Itching stopping me from sleeping

Hi. I had surgery for 2 IDCs on 23rd April. Surgery was 2 x WLI, SNLB and bilateral breast reduction with nipple grafting. I have had a skin infection in the breast where the cancer was and been on strong antibiotics. After 6 days we seem to finally be getting in top of the infection. But I am now really itchy and struggling to sleep as it’s driving me mad, especially where the incisions go round the side and up towards my armpits. Also get itchy in the crease under my newly reduced boobs. I have gone from a GG cup to about a D so a lot was removed. have bought a pack of cold gels that go into a medical grade wrap. I realise I shouldn’t put it anywhere near my incisions or breast skin but wondering it it would be safe to say wrap it around my upper arm to cool the skin as close as possible to where the itching is? Any advice would be gratefully received as I am so tired with it keeping me awake for half the night. Many thanks Lynn

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Hi. I’ve recently had a mastectomy and I feel so itchy now where the dressing are and all over the breast region. It’s so hard not to itch it as don’t want to make the healing process worse. Don’t have any ideas but I hope it eases off

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Dear Paddington and Rosa,

So sorry to read, how uncomfortable you both are, I’m not medically trained, but would suggest as it’s the weekend a call to 111 maybe the way forward, this could be a reaction to medication or dressing.

Wishing you both well.

Hugs Tili :pray::pray:

Itching is part of the healing process but if you still have dressings it could be a reaction to the adhesive. Could also be a reaction to the antibiotics. As Tili suggests, probably worth contacting 111. An antihistamine might help.

Hope you get some relief and some sleep soon. x

Would a bambbo face flannel soaked in cold water /kept in the fridge with antihistamine help?

So sorry that you have had to deal with an infection . Itching is part of the healing process but it is nuisance when you are trying to recuperate . I found that my wound dressing left a sticky residue which made me itch and I carefully used moisturizer to get it all off as soon as I was allowed to remove the dressing and that helped.

I also had a lot of itching after radiotherapy which went on for ages but using Aveeno helped. I’ve heard other people used Aloe Vera gel and put it in the fridge so it was nice and cold and it helped with post radiotherapy sunburn and itching. I think it has anti bacterial properties .
I had a tendency to wake up from sleep itching before I realized I was doing it so I ended up sleeping in a bra with a crop top over so that I couldn’t easily get my fingers inside .

I also put a bamboo sock inside my bra - not only did this wake me up before I could do any damage ( because my brain realized there was something there that wasn’t supposed to be ) but it did seem to soothe it and prevented rubbing . I had it under my breast in the crease where you are feeling it now with the end poking out between my breasts . Someone else was using a bamboo cloth inside their bra . As far as I understand it bamboo has natural antibacterial properties as well.

When your dressings are off and your incisions are healed you will feel better I think and the infection is probably fuelling the itching so as that improves then hopefully the itching will too. . Xx

Hi, I completely understand bless you, it literally drives you bonkers.
I found out it was the adhesive on the dressings I am allergic to.
I had cellulitis and an abscess following the surgery’s, my surgeon removed the dressings and covered the wounds with wide surgical tape which stopped the wider itching of the dressings.
The Dr organic aloe Vera gel was my best friend, still is if I get itchy under my breast, it moisturises the skin too.

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Hello paddington1,

Thank you for posting your question. It sounds like you have had a difficult time following your surgery for breast cancer in April.

It’s not uncommon to have some itching after breast surgery as the scars are healing, as @holly.52 has said. Itching can also be caused by other things, such as a reaction to a dressing or medication, irritation caused by heat, or from the infection you have had, as @Tili, @JoanneN and @Teggsy suggest.

Do talk to your breast care nurse or treatment team about the ongoing itching you have, if you have not done so already. They may want to see you in the clinic to assess the symptoms. They may also be able to advise about ways to reduce or improve the itching so that you can sleep better, such as anti-histamine medication. A cool pack applied to your arm should not cause any harm, but do check this with your breast team to be sure.

Recovery from breast surgery can take several weeks and having had an infection can make the healing take a little longer. Do make sure to take things gently and allow your body time to recover.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events. For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link.

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