is all that is going to help me but after the reaction I had from the SCS implant I am afraid of another implant. But what if I have no other choice?????
    Sending you a big hug >:D< coz I am a hugger.
    Pepper sends a tail wag and a scratch behind the ear.
    Patsy and Pepper
  • The "Tegaderm" transparent dressing is to blame and causes blistering...especially along the outside edges of it. Be careful not to scratch them, but using a hydrocortisone cream is usually a cceptable, just don't get it on the incisions themselves.

    Hope this helps you out and best wishes...my SCS has been in now since 10/20 and I'm thankful for it...it's made a difference as to how tolerable my conditions are.

  • How are the sores from the tape doing now?
    I have scabs now where the tape broke me out. Believe it or not....I did manage NOT to scratch them. It was not easy believe me! The urge to scratch someplace that itches is very strong!!
    Keep us updated.
    Patsy w :H
  • I bought some medication at the pharmacy and I'm doing much better now...still a little itchy, but mostly healed up...thank goodness!
  • So happy to hear you are doing better. My sores have cleared up too. Oooooooo, I hope I never have to be taped again!!
    Sending a hug :H and a woof from Pepper.
    Patsy W
  • This second SCS Trial I recently went through was so very painful...much more so than the first one. I had allergic reactions each time, the first time I got a horrible rash all over my body and my dr said it was the antibiotic, which I had only taken 3 tablets. I questioned whether or not it was the surgical tape, but was told it was the antibiotic causing the reaction. The second SCS Trial caused another reaction all around the taped area, which was across my back and sides. I'm still itching a lot in that area, but it is so much better...still using Cortaid Advanced medication on it. Like you, I don't ever want surgical tape on me again. It's miserable enough going through all the pain from the procedure, but to have to deal with that, also, is not good. The stimulator just will not work for me. I couldn't wait for the leads to be pulled out...I was so miserable. I met with the rep so many times and the stimulation was in the right location, but I could feel my pain through the stimulation...no relief whatsoever, and my pain got so much worse during this time. Hope you're doing okay.
  • No...I do not want tape on me again!! It itches like crazy and you know you can't scratch it!!
    I am so sorry the stimulator was a failure for you too. All I felt was tingling on TOP of my pain too. Not a good feeling is it? I also got to where the battery caused me pain when it was turned on. Silly me....I kept hoping by some magic it would work for me so I would try it from time to time. But if it is not going to work nothing will make it work will it? Oh how I wish it had. We would not be sitting here in pain now would we?
    Are you going to try the pain pump? I do not want one but have been told I have no other choice. Woe is me...I do not know what to do!! I just can't take this savage pain. Now I have the added pain from my shoulder and my knee AND a pinched nerve in my thigh!! Heavens only knows what will go wromg next. Plus we have to put up with spikes in our pain!!
    I do NOT want more surgery and I do not want anymore tape on me!! All we want is for the pain to go away!!
    Sending a hug >:D< and Pepper semds her stubby little tail wag with a woof thrown in!
    Patsy W
  • My Dr has never mentioned a pain pump and I'm not sure I would even consider it. Nothing has worked for me so far and I'm about finished with everything...I'm tired of it all. I canceled my next appointment with pain management...I need a break from needles, surgery, etc. I sure hope you find something to work for all your pain. It's so disappointing to go through so much only to have it not ease the pain. Take care and I hope it works out for you.
  • posts in a row who didnt get relief by stimulator. mine was a failure too.

  • It's a shame that there are as you stated
    three posts (individuals) in a row who didnt get relief by stimulator
    since neurostimulation is such a tremendous help to so many others around the world.

    It can be very disconcerting to someone doing as their doctor may have just suggested and "reading everything" they can on SCS therapy to come across posts where a tally is being kept (pro or con). It is smart to list the good, the bad and the ugly, but without more context it can be very misleading and seemingly incomplete information.

    Someone who researches SCS therapy needs to understand that there are variables foreseen and unforeseen that can cause this type of therapy to work for them or not work for them. Of course no one knows for certain until they go through a trial and even then it's not foolproof. Even with very specific criteria for patient selection that doctors should be weighing each case against prior to recommending a trial, it's not a perfect system.

    It appears that even between the different types of neurostimulators, whether it be constant current or constant voltage makes a difference whether it helps an individual or increases their discomfort. I believe we will see more information on this emerge over the next few years as more and more neurostimulators are implanted.

    I guess it can be likened to using a medication. Take medication XYZ for instance. For the majority of individuals taking it for long term chronic issues, it works well and is very reliable. However, there are those who seem to suffer from every bizarre little known side effect of any medication they try. It doesn't mean that medication XYZ is bad and should not be tried. It just means that unfortunately medication XYZ doesn't work as advertised for everyone who tries it.

    Littlesurfer, sorry to hear that your second trial was not only a bust, but that you had the issues with the tape to contend with as well. I hope that you don't let this discourage you from continuing your quest for some sort of pain relief. I always like to think of the song by Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping", where they sing "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down". I look at chronic pain in that regard. Not gonna let it keep me down!

    I hope you have better days to come.

  • Joan, Thought I'd pile on a little cause I agree with C completely. Your post was totally uncalled for.

  • I am sorry the stimulator did not work for you. As "C" said...it just does not work for everyone.
    But it has helped a lot of people amd will continue to do so.
    Everyone has a right to say if it did or did not work for them Dave. It does not come with a 100% guarentee.
    Joan and Lynn...I do hope you find pain relief Chronic pain is a horrid thing to live with 24/7. I am NOT giving up although things look pretty grim eight now. I will NOT give up my hope.
    Best of luck to all
    Patsy W
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