I Am 12 Days Post-op. My Incision Has Begun to Itch Like Crazy. Is It Safe to Apply Anything?

I Am 12 Days Post-op from tummy tuck with muscle repair on 2/6/12.  My Incision Has Begun to Itch Like Crazy.  Is It Safe to Apply Anything?

Doctor Answers 12

Benedryl Cream... and meet with your surgeon just in case!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Itching that’s isolated to the wound is almost always related to normal would healing.When this situation arises, a variety of treatment options exist including Benadryl cream.
It’s important to consult your plastic surgeon when this type of situation arises.Your surgeon can rule out infection and allergic reactions which are also occasionally associated with itching in the post-operative period.In the vast majority of patients this type of itching is self-limited and resolves with the passage of time.

Scar care after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your post. In tummy tuck and other lift/tightening surgeries, tension is the enemy. The scar is healing gradually over 12 weeks or so, and until it is strong, it is the weakest link. As there is a great deal of tension in tummy tucks, body lifts, breast lifts, etc., the scar is at high risk of 'stretching' or widening. Silicone sheeting, although having the ability to make a scar flat, does nothing to prevent stretching of the scar. Creams or steroids or lasers also do not have the ability to prevent stretching of the scar. Those are used if scar is thick or dark, but not to reduce the wideness of the scar, which is the main problem. Massage also does not help keep the scar thin, and can actually worsen the scar in the first 12 weeks because you are actually adding tension to the scar. Massage is for softening a hard or thick scar, but if used early, will hasten the scar widening. Only tension reduction has the ability to keep the scar as thin as possible. You may notice in a lot of tummy tuck scars that the center portion of the scar is the widest with the sides toward the hips being the thinnest. This is because the maximum tension is at the center, and least amount on the sides. Embrace removes a lot of the tension by putting more tension on the skin on either side of the incision and drawing the incision together. It is expensive though at about $100 per week for 12 weeks. When patients do not want to spend the money for embrace, I tape the incision trying to remove as much tension as possible for 12 weeks and recommend no stretching back and to sit most of the time, keeping tension off the scar.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Incision itching after surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As long as your incision looks normal it's likely that your itching is a normal part of the healing process. Try some benadryl and check in with your plastic surgeon to see if they reccomend anything else. The good news is that itching typically goes away on it's own. Cheers, Dr Kerr

Incision Itching

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hello waitedenough, Itching can be a very normal part of the incision healing process and topicals can usually be applied to calm the itch. However, you should be explicitly following the instructions of YOUR surgeon. These are the exact type of questions surgeons answer for patients in their surgery post care paperwork and during your follow up visits to our office. I am always concerned when I see so many of these questions being posed to RealSelf that should be posed to your personal physician. I wonder if proper follow up care is not being provided, if the patient feels they can't speak to their doctor openly or if the patient just doesn't want to follow the protocols given and is seeking approval elsewhere. The professional responsible for your post op care and outcome is YOUR surgeon. Call them please!

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Itchy incision lines

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Itchiness is common with healing incisions. I think you should ask your surgeon if it's okay to apply anything to help with the itchiness. They should also inspect it first to make sure there's no infection.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Itching post surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Itching is a common side effect of the narcotics that may have been proscribed by your surgeon. Before putting anything on the itch, I suggest you call your surgeons office and let them know the issue and let them advise you on what, if anything, to put on the incision.

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Itchiness After Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
If your steristrips have fallen off and you incision isn't crusty anymore, you can put on silicone gel which may help.

Itching incision after tummy tuck.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for your question.

I would recommend you check in with your plastic surgeon. Itching can be quite normal and can sometimes be a side effect of Narcotics for pain relief.  Your surgeon may be able to recommend a medication to help, but will also want to be sure there are no problems.

At 12 days I woluld let your surgeon decide if you are to put anything on the incisions.

Best of luck.


Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Tummy Tuck and “Itchy” Incision?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question.

Always best to be examined by your plastic surgeon to rule out complications such as hypersensitivity... that may be responsible for the itching.  After examination, your plastic surgeon may be able to advise oral or topical medication to help.

Best wishes.

My Incision Itches!!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is normal to have an itching sensation after surgery. However, it is too early to apply any topical treatment to this fresh incision. You should consult with your surgeon about the use of oral benadryl to help with the itching. Good luck.


Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.