Barts Health NHS Trust - Itchy Scars

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Scratch that itch, yes or no?

Postby janiew12 on Fri May 19, 2017 10:55 am

My husband has an itchy scar on his forearm does scratching the itch make the scar look worse and is it more likely to lead to more itching?
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Re: Scratch that itch, yes or no?

Postby Mr Ioannis Goutos on Mon May 22, 2017 3:28 pm

Absolutely, this is known as the itch scratch cycle. In other words, when you scratch a substance is released in the skin called histamine, which causes more itch, so creates a vicious cycle.

On a similar tone, by scratching a scar, your husband puts extra force on the structure of the scar and this can make the inflammation ('angriness') of tissues worse, hence making the scar worse.

Depending of the type of scar, there are a number of options including:
a) Moisturise with cold cream/ointment/oil
b) Massage with firm circular movements 3-4 times a day
c) Consider an over the counter anti itch tablet
d) Consider laser, steroid injections/tapes, silicone gel/tapes

Best regards,
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Mr Ioannis Goutos
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