Thursday, January 23, 2014

Skin Problems With The Port

I have had my share of skin issues and allergies with my PICC line so it was no surprise that the skin around my port would have issues too. The second night of my hospital stay I was snuggling in bed with my daughter when she got tangled in my port tubing and accidentally pulled the port needle right out! I called the nurse expecting her to re-access it with no problems. What I didn't notice was that my skin was already reacting to the new hypo-allergenic tape we were using.

The nurse took one look at my skin and was convinced I was allergic to Betadine (I AM allergic to Chloroprep so we use Betadine to clean my skin) since we were using hypoallergenic tape. I tried explaining over and over that it was the tape since I am allergic to essentially all tape, but for some reason she was certain it was the Betadine. She went to talk to some other nurses and doctors (it was evening so my doc wasn't available) and they all agreed that they had to use either chloroprep (which I am allergic to) or Betadine to clean the access site and until they knew that Betadine wasn't causing the allergy they refused to use it on my port.

This left me annoyed because I know that I am not allergic to Betadine, but nobody would believe me. They agreed to cover a few patches of skin with Betadine to see if I reacted. They also placed an IV using the hypoallergenic tape (that I knew was the culprit) with the intention of checking it the next day for a reaction.

Of course, the Betadine did not react and my IV site (using the hypoallergenic tape) went crazy with blisters. When my doctor came in he brought two new types of tape that we decided to try. I think we have found two solutions for now!! We cover the port with several layers of sterile gauze and then tape the gauze down with Hy-Tape or Kind Tape (pediatric). I am so relieved to finally have a tape that does not make my skin blister.


  1. Good grief, that would make me crazy!!! Your story has inspired me to make a bigger fuss next time. I honestly had no idea there were other options. My skin would really appreciate not being raw and blistered!!!

    1. Do not put up with the blisters! They are horrible and if yours are anything like mine they itch like crazy! Some nurses don't like that you can't see through the dressing when you use gauze and tape and it needs to be changed more often, but I think it is totally worth avoiding a month of red, blistery, swollen skin!