Itching scars? Stop eating tomatoes! (and some other vegetables)

Itching scars? Stop eating tomatoes! (and some other vegetables)

Here is a very common situation. You have a scar form trauma burn or surgery.  It has been healing well so far. It has been some time now since the surgery (or trauma), and you are very happy with the way the scar looks. You have been doing all the right things: massage, scar cream, essential oils, silicone sheets.  But the scar now is starting to itch. It started just as a barely noticeable itch, but it was getting more noticeable and more each day. And now itching extends over the whole scar and it starts to bug you. You become irritated and scared.  Why in the is it happening? What am I doing wrong? Is my scar turning into keloid?

Well, the short answer is: maybe but unlikely. If you have a history of keloids there is a good chance you are developing another one (in which case, you should see your doctor). However, keloids are still not very common but itching of the scars is! Up to 80 % of people with normal appearing scars develop itching (or pruritus). Why in the world this is happening? Official science has been unclear of this is happening and attribute this to “normal” symptom of scar healing. But recently, a series of medical studies may have put some light into this phenomenon.

keloid scar diet

     Amazingly, scientific study published in Burns journal demonstrated that this may have something to do with the diet. What? Yes, diet.  Researchers found that people with fresh scars who consumed diets rich in edible solanaceae are prone to develop scar itching. What a second, what is “eatable solanaceae” exactly? I am sure I don’t eat this stuff. But you probably do! Here is a translation from “scientifish” language.  Eatable solanaceae is a name for tomatoes, peppers and aubergines (which is another scientific name for vegetables of eggplant family). Researchers found that nine out of ten patients who consumed diet rich in tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants developed scar itching. Amazing! They concluded that diet high in mentioned above products can increase incidence of itching scars. Why is it happening is unclear but study speculates that such dietary agents increase inflammation and therefore irritability of the scars resulting in itching. There is more research to be done to have a clear answer. But for now, it you have an itching scar, you may want to try to avoid tomatoes, peppers and eggplant and see what happens!

       For those addicted to (pardon for fancy words) “eatable solanaceae” here is a life hack. Apply natural anti-inflammatory oils over itching scar. Essential oils such as frankincense, turmeric and lavender will penetrate to scar tissue and can help to calm down itching. Problem solved? May be, but you never know unless you try.