Jump to content
2019 Nursing Salary Survey Read more... ×

Allergic Dermatitis to surgical scrubs - any advice?

Operating Room   (17,708 Views 8 Comments)
by french01 french01 (New Member) New Member

french01 works as a or rn.

946 Visitors; 24 Posts

advertisement

Hello -

I am fairly new to the OR and have been struggling with moderate to severe contact dermatitis to surgical scrubbing.

I had a RAST test and am not latex allergic.

I have tried to do trials between alcohol only - and to just CHG formulas, both traditional and waterless.

I keep getting the rash and having been having to keep in under control with Protopic RX.

(i do have eczema history...)

I am hoping someone may have found some surgical scrub options that worked for them -

thanks for any advice!!!

I definitely do not want to be forced to end my new career!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#1rnstudent works as a RN.

1,835 Visitors; 157 Posts

I don't like using the waterless stuff because it leaves my hands and arms itchy, dry and with red blotches all over. It gets worse with each application and the product rep told me to keep using it when I asked her about it. ***? It also gives me a headache by the end of the day. I like the traditional scrub brushes that come in the package with the little, plastic nail pick. Isn't CHG associated with a lot of unpleasant side effects? Perhaps your facility could get scrub brushes without CHG in them. Ours has them. If you love OR nursing then you should not have to sacrifice scrubbing because of the products your facility is using. Can they get something else ordered in? :-o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lindaloo51 works as a RN in 6 room OR.

2,029 Visitors; 61 Posts

One of my coworkers is allergic to the prepared scrub brushes. They use coconut oil in many of them I think as emolients. She has to use a prepackaged dry scrub brush with regular hibiclens or betadine because they don't have the emolients added. Also, are your gloves powder free? You might try a different glove. Also be sure to wash well each time you take off your gown and gloves. (Not just a quick rinse.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maeyken has 4 years experience and works as a Operating Room RN.

2,841 Visitors; 174 Posts

We have the waterless, the CHG brushes, and Povidone-Iodine brushes. When they first brought in the waterless stuff I tried it, but my arms got all rashy and itchy even when I washed them after every case. Before that I used the CHG brushes with no problems. I switched to the iodine ones for awhile and that settled my skin down, but I am back to using the CHG ones. We once trialed some alcohol-based brushes as well, but they were quite drying and we didn't go with them. But there are options out there!

Hope you find something soon that works for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

french01 works as a or rn.

946 Visitors; 24 Posts

Thanks for the thoughts -

especially using Hibiclens alone -

it will be the best way to find out if it is the CHG....

then I can take it from the thre -

meanwhile - still searching!

all the best!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Likes; 34,398 Visitors; 3,950 Posts

I went a dermatologist who specializes in occupational dermatitis, a patch test was done to test for common allergens, plus some that were specific to my workplace environment. After the results were read I was given a list of chemicals to avoid, reading product ingredients and avoiding contact has prevented recurring contact dermatitis for me. It may help you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

Fun2, RN, BSN works as a OR RN.

16,024 Visitors; 5,586 Posts

Make sure your hands are completely dry, even after using a waterless scrub, before you put your gloves on as well. I have read this can also cause dermatitis in some people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mactheknife has 32 years experience and works as a operating room supervisor.

2,417 Visitors; 34 Posts

I agree with all of the above. Seriously look into the gloves. That is where I found the solution to my problem. I now only wear "Biogel" gloves and have no problems. Involve your Infection Control Department. Often they can give you valuable back up and know of many alternative products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×