ACDF recovery incision irritation

I thought getting my stitches trimmed up and my steri-stips off was going to be easy. And while the process itself was easy, it left me a little sore and a lot itchy.

I was not expecting things to go from painful to itchy.

My steri-strips had been a little itchy over the last few days. During the day, I would leave the gauze off to help it dry out a little. However, my incision is horizontal, which I wasn’t exactly expecting, and it goes underneath my brace. So, I do try to protect it from getting smashed under the plastic of my brace.

After the surgeon removed my steri-strips, he cleaned up the site with alcohol and then told me it didn’t need anymore dressings.

A few hours later, it was incredibly itchy. When I finally got a look at it, I realized the itchiness was in the shape of the steri-strips. Before I went to bed, I put some Neosporin on it and left it uncovered. It didn’t bother me too much until about 5 a.m. After that, I couldn’t stop scratching. I put a little anti-itch cream on it, but it didn’t seem to help. I did a little research and it seemed lots of people had this issue.

After trying to ignore it for a while, I got up and decided to try a few things. Here is what helped.

  1. I washed the entire area with warm soapy water. I used a rag to make sure I was able to wipe away anything on my skin. There was a fair amoung of adhesive still on my skin that came off when I scrubbed a bit.
  2. I used some rubbing alcohol to dry it up and hoped it grabbed all the rest of the glue.
  3. I patted it completely dry and then used some anti-itch spray on it.

This helped immensly. I didn’t have anymore issues for a few hours. Then it seemed to get greasy again and I needed to wipe away more adhesive. I must be seeping that adhesive out of my pores!

The steri-strips were clearly irritating to my skin. Yikes.

I do have to keep from scratching it. I don’t want it to cause any scarring if I can prevent it. Especially not scars from something like scratching it!

Hopefully this continues to keep the itchiness at bay. If I find anything else that works, I’ll be sure to share them.