If an individual sustained a wound or surgical incision, some might not worry about whether the wound covering can worsen the wound. The gauze pads are considered as a common and efficient way to protect the wounds and cuts, but the materials utilized to fasten some of the gauze dressings are capable of instigating allergic reactions. It is essential to stay safe and comfortable by being familiar with the components of gauze pads that cause allergic reactions as well as how to recognize the allergic reactions and preventive measures.
Allergy to povidone-iodine
The gauze pads are utilized to protect the wounds from infection and some pads are already pre-treated with antiseptic povidone-iodine applied topically. Even though these treated pads provides an additional layer of protection against infection, it is vital to avoid them if the individual is sensitive to iodine or if he/she experiences hives, redness or swelling on the face, mouth or lips after using a treated pad. Once the individual experiences severe reactions to the treated pads, a doctor should be consulted right away.
Alternatives to povidone-iodine
There are options aside from povidone-iodine if there is a need to add an antiseptic to the wound dressing. There are over-the-counter ointments such as Neosporin that is used along with with an untreated gauze pad that can not only provide protection to the wound against infection but also hasten the healing rate. Take note that povidone-iodine has been known to have no whatsoever effect on the healing rates.
Latex tape allergy
If the individual is using a gauze pad to protect the wound, it should be secured using a medical adhesive tape. There are certain types of tape that contain latex that can trigger allergic reactions.
A minor reaction to latex tape is contact dermatitis which causes redness, swelling or rash on the skin that was covered by the tape. It is recommended to use a cold compress and topical antihistamine such as cortisone to help relieve the signs and symptoms of contact dermatitis.
Severe allergies to latex are more likely to occur if the individual has prolonged or repeated exposure to latex such as palpitations, shortness of breath and anaphylactic shock. If the individual experiences sensitivity to latex before, a doctor should be informed before the wound is dressed. If the individual has a mild reaction to latex in the past, he/she is at risk for a severe reaction if exposed to it in the future.
Since latex sensitivities became quite common, doctors have become increasingly wary to provide hypoallergenic alternatives. The doctor will recommend to stock on your home emergency kit with hypoallergenic tape along with the latex-based tape. You can find a hypoallergenic medical tape made out of various materials including silk, paper and flexible foam.