Is This An Allergic Reaction to Tape? (photo)

Paper tape and allergic reactions???

Doctor Answers 7

Is this a reaction to paper tape?

It is hard to see exactly from that picture, but irritation from paper tape is superficial and looks like small bumps and redness on the skin. The area in the picture looks mucoid and necrotic. This may be a suture line infection or a result from decreased blood supply to the belly button. I use micropore paper tape on all incision lines after surgery and continue using the paper tape for six weeks. This has been shown to be as effective as scar gels and creams, and also helps with quicker fading of the scar color.

For now, stop taping, wash the area well with warm water and antibiotic soap. Then dry with a blow drier and call your plastic surgeon for an appointment tomorrow. Hope this helps.

Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Allergic reaction

The belly button itself has dehisced ( seperated ), not an uncommon problem. Should heal with local wound care. The skin redness looks like an allergic reaction and could be secondary to the tape and antibiotic ointment, if you are using any. Bactroban ointment seems to be less reactive. Try using flexinet to hold the dressing rather than tape.

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Is This An Allergic Reaction to Tape?

       The picture leads me to believe that an in-person examination will be needed.




Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Most likely a suture knot abscess

I would not think that this is a reaction to tape.  A tape reaction is usually more like a blister.  This appears to be a suture abscess due to an infected suture knot.  Best to see your plastic surgeon to have this cleaned and the suture removed if possible.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Allergic Reaction to Surgical Tape

It is hard to decipher anything from the photo you've posted. However, a reaction an occur to the tape. Call your doctors office tomorrow and have them to take a look at it. You may not need tape any longer depending how far you are out from surgery.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Belly button red following tummy tuck

It appears this is somewhat infected as evidenced by the pus around the belly button. The tape could have played a role as well. Follow up with your PS soon as you may need antibiotics.

Kurtis Martin, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Belly button healing after tummy tuck


Thank you for the question and the photo.  Its hard to know from the photos alone but healing can be impacted by several issues.  Skin irritants such as paper tape can cause a wound that is superficial (top portion of the skin) while blood supply issues can cause wounds that are from the bottom up.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to guide you through the wound care regimen thats best for you.  Often keeping the area clean and moist with antibiotic ointment is the first line of treatment.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

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