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Itchy rash after lumpectomy

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fifi67
fifi67 Member Posts: 6
edited February 2021 in IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma)

hi there,

Looking for advice please BC friends? I had a lumpectomy and SNB 5 weeks ago today. Lumpectomy Incision was all the way around my areola. I had my dressings taken off approx 2.5 weeks after surgery and thereafter developed an itchy rash around the areola. Saw my surgeon who advised it was some kind of skin reaction to the dressings most likely. In any case it's still there but not as bad and gradually improving. Unfortunately however they didn't get clear margins after initial surgery and had a re excision earlier today. Feeling remarkably well after as still numbed I guess. My questions are has anyone else had an itchy skin rash near wound site and how long did it take to heal? Also any advice on recovery time after re excision? Thanks ladies! Wishing you all lots of love and light.

Xxx

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  • jessie123
    jessie123 Member Posts: 134
    edited May 2019
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    I had a pink rash on the inside part of my breast around the areola. My incision was far away from the rash. None of my doctors knew what it was, but the nurse practitioner told me she has seen it before and believes it is a reaction to the blue dye they inject to locate the sentinel nodes during lumpectomy. My rash showed up a month after surgery.

  • fifi67
    fifi67 Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2019
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    Thank you Jessie123, that's good to know. Do you know how long it took to go away? Wishing you well and hope your radiotherapy is going well? Xxx

  • jessie123
    jessie123 Member Posts: 134
    edited May 2019
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    fifi67 -- I still have it --- although it's not as noticeable with my pink breast from radiation. My lumpectomy was february 21 so the rash showed up around March 21st. Someone else on this board also had the rash. The doctor gave her antibiotics, but I never heard if it cleared up the rash. My surgeon wanted to order Cipro but I said I'd rather wait to see if it goes away on it's own. I don't think it's an infection because wouldn't the rash be much worse by now?

  • fifi67
    fifi67 Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2019
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    hi Jo-5,

    I haven’t started radiation yet so can’t be the reason in my case but good to know nonetheless. I still don’t know if I need chemo yet as am waiting for oncotype test results. Radiotherapy is definite though so will make sure all my clothing is well laundered beforehand.

    Thanks for the info and hope you are well


  • fifi67
    fifi67 Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2019
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    hi Jessie123,

    My surgeon actually gave me an antibiotic about 4 days after the rash appeared which I took for the full 7 day course. Didn’t make any real difference but I guess prevented any infection from starting. Just hope now that I’ve had the re excision that I don’t get a worse rash or infection! Here’s to a good recovery as am due to go on a holiday May 25th for a week. Surgeon reckons I’ll be okay to travel. It’s an 4.5 hour flight so here’s hoping!! Could really do with the break before I start the next stage of this ‘journey’

    Hope you are coping well with your radiation?


  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
    edited May 2019
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    oh I had a rash after lumpectomy. I was allergic to the surgical prep, and then had a delayed allergic rash to the surgical glue they used. It took a long time to run it's course, like 3 weeks to a month maybe.

  • jessie123
    jessie123 Member Posts: 134
    edited May 2019
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    gb2115 --- was the first rash immediate and the second one days later? Mine was a month later -- really delayed. Do they glue our lumpectomy incisions? I would really like to know what my allergy is so that I can avoid it in the future. The nurse practitioner said she "thought" it was from the blue dye -- not sure.

  • fifi67
    fifi67 Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2019
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    hi GB2115,

    After my first lumpectomy I developed the rash after approx 3 weeks. Still had it at the time of my re excision which was exactly 5 weeks after the first op. I’m now 2 days after re excision and rash is back with a vengeance. Must be a reaction to the surgical prep I imagine. Let’s hope it improves soon as makes the whole recovery even harder

  • jessie123
    jessie123 Member Posts: 134
    edited May 2019
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    fifi -- I'm beginning to wonder if this is something we'll have the rest of our lives. I can see my red even with the radiation redness so I know mine is still there and it's been there since the middle of March. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks after the radiation discoloration is healed. What a puzzle. Oh, by the way, if you're going to do radiation I just want to let you know that not everyone gets itchy and has open sores. My last of 4 boosts in tomorrow and I'm very red, but not itching and no open sores and no pain. I have fair skin so you'd think I would have worse SE's. I'll see how long it takes to heal. They say it continues to cook for a week.

  • fifi67
    fifi67 Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2019
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    thanks for the positive news on the radiotherapy Jessie123. I’m very fair skinned too so am terrified about open sores etc particularly now that I have this rash to contend with too! Hopefully I’ll be like you and just have to deal with the redness.

    As for the rash it’s not going anywhere! Is now heading further up my neck and is driving me nuts! I was awake during the night desperately trying not to itch. Put a cold wet face cloth on it and that seemed to help a little. Enough that I could go back to sleep for a few hours at least. Have just put some aloe Vera gel on it which gives temporary relief but nothing more really. Think it’s time to take another Antihistamine and see if that helps any.

