You have just closed a wound with stitches and all you can think of is how much it itches. You know scratching your stings would be a bad move, but what is causing this itch and what can you safely do to relieve it?
Itching or Pruritisis part of recovery when you have a healing wound. Whether you closed a traumatic wound or a surgical wound – either with stitches, staples or glue – Itching is a normal, albeit frustrating, part of cell reconstruction.
As the cells rebuild, chemical and mechanical reactions occur that cause itching. It is important not to disturb this process. You will delay your healing and return to the first point.
Hemostasis and clotting
In this first phase of Wound healingYour body will cut off the blood supply to the wound through what is known as a process Vasoconstriction. This closes the vessels that supply blood to the affected area.
It works the same way for one injury or a surgical incision. As a blood clot on the edge of the wound, pieces of Fibrinogen Proteins found in plasma form a natural wound closure commonly known as a scab. The scab forms when fibrin and other substances dehydrate and form a protective covering over the healing wound.
In the next phase of wound healing, the real pain and itching begins. in the this phaseInflammatory cells rush to the wound site to clean the wound base and prepare for new cells. Some of these cells, called histamines, help open the blood vessels around the wound so immune cells can start cleaning.
Unfortunately, Histamines are also a primary chemical cause of itching. An infected wound causes additional itching as inflammatory and immune cells work overtime fighting bacteria. In some unfortunate cases, wounds stop healing properly and to get stuck in this phase.
When wounds do not move beyond the inflammatory stage, they are considered chronic wounds. Itching is a major problem with complications leading to chronic wounds.
Spread and repair
When cells rush to the wound site to build new tissue in the wound Proliferation phase When they heal, they layer cells to create a matrix that is filled with different types of cells, creating a sensitive area for new growth. When these new layers are pulled together in the final phase, fluid forms under the surface of the wound. Then new nerve connections are connected to the old ones, creating one mechanical response this leads to itching.
Other causes that require medical attention
There are some abnormal aspects of the healing that can cause additional itching over your stings. Contact your doctor if you notice any inflammation, redness, or oozing. This can be a sign of:
- necrotic or dead tissue at the base of the wound
- Excessive fluid build-up or drainage at the incision site
- Hardening or hardening of the seam
Wound care can be complicated and involve cleaning and dressing the area. Scratching an itchy wound can cause it to crack open and delay healing. Some ways to get sting itch relief include:
- apply an ice pack or cold compress
- Antihistamines like Benadryl
- Proper donning and bandaging (speak to your medical team about taking care of your wound)
- Keep the skin hydrated
- Protect the wound from irritation with a blanket or clothing
Stop the itching
There are a number of natural remedies this can help stop the itching. Talk to your doctor about incision care and be aware of what current products you are applying to your stitches.
For more severe wounds and itching, or wounds that take a long time to heal, your doctor may need to try the following:
You might think scratching or even lightly rubbing it will help relieve your itchiness. But scratches or other healing wounds can interfere with the healing process. Sensitive new layers of tissue can easily be torn apart, requiring you to return to earlier stages of healing. This will take longer for your wound to heal, which will further prolong your itchiness and potentially lead to complications like chronic wounds or infections.
If you’ve had stitches to repair a traumatic wound or after surgery, your doctor should give you specific instructions on how to care for your stitches and when and how to remove them. Not all wound closures – like loosening stitches or surgical glue – need to be removed.
Here are some tips for caring for your stitches:
- Keep your stitches dry for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- After the first few days, you can gently clean your stitches with cold water and mild soap once or twice a day.
- Pat your incision site dry. Don’t rub.
- Don’t scratch or scrub your cut.
- Avoid strenuous activities that could cause the stitches to tear.
- Do not remove any adhesive strips (Steri-Strips) that may cover your stitches. These fall off by themselves.
- Change your dressing as directed by your doctor.
- Do not apply creams or ointments to your stings unless recommended by your doctor.
- Call your doctor if you have a fever or worsening redness and pain. purulent drainage such as yellow or green pus, or bleeding from the area. This could be a sign of infection.
- Don’t pull on your stitches or staples or Crusts cover the wound.
- Keep your hands and supplies clean when changing dressings.
Sometimes excessive itching can be a sign of a complication in your wound healing. Necrotic tissue, infection, excessive fluid retention, and more can lead to increased itching and problems with wound healing.
If you suspect your wound is not healing properly, or if you have any of the following problems, see your doctor for further investigation.
- A fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- yellow, thick, cloudy or malodorous that drain from the spot
- Heavy bleeding
- Stitches that fall out
- opening in the incision before your stitches are removed
- new numbness or tingling sensation in the area
- increasing pain or redness
Stitches are said to help improve healing of deep wounds or cuts and speed up the natural process of tissue building. However, sometimes stitches can complicate matters, especially if you scratch them open and complicate the wound.
Home remedies and over-the-counter or prescription drugs can help if your cut or wound heals. Contact your doctor if you suspect your cut is not healing properly or is infected.