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If you're suffering from bandage adhesive...

I hope this is the right place to post this info! I was going NUTS last week trying to find info about when my irritating, sticky bandage adhesive would GO AWAY, so I thought I'd post my experience just in case someone else is looking for the same answers.

I'm 3 weeks post ALIF/PLIF, and about a week ago, I was able to go without bandages and got to peel off my steristrips! Over the steristrips, I had to wear fresh gauze every day stuck on with some white tape that the hospital sent me home with. It seemed like EVERY DAY, the new tape would add another layer of sticky, irritating adhesive to my skin! Not to mention, every time I had to peel off my old bandages, it felt like they were on there with superglue. OUCH!

It was so darned itchy and irritating, and impossible to rub off, peel off, wipe off, pick off, etc. I tried baby oil, then rubbing alcohol (which I'm sure irritated my skin even more), but nothing would take off the goo, so I gave up and continued to let it build up.

Once I hit 2 weeks and didn't need to wear the bandages, the gooey adhesive left on my skin stuck to my clothes, and basically made a huge area of skin surrounding my incisions feel like it was badly sunburnt! Terrible.

Anyway, now 1 week after removing all my bandages, I'm glad to say that ALL of the adhesive has come off my skin. Day by day, it became easier and easier to pull off, I think because the skin beneath began to peel away. A lot of my skin is still peeling, but it doesn't feel sunburnt or tender anymore.

It's an enormous relief, because spinal surgery recovery has enough tough crap to go along with it, even without sticky, irritated skin!

I suppose what I want to say is if you're experiencing the same thing as I did, and wondering when the bandage adhesive hell will be over, it took mine exactly 1 week after removing bandages to come off and feel much better :)



  • The nurse at my first post-op visit gave me a bunch of alcohol towelets and showed me how to rub off the adhesive. I had it *everywhere* since I had 2 incisions, a chest tube, an arterial line, and so on.

    I still have it on me though in some areas!
  • I am allergic to the stuff! I break out in huge sores that itch like crazy.
    I have one spot on my back that still breaks out from time to time from tape and I had that surgery several years ago.
    When I break out I will heal pretty fast as long as I do not touch or scratch it.
    Even the bandages for sencitive skin breaks me out.

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • Yeah, I don't know about allergic, but I was so itchy from the bandages in the hospital that they gave me benadryl. I was SO happy to get them off- especially the huge dressing for my thoracotomy incision!

    Blech. I'm still itchy in some areas.
  • I had a contact dermatitis years ago from surgical dressing with adhesive. Prior to my recent spine surgery I told EVERY DOCTOR< NURSE etc that I was ALLERGIC to adhesives and to use paper tape only. They also have this new stuck kind of clear, not sure what its called. They use it over your IV site. Also put in over my drain, so It was less irritating,

    You have to YELL and speak up!
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