    As for my actual incision and recovery post my surgery on monday ironically it’s all going fine! If I didn’t have the rash I’d be doing great! Such a shame. Anyway I’ll keep thinking positive thoughts and try and wish it away!!! Take care.

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
    edited May 2019
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    The surgical prep rash was there by the next day or two I think. The glue rash took awhile...I would say 6 or 7 weeks....it was right before I started radiation, which gave me stress because I had to do radiation with open wounds from the rash. It was definitely allergy I guess because the glue wouldn't come off. My body reacted by sloughing off the skin under the glue, but then it went rashy all around the area, up to my armpits and collarbone. They initially thought it was a viral rash but then dermatologist figured out I was just so allergic the rash was spreading. It cleared up and then I got a rash from the miaderm. I had to get a steroid shot to stop all that nonsense.

    My surgeon said no more surgical glue, ever!!

  • Kahni
    Kahni Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2019
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    I also have a rash. It started near the lumpectomy incision and has now spread elsewhere on my breast. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel biopsy July 23, 2019, reexcision on August 10, and second reexcision on August 26. It has now been 3.5 weeks since the last surgery and the rash just appeared. The incision had been very itchy before that but I just assumed it was due to healing. I didn't have it with the first two surgeries although with each, I did notice a place between my breasts where it looked like I had contact dermatitis. I assumed they put something there during the surgery that caused it.

    I am supposed to start radiation in a few days. It is disturbing to read that this rash has been pretty persistent in some of you.

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
    edited October 2019
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    Hi Kahni... can you get into a dermatologist? My doctor got me in super quick. They are the best for rashes.

    The radiation didn't seem to affect my rash one way or another.

  • Jgeorge168
    Jgeorge168 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2020
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    oh wow! I’ve been having rash issues now for 2 months and now the dermatologist wants to do a biopsy and I’m like it’s a rash! I’m going crazy! It comes and goes and now it’s back and it’s been horrible wondering what the heck is going on! Looks like you posted a year ago. How’s it going now? I did do 2 rounds of radiation but stoped because I didn’t like how I was already feeling. Lumpectomy was feb 11.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,283
    edited April 2020
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    Jgeorge168, welcome to our community. Just to better understand, you have had a lumpectomy for breast cancer, and recently stopped radiation? Did the rash start during radiation, or is it independent of that time frame? Perhaps worth getting your oncologist to look at it as well?


  • Brigetta2u
    Brigetta2u Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2020
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    Three of my sisters were recently diagnosed with breast cancer. All of their cancers were different. All of their genetic testing was negative. One of my sister's cancer was only seen on MRI. Even though I had a negative mammo, I felt it was important to get an MRI just to be sure and they found something so I went ahead and had it biopsied and had a titanium clip placed. The procedure went very well with minimal pain/bruising during and after and requiring no pain meds or anything. I have been a medical surgical nurse for 20+ years and fully understood and followed all the post op instructions taking care and being very watchful of the poked area. On the 4th post op day, I started to get a small rash on the top of the biopsy breast. By this time I was able to take a shower and I thought it might just be a delayed reaction to the disinfectant that they covered my breast with before the biopsy and that when I took a shower, that would wash off and take care of it. The steri strips were still on the poke spot so I gently removed them during my shower also thinking maybe I was having an allergic reaction to them even though the rash was several inches away. So, I showered and gently but thoroughly cleaned the whole front and sides of my torso including both breasts with the same soap I have used for years without any problems. Then, I sort of forgot about the rash, assuming it would disappear. But when I went to bed on Friday night, I realized it had actually spread to my whole breast, right side of my chest up to my shoulder and slightly onto my abdomen and it was starting to itch. It was then that I made my first call to the medical facility where I had the biopsy. Long story short, the rash continued to spread and get itchier over the weekend and after multiple calls, someone finally returned my call on Sunday afternoon only to tell me to go to urgent care/call the breast clinic on Monday morning. I did both and now I am getting push back from the facility as they still insist that a reaction to the clip would be rare and highly unlikely. I know the clip needs to come out ASAP. I never wanted it in there in the first place and I expressed that and my concerns were readily dismissed. I was not fully informed of the risks prior to the biopsy/placement of the clip, only that adverse reactions were extremely rare. With so many people here on this site and in other places describing this symptom who have probably also received a clip placement, I cannot help wondering if the clip is the cause of the rash and itching for many. The problems with titanium joint replacements are well known and documented. Literature says that the metal ionizes and metal ions enter the bloodstream. I have to ask that, in the presence of all of this information and lawsuits related to complications of implanted titanium joint replacements, why anyone in their right mind would think that it was so safe to implant a seed of titanium in highly vascular and traumatized breast tissue!!! Cancer is associated with failed titanium joint replacements so why on earth would it seem rational much less safe to put a fragment of it in an area highly vulnerable to cancer?! Where are the studies of these implants placed into healthy breast tissue?! What is the probability that a titanium clip is actually the cause in of breast cancer?! Of course, if you developed it after the placement, it could always be dismissed because you were being evaluated for suspicion of cancer so it must have just developed there with no relation to the titanium. Right? Or, since I have three sisters with breast cancer, I was high risk for developing cancer myself so, no relationship to the titanium clip being there. In my opinion, there is at least as much of a risk of getting cancer or having other problems related to titanium implanted into the breasts as it is with joints. More unbiased research must be done to evaluate the adverse effects of titanium clip implants now. The use of them should cease until the research is completed and anyone being asked to have these implanted should be well informed of the risks/benefits before going ahead with an implant.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this! I welcome and look forward to your responses. Be well! ✌️❤️

