Allergy to electrodes

I am going in for another 24hr holter monitor test in a week. I'm curious if anyone on here has had an allergic reaction to the electrodes. I'm very concern because last time I had this done it burned my skin very badly, a year later and you could still see the round circles. I had to be placed on steroids and allergy meds for 2 weeks later. I also have skin reactions to a simple short ecg. I asked if there was another option and they said no they only have the one type of electrodes. What do you do then ?

24 Replies

  • Hi,

    They should offer you anti allergenic pads, as it also leaves me with blisters on my skin when wearing a 24hr monitor. x

  • I did ask about other options and they told me that was the only option. I'm wondering if taking allergy meds a day before and continue to take them until a day after would help with the burning.

  • A comment rather than a help I know but writing to say I am surprised there are no alternatives as I am always asked if I have an allergy to plasters. -

  • The other option I was given was to not get the test done.

  • You should have asked to speak to a supervisor or called your cardiologist. Their answer to you was unprofessional and not acceptable. An untrained employee.

  • If you know that you have an allergic reaction to either the gell or pad previously -then you should be offered an alternative anti -allergenic type. It is not good enough for your clinic to refuse an alternative because they do not have any in stock? GET SOME !

    You are trying to improve your well being- not make it worse!

    I would telephone them and give them chance to order a supply of anti-allergenic pads in time for your next visit?

    They certainly can burn the skin!

  • I just called them again, I think they are getting annoyed with me now and asked if they could order something different. They said the ones they have are hypoallergenic. I said well for me they are not. Basically got well not much we can do other then to not test you.

  • Speak to a supervisor and contact your doctor's office. Too bad if they get annoyed. You have a right to be treated with respect and not harmed because they think your a pain. Ridiculous.

  • Yes. There are other things that we can do. Talk to your cardiologist and request VERMED electrodes. Buy skin wound liquid skin protector to apply before the electrodes are placed on the skin is a second option.

  • I have experienced the reaction of these pads and agree that you need an alternative?

    Is it possible to contact your Doctor or Practice Nurse with your concerns and hopefully, could be offered a sample of the pad (or) pads to trial prior to having the Holter fitted?

  • I know the ones that they use I am allergic too and they won't offer an alternative. I did leave a message if I could purchase an alternative myself but they haven't got back to me yet.

  • Yes! I didn't get on well with a 7 day monitor and it took weeks to get rid of the marks. But 24 hours wasn't too itchy. I always ask for paediatric adhesive pads.

  • I cannot understand why you are getting so much aggravation for just trying to prevent a future problem? There are alternatives ,rather than the bog standard pads/patches.

    You have informed your Medical Practice that you have an allergy or sensitivity to wearing the pads..... something that requires recording on your medical notes!

    You have requested tests for an alternative..... to save you from long term discomfort and pain-as previously?

    The medical profession sometimes, get so involved in treating the illness -they forget to treat the person?

    You can always request a second opinion?

  • I too have an allergy to the pads and always mention this and they use ones for sensitive skin.


  • The nurse doesn't seem the least bit interested, feeling annoyed as I know they can order an alternative but just won't. She keeps telling me they are hypoallergenic I keep telling her not for me but she doesn't want that answer.

  • Then make a complaint about her attitude to the practice manager, in confidence.


  • Hi yes I get red rings that stay for quite a while but not as bad as you. I had a monitor for 7 days and the electrode sites got extremely itchy very red and sure. The last few days were agony wheb having to change them after showering. Glad to see the back of them. I sympathise but it appears there is no alternative.

  • Is it the actual electrodes that you are allergic to or the sticky pads that hold them in place? I am allergic to some of the sticky pads but not every time as sometimes different makes are used to which I have no allergy. The hospital gave me special cream straight after my ablation to reduce the inflammation/burning sensation. Sorry to hear of your problem - it sounds much worse than mine. Anne

  • This is a pity, particularly as there is a clip on youtube of a talk by Prof. Schilling suggesting that there is no value to a 24 hour Holter monitor in the diagnosis of AF. There are certainly differences between different pads on offer as I reacted badly to a short term exposure and then had a 7day monitor with only slight itching and redness.

  • It's not for Afib, it's to try and measure how many pvcs and pacs I have in a 24 he period plus episode of tachycardia.

  • If you have warned them about it but they still say the pads are hypoallergenic then I suppose the best solution is to warn them that you will have to take them off if you skin starts to react and they will probably manage to find a way round it when they have a second go. Also, worth asking them not to roughen up your skin prior ro application as this makes skin even more reactive. A nurse once rubbed my skin with some sort of abrasive paper before applying the pads, nearly drawing blood and my skin reacted in minutes.

  • There are pads made fir sensitive skin. I have had then at Mayo Clinic and at a different place where I've had cardiac rehab. They exist!

  • I had to go through two types of electrodes that were labeled as "hypoallergenic" for sensitive skin. Took two days for my skin to heal. Finally asked for CLOTH ELECTRODES (VERMED) and they are so much better. No problems so far. There is a skin protector that can be ordered from Amazon that coats the skin before applying. Can be purchased at non chain drug stores who carry wound care products. Took me a month to finally work this out. Had the company turn my monitor off until my skin healed.

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