What causes the itch?

The itch is part of the healing process (known as scar maturation). As the wound heals, new tissue is created, damaged nerve endings are stimulated, and blood circulation changes. The stretching of scar tissue, an important part of scar management, can cause itchiness or sometimes a burning feeling.

Although scratching an itch can lead to temporary relief, it can also lead to broken skin (which can lead to an infection). The broken skin then also needs to heal and can become more itchy. This can cause children to enter an “itch scratch cycle”.

You might be able to help your child identify certain triggers that cause their scars to itch more.

Everyone is different but some triggers could be:

  • their scars becoming dry
  • not massaging the scars often enough
  • certain clothes
  • different temperatures
  • feeling tired
  • feeling frustrated

You and your child can become detectives and work out what the triggers might be for them.

You can use a diary or calendar to help discover what might be contributing to more itching on different days, or even at different times. Each day, write down anything that your child did differently, such as activities, different creams and how often they were used, different clothes, etc. You can also record other things like the temperature and the weather, and any changes in feelings that your child has, for example, whether they were worried, angry, happy, or sad.