Silicone Strips: Soothing and Scorning

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and folks reading this.

It is 3:09 a.m.

Why the hell am I not sleeping?

Let me explain: Yesterday was my four week post-op* mark, and so I was allowed to stop covering my whole chest with those horrid bandages and could move on the just smaller bandages over my greased-up nipples and cover the incision lines with silicone strips.

The nurse at Medalie’s office was great, and gave me a sheet of silicone that could be cut into strips, told me that sheet should be enough for the three weeks Medalie recommended I wear them, and also told me if I needed more to just let her know and she would mail them to me.  This is a kind and generous offer, because those sheets are pretty  dang expensive otherwise.

So first I started by taping them to my chest overnight, which worked ok the first night.  It was a bit uncomfortable having such thick silicone taped in place on my chest, but it seemed to stay put ok, at least while I was in bed on my back.

So yesterday morning after I showered I decided to try using my old binder/compression bra to keep the strips in place, and that worked well too–I was less concerned about the strips peeling off from the tape’s lack of conviction, and the bra seems to apply just enough pressure to keep the strips in place.  But then I noticed my skin just under the incision lines, where the band of the bra sits, was itching like mad.

I took the binder off for overnight, and went back to the tape for the night.

I woke up about a half hour ago to myself itching the hell outta my chest and trying to rip offthe tape and silicone strips.

I got out of bed, pulled the strips off my chest, and started applying aloe and vitamin E oil to all the itchy parts, fighting desperately to not rip the irritated bits off my chest with my bare hands.

Normally, I’m much…whiter.

Dear readers, any suggestions for how to deal with this problem?  I see the silicone strips are already helping in the healing of my scar tissue considerably, but the way I am adhering them to my body is insufferable.

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

*I understand yesterday I also posted something titled “three weeks post-op” and while it is true, the pictures shown there are from three weeks post-op, they were posted online a day before my four week mark.  Apologies for any time-warp confusion.

7 thoughts on “Silicone Strips: Soothing and Scorning

  1. Sorry to be of no use but as I am in the UK and its mid morning here I read your post and wanted to send sympathy for post operate itching (although the scars look like they are healing wonderfully). I do hope someone comes up with something that helps.
    Juno

    • I came up with something! Last night when I got done posting, I put on my compression shirt, not bra, after a good slathering of vitamin e oil and aloe. the shirt breaths better in the rib area than the bra does, and I had no problem with the strips moving out of place overnight. We will see if it works standing up today–fingers crossed!

      -E

  2. Hope you’re feeling better. Were you using paper tape initially for adhesion? That tends to be the easiest on skin, at least in my experience.

    • Hey Meiko,

      I was using the paper tape, but still having a problem with it. The solution I have found was to go back to using the compression vest I was wearing to bind. It’s not so constrictive to be uncomfortable, it breaths better than the bra, and it holds the strips in place fairly well.

      But thanks for the tip!

      -Eli

  3. I used the silicone strips linked to here: http://neutrois.me/2011/07/25/top-surgery-update-5-months-post-op/

    They are a bit expensive, but I cut each strip in half lengthwise (so it’s 2×1), saved the wrapper and took them off for showering and exercise, used them day and night. Each pair lasted about 7 days, so the whole pack lasts a while. I also do think they helped a lot in keeping the scars moist, and I wish I would’ve worn them before they got hypertrophic. Also I kept wearing medical tape until about week 6, so you can stick to that for now.

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