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Old 05-06-2006, 12:08 AM
Guest
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Any relief for healing itch?

I had a mole excised two days ago (eleven stitches!), and now the wound itches-itches-itches. Is there any generally accepted way of stopping the itching? Putting hydrocortisone cream on an incision doesn't seem like quite the right thing...
Old 05-06-2006, 12:11 AM
MLS MLS is offline
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The obvious answer is to ask your doctor. In my experience aspirin sometimes helps the itch of insect bites and poison ivy, but I don't know if it would be advisable in your case.
Old 05-06-2006, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLS
The obvious answer is to ask your doctor. In my experience aspirin sometimes helps the itch of insect bites and poison ivy, but I don't know if it would be advisable in your case.
take a Benadryl... it might help. I suspect the itching is coming from the healing process, drying stitches, stretching of skin... you could also try dabbing with vaseline as a topical.
Old 05-06-2006, 12:22 PM
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A good home remedy for any itch, including healing itch, in my experience: get a washcloth and run it under water as hot as you can stand without burning yourself. Apply to affected area for around a minute. Works like a charm, and can be repeated as needed.
Old 05-06-2006, 02:10 PM
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Oooh, and I think I even know why that works. The nerves that sense heat and cold actually stop working at very hot and very cold temperatures, and the sensation is taken over by the nerves that sense pain. The nerves that sense pain are the same nerves that carry "itch" signals.

So the very hot washcloth activates the "pain" nerves and, over a short period of time, exhausts their supply of neurotransmitter, thus preventing itch.

Anyway. That's what the sophomore bio-psych class taught me.
Old 05-06-2006, 02:39 PM
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So, did you try it? Did it help? Huh, did it?
Old 05-06-2006, 03:36 PM
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Unfortunately, I think I'm too wimpy for this solution. I think I didn't get the water hot enough. I don't want a burn on top of stitches *sniffle*
Old 05-07-2006, 06:48 PM
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I've used the Hot Water on Itchy Areas Solution, and it worked very well. In fact, it worked for a few hours at a time. I had my arms, legs, and chest areas loaded with poison ivy, and the Hot Water Cure kept me sane.
Old 05-07-2006, 09:46 PM
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Well, Sattua, since you are such a wimp, let me recommend another . You know that stuff you use on a sore throat, like Chloraseptic? Or that you use for teething babies, like Anbesol? They are topical anesthesias. Try one of them on your itch. You may smell like menthol, but who cares?
Old 05-07-2006, 10:38 PM
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Anbesol. That's a very interesting idea. I think I will try that--drug store first thing tomorrow morning. The place is a little sore, so anaesthetic is altogether welcome. I think it's not even "open" anymore, as it hasn't bled for three days.
Old 05-07-2006, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sattua
Oooh, and I think I even know why that works. The nerves that sense heat and cold actually stop working at very hot and very cold temperatures, and the sensation is taken over by the nerves that sense pain. The nerves that sense pain are the same nerves that carry "itch" signals.

So the very hot washcloth activates the "pain" nerves and, over a short period of time, exhausts their supply of neurotransmitter, thus preventing itch.

Anyway. That's what the sophomore bio-psych class taught me.
I thought it was just because the pain signal swamps out the itch signal. Surely if the pain-sensing nerves actually exhausted their supply of neurotransmitters the pain would stop too, right? Or does that actually happen, and I've just never experienced it (or just don't remember)?

Incidentally, I heard that another good way to stop itch is to aim hair dryer at the site, just enough so that you feel a little pain. I can't remember if I heard it from Cecil or Joel Achenbach, but I like the idea of a hot washcloth a lot more.
Old 05-08-2006, 12:05 AM
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Hmm. It's been a long time since I took that class (seven years--and my study buddy murdered her husband and is in jail. Really.) I do remember that there is a feedback loop on those nerves, and that they can actually shut themselves off. Maybe that's what happens.
Old 05-08-2006, 01:10 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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For minor itching, sometimes putting a little bit of deoderant were it itches will sooth it. A doctor's wife taught me that. It has come in handy.
Old 05-08-2006, 05:58 AM
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After surgery I take daily (or sometimes twice daily) baths, with lots of salt (table salt, not epsom) in the water. Takes the itching away (definately) and seems to speed healing (anecdotal evidence only). Been doing this since my first surgery in Great Ormand Street Hospital in 1977 where the ward sister showed my parents, and every one of the 28 others since.
Old 05-08-2006, 06:12 AM
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If it's none of my business, Szlater, please ignore the question - but why have you needed 28 surgeries?
Old 05-08-2006, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick
If it's none of my business, Szlater, please ignore the question - but why have you needed 28 surgeries?
I was born with bladder exstrophy. I'm presently waiting for op number 29.
Old 05-08-2006, 01:08 PM
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My answer's probably a bit too late for your immediate need, but the first guy I got a tattoo from recommended Preparation H when it reached the stage where it had healed enough to itch. It helped quite a bit -- didn't eliminate the itch, but made it bearable.
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