Itchy scar over a year later

Does anyone have any recommendations for itching scar tissue?

I had an axillary lymphnode clearance aswell as a double mastectomy. But the lymphnode scar has lately started to itch.
I cant feel my armpit at all nor the scars on my chest to trying to get rid of the itchy is becoming increasingly difficult.
I try rubbing it, massaging it, patting it and finally stretching my arm over my head but today nothings helping and im at work so its embarrassing doing all this infront of colleagues and customers.

So I just wondered if anyone had any tips or tricks? Many thanks

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Have you tried e45 cream? It is my go to!

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Hello! I still get that occasionally, 3 years after my mastectomy. I sometimes find a patch around my shoulder blade or back to scratch which sometimes resolves the itch. It’s so odd, isn’t it?!?

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Hi Kirstie

I had lumpectomy + SNB almost 2 years ago now followed by radiotherapy after which I had persistent itching of my breast and between my breasts. I still get an odd bit of itching between my breasts and during the summer my armpit ( which didn’t itch at all the previous year ) started persistently itching as well . It’s just about gone now - I found Aveeno was very helpful and I still moisturise several times a week . When my armpit was really bad I washed my deodorant off at night and applied Aveeno - after a couple of nights it was much better . One of the aluminum free deodorants didn’t agree with me at all - I’ve now found a couple I’m ok with. I also use a gentle soap only on my armpits and breasts - no handwash / bodywash / showergels . A microfibre towel is gentler for drying than an ordinary one as well.

The skin between my breasts didn’t look sore at all but the itching improved with making the changes I already mentioned - I guess the skin is just sensitive and delicate now.
If the above changes don’t work ( forgive me if you’ve tried them already ) then it could be a bit of nerve damage that has caused the itching . It might help to work out if it’s worse with particular clothing / bras / or for any other reason .

One trick I used which I mentioned in other posts was to put a bamboo sock inside my bra over the place that was itching. Bamboo is a very gentle absorbent and soft skin friendly fabric and it did seem to damp the itch a bit . I was able to resist scratching unless I awoke in the night to find myself doing it . Once I started using the sock the fact that there was something different there woke my brain up before I was able to start scratching .

Hope it settles down - one of my colleagues thought it was quite funny that I had an itchy boob and armpit and I get that but it isn’t that funny when it won’t stop , just annoying .

Hope it gets better


Hi @KirstieF, it’s so interesting that you raised this point because I have only just very recently experienced this itching sensation. I had a single mastectomy on Sept 1, 2022. Never had any itching until just last week!! and it happened at night. Similarly, I can’t feel my armpit at all as it is numb and scratching the armpit does not provide any relief… Sigh… Interestingly the itching sensation only happens in the middle of the night. sigh… it’s one thing after another… Hope you are keeping well. Sending you hugs.


I find either zero base cream or bio oil helps when scar becomes a bit itchy or irritated x


Thanks everyone for your replies.

Its such an odd sensation and even harder to explain to those who’ve not had surgeries like ours.

Im actually rather numb on the right side where I had the first single mastectomy and then the lymphnode clearance 5 months later. I cant armpit, under arm and the skin on my back over my shoulder blade.

I usually just pat, tap, rub or massage but it was having none of it yesterday. Its actually still niggling today but i did massage some bio oil in so maybe I need to go back to that for a while.

Ive also contacted my breast clinic for reassurance on the scar tissue in that particular area as I cant tell if its scar tissue or swelling.

Again thanks for all your replies Ill give some of the things you’ve suggested / done yourselves a go!

Wishing you all the best xx

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Hi Kirstie

I have a different possible explanation.

I had a double mastectomy and then axillary clearance which included some ‘dog ear’ tidying up in centre of chest where remaining tissue from initial surgery had left a fleshy lump and was rubbed sore by all clothing. Happily, that problem WAS resolved. However, once the wounds had healed I was left with a small bump at the centre point of my now continuous scar. It may not trouble me for a few days, but then niggle persistently throughout the day on other occasions. As you say, not a great look to keep scratching at it in public.

I moisturised diligently daily for the first year (alternating between BioOil and Aveena) and nowadays every few days. Sometimes the BioOil causes a short-lived irritation. But the bump itch feels a bit deeper than the surface (and anyway, the scar is unlikely to have any surface nerve endings).

I mentioned this in passing to an oncologist I was consulting about meds, as I was concerned it could be that ‘itchy spot on scarline’ that you are told to flag up in case of recurrence. They suggested it might be an undissolved dissolvable stitch that had got stuck in the scar but told me no surgeon would consider cutting me again in order to snip it out. I’ll live with it for now, but if it continues to trouble me frequently, I might pursue the matter.

Just another wild suggestion to throw into the sea of unknowns !

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Thanks for your reply.
I’ve actually since contacted my breast nurse as the scar from the axillary lymphnode removal it can sometimes feel like theres something there maybe something swollen I dont know how to explain it, :woman_shrugging: i just know it doesnt feel like a lump but but its not flat. I only had 6 lymphnode removed 3 from the single righrmastectomy and 3 from axillary clearance when they did the left preventive mastectomy. So i dont know if they left any lymphnodes that may be what im feeling if not scar tissue as I had alot of issues with healing the axillary sight. To the point it filled up with fluid (seroma) to the size of a tennis ball and once drained actually reopened itself and had lots trips back and forth to the BN for re-packing and wondered if this has left me with worse nerve issues and scar tissue especially as I had radiotherapy in this area.

In the end she had the consultant in clinic to feel and he has ordered me an Ultrasound so fingers crossed its all just nerve issues.

I hope the itching subsides for you and you dont need another procedure but if it continues that you do get the help needed to resolve it.

All the best! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Hi again
Sounds as if your poor armpit has had an onslaught of treatment and issues. No wonder it’s not very happy yet. I have a matching small ‘bulge’ in each armpit but as they’re in exactly the same position within each and do not trouble me in any way, I’m assuming it’s just part of the general bodyscape of which I’ve become more aware since cancer.

Wishing you well for your continued recovery and hoping that your itch subsides and eventually stops!

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