On a large number of occasions our body shows small reactions that can be a concern for our day to day. Although they cause us discomfort that practically does not condition us in our routine, they can provoke curiosity in us, apart from even creating a certain obsession at some point due to the fact that we do not know the reason why they occur, which can lead us to think that They can cause us a more serious health problem, even if they are not.
One of the clearest examples is the itching of a scar. Most of us have one of these small marks in some area of our body and, sometimes, despite the fact that the tissue has already healed a long time ago, it can cause us some discomfort.
Why does a scar itch – here is the answer
You recently had an injury or surgery and the tissue seems to be closed and healed, but you still feel an itchy sensation, which can range from mild to intense and which may cause you some concern. Because you feel it?
It has a simple explanation that is closely related to our immune system. A type of cells that belong to the part of our defense organism called mast cells are involved in the healing process of the wounds that occur in our body. When they reach the area where the wound is, they release all their content. This means that all the cytoplasm they contain (which is the liquid that fills all the cells inside, although the content varies depending on the type) goes out into our bloodstream.
In their cytoplasm, mast cells have small vesicles (pockets) that are filled with histamine. This substance generates a reaction by which the capillaries dilate, so that more blood reaches the area and thus the healing process ends as soon as possible. This causes inflammation around the wound and that itching sensation . On many occasions we keep it over time because when we scratch we do not allow it to heal properly and the process is prolonged.
Keloid or hypertrophic scar
Keloid scars are formed due to an excess of collagen production , scarring excessively on the outside and giving the appearance of a hard and bulging scar. This type of scar in itself usually produces a lot of itching, and it may even seem that we have a wound that itches and does not heal , since the scar usually has a pink or purple appearance, as if it were a poorly healed wound.
Unlike keloids, hypertrophic scars, which are very similar, appear just after an injury, closing prematurely , which means that the internal wound healing process is slower than the external one, producing a raised and inflamed scar. Also pink in appearance.
Both keloids and hypertrophic ones usually generate a lot of itching , even after their correct healing. If this is your case, you may also be interested in this other OneHOWTO article on Home remedies for keloid scars .
The scars and the weather
Have you ever heard someone say that they are going to change time because they have an itchy feeling in a scar? Or do you usually have that itch yourself when there are variations in the weather? It may seem like a myth, but it is not. If you feel discomfort in the scar, it may be warning you of changes over time. But why?
Dermatologists explain. Changes in temperature and environmental pressure are what generate that itching. When, due to variations in time, there are increases in temperature and pressure, a dilation occurs in the capillaries (the same effect that histamine causes, as we have explained previously), which is why that itching sensation appears.
It is even normal that you can sense that a storm or rain is approaching, because before it occurs there are changes in pressure, so your scar can cause discomfort.
How to know if a wound is healing well
Sometimes, the appearance of some wounds can generate doubts about their correct healing. But how do you know if a wound is healing well?
- The smell : as a general rule, wounds should not produce an odor, much less a bad smell. Therefore, if you feel that your wound smells bad , it may be an infection, so it is recommended that you go to the doctor immediately.
- Swelling in the skin : Another sign that your wound is not healing well is if there is swelling both within the wound and a little beyond it. Of course, it should not be confused with keloids or hypertrophic wounds.
- Wound color – When the scar has a reddish or odd hue, it may be a sign that it is not healing well. In these cases, it is advisable to go to the pharmacy or the doctor.
If in addition to all this you have a fever, it is a clear symptom of infection . It is best then that you go to your doctor so that he can give you antibiotics.
Home remedies to relieve itching from a scar
As we have explained before, the itching of a scar is a collateral effect of the healing process, but this will last over time if we scratch continuously trying to alleviate or end that itching. That is why we advise you to avoid doing it, even if it itches, and if it is not bearable, we give you some remedies to relieve the discomfort:
- Aloe vera : this plant, in addition to helping you to soften the itching sensation, will increase the speed of the healing process. If you have the plant at home, get some leaves and remove the liquid from inside. Apply it for a few minutes until you feel relief from itching. Then clean the scar. If you don't have aloe vera at home, you can make yourself an aloe vera gel to achieve the same effect.
- Ice : it is one of the most common and effective remedies, you just have to take two small or medium ice cubes, depending on the size of the scar, and wrap them in cloths or gauze and apply it for a few minutes. Remember, never apply the ice directly on the skin because it can cause a burn.
- Chamomile : This herb works by reducing the sensation of itching and inflammation. Make an infusion and when you have it, soak a cotton ball or gauze and apply it to the scar until you feel relief. Then clean the scar.