Medically reviewed by Andrew Gonzalez, M.D., J.D., MPH — created by Jenna Fletcher top top November 22, 2020

A person may develop a rashes after surgery if they come into call with an irritant or reaction to a medication the they receive during the procedure. A physician can help determine both the cause of the rash and how to treat it.

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The precise risk determinants for occurring a rash adhering to surgery space not known, so it is no clear just how many human being this is most likely to affect.

In this article, we research why some people may develop a rash ~ surgery and discuss the treatment options.


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The number of people who experience a rashes after surgical procedure is not known.

However, in many cases, among the causes below will be responsible.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a likely reason of part postsurgery rashes. The occurs as soon as a person’s skin comes into call with an irritant.

Substances and also items the irritate the skin vary among individuals, yet they deserve to include garments dyes, particular plants, and also cosmetics.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimate that contact dermatitis occurs in around 15–20% of people.

Allergic reaction to medication

The drugs that civilization receive during or complying with a surgical procedure may additionally be responsible for part rashes the occur.

Although the certain risk factors are unknown, having an allergy reaction come one medication boosts the danger that a human being may react to another medication.

Several types of drugs can cause an allergy reaction. These include pain relievers and antibiotics, both of which civilization commonly receive throughout or ~ surgery.


Rashes that an outcome from surgery might not necessarily show up right in ~ the operation site.

In part cases, lock may show up all end the body or ~ above one or two various other areas.

Body rash

A human body rash may happen if a human being is allergic to the medication the they took around the time of your surgery. Body rashes may differ in appearance, relying on the person and the medication.

Some common causes and also their symptom include:

Antibiotics and also phenolphthalein (from some laxatives): this can cause a dark rash that occurs in ~ the same location each time the human takes the medication.Anabolic steroids, corticosteroids, bromides, iodides, and also phenytoin: These drugs can cause discolored locations or pimples top top the shoulders, face, and also chest. Antibiotics (sulfa, barbiturates, isoniazid, penicillins, and also phenytoin): The rashes may show up as scaly skin that thickens and peels, and it may affect the whole body.Some anticoagulants and diuretics: A person might notice purple locations on the skin, which are most most likely to appear on the legs.

Localized rash

When a localized rash appears on the body, one likely reason is call dermatitis. Follow to the nationwide Eczema Association, there are two types: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis accounts for 80% of call dermatitis cases. That occurs when the skin sustains damages as a an outcome of coming into call with building material such as jewelry or detergents.

Allergic contact dermatitis is a rash that shows up within 1–2 work of call with a substance, such together poison ivy or a fragrance. That occurs due to the immune device overreacting to the substance.

A localized rashes after surgical procedure is likely to take place near the website of the incision or the area the had call with the irritating substance. For instance, a human with one adhesive reaction may have actually a rash where the medical care team put surgical tape.

A who body may react to topical medications, adhesives the the team provides to host the skin in place, or the operation equipment.


A human being may not have the ability to determine whether their rash is a direct an outcome of their surgery. It also may be complicated for a human to tell the difference between a rash and a surgical website infection.

Anyone who establishes a rash following surgery need to tell their surgeon about the rash. The surgeon will likely ask to check out the person and also perform a physical examination that the rash. Lock will also ask about other symptoms.

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To rule out other feasible causes, the surgeon will most likely ask the person around any medications they space taking. If necessary, they might switch a who medications complying with surgery.

A human being should not prevent taking any type of medications unless their operated doctor or primary treatment doctor advises lock to carry out so.