He recently got a piece of skin cancer removed from his back and he will not stop scratching at his stitches and removing bandages.
Once already he had to be taken to hospital to be restitched. Right now the members of my family have begun a 24/7 watch on him. During the first week he removed bandages over a couple dozen times and had pulled or scratched away 6 stitches. Today the whole wound was opened up and he had to be restitched.
He doesn't remember and when told about the situation he doesn't take it seriously.
I'm getting at my wits end.
Anyone had to deal with something like this? Any effective means?

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It is possible that the dressing or the tape being used to hold the dressing in place is aggravating the wound and causing the itching sensation. You may need to change the type of wound dressing you are using to one that will keep everything moist. 

Wound dressings such as “Tegaderm”/”Op-site” are transparent thin film that are very sticky and are often used to cover stitches. “Tegaderm” comes in various sizes. The larger size is a 3.5 inch X 8 inch dressing.   It is often placed over other types of dressings, such as non-adherent gauze. “Tegaderm-Plus” is available with a non-adherent absorbent pad bonded to the thin transparent dressing. It is waterproof so the person can take a shower or bath while the “Tegaderm” is in place.

Years ago we used to put rubbing alcohol on a 4X4 and rub surgical incisions 2-3 times a day to decrease itching.  It worked wonders and very few patients complained about itching.  But I do not know if applying alcohol to a wound/surgical incision to prevent itching is considered “Best Practices” in today’s nursing.

Againx100 has some good advice such as gloves or mittens. (We used to be able to tie the mittens to the bedrails or wheelchair arm rests, but that is now considered to be a restraint and the gloves/mittens can only be used if the patient/resident can remove the gloves/mittens easily—which defeats their purpose.)

You might ask if a “WOUND CARE NURSE” can visit your father or you could call the local Wound Care Nurse.  She/he might have some suggestions to help with the itching.

It is so frustrating when you are doing something to help your loved one and they do not understand what is going on.
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I would notify his doctor, maybe he/she might order an ointment or medication for his itchiness. Benadryl at night might help, but ask doctor first, it can cause drowsiness, some people use it for sleep. I have given it to my 97 year old mother at night on occasion with her doctors suggestion.
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Good point hailey bug.

Our doctor recommends aquaphor be applied to keep the wound hydrated, which keeps it from itching. I always spray witch hazel 1st to make sure I am keeping it as clean as possible. So far so good! Keeps scarring to a minimum to.
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I am wondering if the site is itching?
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haileybug Aug 2020
May need to apply something for itching.
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Geez, I'm surprised he can reach his back well enough to do this. And yes, he's not going to remember or understand not matter how many times you tell him.

Didn't the staff have any suggestions for you?? They're the "professionals".

How about a tight shirt that he can't get his hand under? One piece long johns? Gloves or mittens of some sort that are really hard to get off (IF such a thing exists!).

As I said on another post, not a huge fan of meds, but maybe there is a med he can take for the short term to calm him down and keep him from getting so agitated with this? Some kind of a mild sedative and/or pain reliever so he won't feel it so much? Again, short term because this will not take forever to heal. Unless he keeps picking at it as he has been.

Boy, if it's not one thing, it's another, right??
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