Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Tummy Tuck Binder Itching

During the body’s natural wound healing process, it produces histamines; this causes an itchy feeling at the site of the surgical incision. Using an oral anti-histamine such as Zyrtec or Benadryl can help to relieve some of this uncomfortable feeling

Avoid touching the incision area – you don’t want to increase your risk of infection or tear or pull at your sutures, as this can worsen the appearance of post-operative scars. If you can’t resist the urge to itch, try to very carefully rub the area around the incision, do not directly touch the incision with your hands.

Tummy Tuck Binder Itching

Itching is one of the most common side effects of tummy tuck binder use. It can also be one of the hardest symptoms to treat, as it can be caused by a variety of things.

Most commonly, itching is caused by dry skin, which can be worsened by the friction of the binder against your skin. If you’re experiencing itching, try applying moisturizer to your skin regularly—we recommend doing it after every shower or bath.

If you’re still experiencing itching after a few weeks of regular moisturizing, try switching to a different kind of moisturizer or lotion; if you’re still having issues with dryness or itching after that, consider talking to your doctor about using an anti-itch cream like Benadryl or hydrocortisone cream on your skin.

In some cases, itching may be caused by allergic reactions to certain chemicals in the binder itself (the most common culprits being latex and neoprene). If you think this might be the case for you, we recommend speaking with your doctor about trying out binders other than those made from these materials.

If you’ve recently undergone a tummy tuck, you may have noticed some itching. This is a normal part of the healing process and can be managed with the right treatment.

If your tummy tuck incision begins to itch, there are several things you can do to help control the irritation.

  1. Wash your hands before touching the incision area or your skin around it.
  2. Apply petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin® to the incision in order to protect it from dirt and bacteria that could cause infection.
  3. Cleanse the area with warm water and mild soap twice daily (morning and evening). Do not use alcohol-based cleaners as these may cause irritation or dryness.
  4. Pat dry gently with clean gauze pads or a clean washcloth after washing your tummy tuck scar area with cool water from a faucet set at its lowest setting possible without getting cold water on yourself (less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit).


Tummy tuck procedures (otherwise known as abdominoplasties) are among the top 10 most popular cosmetic surgical procedures performed in the United States. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ (ASPS) annual survey of its members, more than 111,000 tummy tuck procedures were performed by ASPS member surgeons in 2013. This was a 5 percent increase from the more than 106,000 tummy tuck procedures performed in 2012.

Given the popularity of tummy tuck procedures, Dr. Mark Deuber feels that it is important for prospective patients to fully understand not only what is involved in the actual procedure, but what they should expect during the recovery phase.


A tummy tuck procedure is designed to remove excess, loose skin and tissue, and tighten up underlying muscle following dramatic weight loss. Although the procedure will not remove excess fat from the abdominal area, it can be done in conjunction with a liposuction procedure to remove fat.

In a tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Deuber will make a horizontal incision going from one hipbone across to the other. The skin and underlying tissue are then gently lifted up, tightened, and then re-draped over the new abdominal shape. Excess skin and tissue are removed, and the remainder is sutured back into place. Dr. Deuber will also tighten up the underlying abdominal muscles. In addition, he can make an incision around the navel, and reposition the belly button.

Skin Rash From Compression Garment

Many liposuction patients will experience itchiness after their procedure. The plastic surgeons at our Philadelphia, PA would like to consider the causes of this irritation and what patients can do to minimize the itchiness after liposuction.

Is Itchiness Common after Liposuction?

Yes, itchiness is a common side effect of liposuction that many patients experience. It usually happens about two weeks after the procedure is performed as your initial side effects of discomfort, bruising, and swelling have dissipated.

Why Does My Skin Itch?

Around the two-week mark, your nerves begin to wake up again. You’ve healed from surgery and the nerves are feeling extra sensitive, resulting in irritation and itchiness. It can be annoying but rest assured that this is another sign you are successfully healing from surgery.

How Long Does the Itchiness Last?

The itchiness can last for a few days after liposuction has been performed. It ultimately varies from patients to patient, but the sensation will pass so long as you take care of your skin during this time. You should notice day-to-day improvements with proper care.

Do NOT Scratch Your Skin

First things first, do not scratch your skin. You may feel a strong desire to scratch, but this will only irritate the skin further and could have a negative impact on the healing process. This could even aggravate the small incision sites from your liposuction, affecting the overall results.

Take Antihistamines as Directed

One of the best ways to manage your itchiness is to take an oral antihistamine as directed. This will help provide relieve from the itchiness and soothe the skin in the process.

Avoid Using Anti-itch Creams Until Given the Okay

A topical anti-itching cream could be a key to relief, but it could be too early to use one. Be sure to get the go ahead from your surgeon before applying any sort of topical creams, lotions, or ointments to the incision sites following surgery.

anti itch medication after surgery

Compression garments can provide support and comfort in the first stages of healing, but it can also be the source of irritation after a while. If you are feeling itchy, stop wearing your compression garment. That can help reduce the irritation you feel and help your skin feel more comfortable.

You may not be able to scratch, but you can apply a cold compress to the skin. The coolness can help relieve the itchiness, reduce redness and irritation, and help you avoid the urge to scratch.

Hydrate Regularly

As always, water is your best friend. In the weeks after surgery, continue to drink a lot of water and stay properly hydrated. This can go a long way toward improving your overall sense of wellness. Avoid alcoholic beverages during this time as 

Believe it or not, burning or itching sensations in the abdominal region following a tummy tuck procedure are perfectly normal. When any incision is made into the body, nerves that conduct sensation are severed. While the body is working to “rewire” these nerves, or create entirely new nerve pathways, pain sensations may go into hyper-overdrive. This rewiring will take the form of burning, raw, or itching sensations. Over time, generally by three to four months, most of these sensations will have faded.


If patients can tolerate it, Dr. Deuber recommends nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin or Advil, which are available over the counter. The prescription drug Neurontin may also help reduce inflammation. Ice and cold compresses applied to the abdominal region can also be helpful once the sutures have completely healed over. Dr. Deuber also recommends patients gently massage their abdominal region several times a day. Not only will this stimulate formation of new nerve pathways, but it will also reduce swelling and help prevent fluids from building up at the incision sites.

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