I Am Super Itchy, Not Sure if Infected or Just Rash from All the Scratching. (photo)

I had the prineo tape/glue removed 21 days post op. Since then, i have used mederma and i have been incredibly itchy around incision site. I cant tell if the incision is infected because it seems to look more red now or if it is from being so itchy. Can someone please give me their insite based on my 2 pics. I have stopped using the mederma for 2 days now since i have read a lot of people were itchy. Is it safe to try another cream or just leave it alone?

Doctor Answers 2

Red incision

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Based on your photos, it looks more like a contact dermatitis, than an infection.  This can occur from tapes, adhesives, Prineo, and a host of other products.  We don't know which product has caused you to react.

I'd stop the use of all products, except for very mild soaps for washing, then consider using a mild steroid cream (like hydrocortisone) until things settle down.  Benadryl, or other antihistamines, may also help your itching.

Most of all, call your surgeon and be evaluated in person.


Best of luck.

Itchy incision

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Based on the history you have provided and the appearance of your incisions in the photos, I would say that you do not have and infection, but, rather have developed a localized dermatitis.  Generally speaking, wound infections are very red, hot to the touch, painful, and are sometimes accompanied by fever and pus-like drainage.  You have a pink rash and itching, which is much more consistent with a dermatitis. 

Fortunately this is fairly easy to treat.  First you have to eliminate whatever is causing the reaction - in this case Mederma or possibly something else you are applying to the incision.  You will have to do some detective work to figure it out.  The irritated skin will then settle down on its own, but it will take time.  If you want to speed up the process, you can have your doctor prescribe an oral dose-pack of steroids or a topical steroid.

Good luck.  It looks as if you have a nice early result.

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