Diagnosis, Digital Technology, Healthcare, Heart Health, Patch ECG / EKG

Can EKG Patches Cause Allergy or Itchiness?

EKG patch allergy and treatment

One of the fastest and simplest ways to evaluate the heart is with an electrocardiogram or ECG. With the help of small EKG patches, you can stick the device to any spot and monitor the electrical impulses. 

The machine will then measure, interpret, and print out the records that show how fast or steady your heart is beating. But, for some people who constantly have to monitor their heart rate, there is always a fear of patch allergy. 

The question is, can these patches cause an allergy? What can you do to treat the problem? Here we will answer all your questions for you. Here is all you need to know. 

Can EKG Patches Cause Allergy?

EKG patches are meant to keep the monitoring mechanisms in place. Some patches use an aggressive gel with high chemical concentrations and a strong composition. They remain glued to the skin, regardless of how bumpy or smooth the skin is. 

Other patches, however, are designed with a non-aggressive gel. They contain a similar salt concentration to the aggressive ones, but use a gentle adhesive that doesn’t inflame the skin. 

Depending on the adhesive or gel you put on the skin, you might notice a reaction in the form of skin irritation, especially from the patches that use an aggressive gel.

Around 2% of the population can experience a reaction to the adhesives.

In these rare cases, people can develop skin irritation or an allergy under the electrodes. 

The irritation is the result of the adhesives or gels present on the body of the electrodes, research shows.

If the adhesives remain on the skin for a long time, they have a 50% chance to cause a skin rash. 

The thing is, adhesives are used in countless products since they give them “stickiness.” But, the glues incorporated in the adhesives are known to inflame the skin and even result in dermatitis. That’s why the itchy patch can start to feel uncomfortable. 

It’s the same case with practical EKG patches you use on the go, like the Zio Patch, for example. The Zio patch itchy sensation is the result of the adhesives that keep the product glued to the skin. 

For some individuals, the itchiness can progress into an unpleasant rash. Mostly the rash is mild and slightly bumpy.

For patients with sensitive skin, particularly those allergic to the glue, the patches can pose a big problem. 

How to Recognize the Symptoms?

Do you need to use EKG patches, but are afraid you might be allergic to them? 

If that’s the case, it is important that you recognize the symptoms. The good thing is, that a patch allergy or skin irritations are very easy to spot. Here are some of the most prevalent symptoms you should know about:

  • Red or inflamed skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Skin rash
  • Itchiness
  • Discomfort

Note: If you have an allergic reaction to hydrogels or adhesives, you have a high chance of experiencing skin irritation when using EKG patches. The same thing applies to individuals with a family history of similar skin allergies.

What Should You Do In Case of a Patch Allergy or Skin Irritation?

How to recognize and treat congestive heart failure

The easiest way to treat the problem is to avoid exposure to the chemical you are allergic to, in this case, the adhesive. If the patches are just slightly irritating on the skin, you can stick them to a different spot on the body. 

That way, you avoid prolonged exposure and reduce your chances of another inflammation. Of course, even if you change the position slightly, you will still get accurate results. 

But, for severe rashes, extreme itchiness, and discomfort, you might have to stop using the EKG patch completely. 

To treat the allergy, your doctor will recommend a topical corticosteroid, like 1% hydrocortisone (a cream meant to soothe the skin), or a more powerful alternative. 

Another option you can try is EKG patches for sensitive skin.

They use more soothing adhesives and gentler chemicals that won’t aggravate the skin that much. Most of them are hypoallergenic and use breathable tape. This kind of material doesn’t block the pores and can be an ideal option for repeated procedures. These are mainly used for the elderly or people who have a reaction to the more aggressive chemicals. 

Tip: No matter how strong your skin is, you should never apply EKG patches to injured areas or open wounds. The chemicals will interact with the blood and result in a burning sensation. If you notice chapped spots or pain, remove the patch immediately. 

Final Thoughts

Using a machine to monitor the heart is immensely important for overall health. But, when that machine creates unwanted skin irritations, it may become a problem. The truth is, that the EKG patches can cause an allergic reaction, skin irritations, and rashes. While that only happens in rare cases, it’s still a possible reaction. Now that you know how to recognize and treat the problem, you will make the most of your heart monitoring routine. 

Related Articles:

Previous ArticleNext Article


  1. 7 days ago my ECG pads were removed and the rash they caused is extremely painful and itchy. Small blisters have also appeared during the last couple of days.
    I can feel the pain constantly and cannot bear to wear my bra as that adds pressure and the area now feels bruised

  2. I’ve had my bug attached for about six hours, and it has already fallen off 4 times, even though I returned to the specialist’s office to have it re-attached. I’m not confident that this is going to work out ($120.00 later)!

  3. Had a patch placed on my chest for a heart monitor, within minutes it began to burn and itch. Was told by the technician the patches were hypo-allergenic and I would be fine. Suffered for 3 days with severe itching and discomfort. When the patch finally came off, had a severe rash.

    1. Dear Ray, for such cases, when you know that your skin is very reactive to adhesive, you can try using the ECG monitoring solution that does not have the adhesive part., like a belt or t-shirt type ECG. Keep in mind that the signal will be more “noisy” and harder to read for doctors, so they usually prefer the adhesive options.

    2. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me, my experience with the medical community in general, including dentistry, has been incredibly negative. They’ll completely ignore your complaints if they think they know better. The best advice I can give you is to pull a “Karen” I would literally be dead if my mom hadn’t gotten tired of my PCPs constant insistence that I was fine. My mom demanded I get a blood test, turns out, I was in full liver failure and I didn’t just “have the flu” had to be flown to Houston by the Kangaroo Crew and get a full liver transplant. Out of the at least 54 medical “professionals” I’ve encountered, only 12 of them were actually “professionals. A degree doesn’t mean you’re capable of problem solving, unfortunately, though some of them just don’t care about you.

  4. Stress test could not start because electrode pads caused severe acute contact allergic reaction that triggered blood pressure to reach 160.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.