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,283
    edited June 2020
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    Dear Brigetta2u,

    Welcome to you. We are sorry for these complications and glad you reached out. Can we ask what the results of your biopsy were? We can better direct you around the boards as you need if you let our members know more of your cancer story. There is another thread that is a bit older but addresses similar issues about Titanium clips with some input from a radiologist djmammo who posts on our boards. Let us know how we can assist you with navigating the boards as you need.

    The Mods

  • Rebalilly
    Rebalilly Member Posts: 13
    edited June 2020
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    My rash story. lumlectomy a June 3. Healing nicely then I started itching two weeks later. Breast started getting red. Had an appointment at radiologists. He said it looked like poison ivy. I had been working in the yard and agreed. Told me to take Benedryl. Rash grew over the weekend and was unbearable. Showed the pharmacy. It was all over my breast. He said poison ivy and gave me Zanfel. Days later, had appointment with surgeon, oncologist and radiologist all in the same day. Rash was bright red and all over breast and climbing up neck and under arm. Radiologist said I should tell surgeon. Oncologist was unmoved. Surgeon said he would give me extra strength hydrocodone.
    Used it a few days and nothing happened. I googled lumpectomy rash and found many are allergic to the surgical glue. Read petroleum jelly will remove it. I had small pieces still in the cut area and made sure to rub all over in case some dripped. It immediately felt better. I am still inflamed and cannot begin radiation until it’s gone, but hoping the hydrocodone will fix it. Seems to be getting better slowly now that the glue is gone.

  • jessie123
    jessie123 Member Posts: 134
    edited June 2020
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    Just want to do a follow up since my rash worry post a year ago. It finally went away, but did take a very long time - probably 6 months.

    As far as the clip in your breast to mark where the cancer is located --- I wouldn't let them put it in. I had two biopsies and refused the clip both times because the pathologist had not determined that I had cancer yet. That made no sense to me that I would have to have a clip in my breast for the rest of my life even if my biopsy results were negative. My surgeon wasn't worried about it. She came into my room the morning of surgery -- did an ultrasound and measured where the tumor was with her fingers. I had clear margins after surgery.

  • Lola2430
    Lola2430 Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2021
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    Hi - I just had a lumpectomy last week and a few days later broke out into an itchy raised rash all over my stomach and one breast and my neck. My dermatologist thinks its a contact dermatitis from perhaps the Hibiclens or the Betadine they use in the pre-surgery washing and prescribed a topical steroid cream. The cream isn't really doing anything. Does this sound familiar to others? The NP who works with my surgeon didn't seem to have any ideas. Thank you.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
    edited February 2021
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    Have you tried taking an oral antihistamine for a few days? I’d try some generic Zyrtec or benadryl

  • angiebaby2727
    angiebaby2727 Member Posts: 3
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    I recently had a lumpactemy in two areas of my breast .about 3 days post op I developed a horrible itchy burning rash .It went on for about 10 days before I finally said I can’t do this anymore I wasn’t sleeping and it was intolerable.It was all over the surgical areas and my upper stomach only on the surgical side though .The doctors were unsure if it was a allergic reaction to the prep they used as the rash was present all over the areas I was prepped on with the iodine solution .Also he said it could have been a reaction to the glue but again unsure .Imaskes for a steroid pack cause that’s the only thing that works he was hesitant because tedious lower the immune system and slow healing but he gave me it and the rash was gone within 24 hours . It’s weird cause I’m so numb and it’s so itchy at times but I can’t feel certain parts .I suggest prednisone if ur rash doesn’t go away I’m praying I don’t get dermatitis during my radation I start it next week 🙏🙏🙏🙏.Happy healing my breast cancer warriors u are all so strong and beautiful 💓

  • angiebaby2727
    angiebaby2727 Member Posts: 3
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    you need prednisone the topical cream won’t work just went through this . Insist they give u a predisone pack it will go away within 12-24 hours

  • angiebaby2727
    angiebaby2727 Member Posts: 3
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    Just be sure to stay away from any sick people when on the prednisone especially because we are immune compromised

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,283
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    Perhaps you could check in with palliative care regarding the numbness and itching despite the rash having gone away, @angiebaby2727. Or a dermatologist for the itch? Maybe they might have some insight into possible causes that the MO or surgeon did not think of.