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Graft Sensitivity

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Hello,

I am almost two months post burn and skin grafts and I one of the issues that I am experiencing other than the pain and itching is that some of my grafts just don’t feel like they belong, like they are not a part of me. I was wondering if anyone else was experiencing this and if you found a way to manage this feeling.

Thanks for listening!

     
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Joined 2015-05-11

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SEMckeown10,

Let’s face it, grafts are weird—especially at first. They itch, they don’t feel like real skin. And oh yeah, they come from different parts of your body. I mean, hair grows on my left palm because that skin came from my leg. It’s definitely weird at first. But I’ll tell you this—and I didn’t necessarily want to hear this when I was fresh out—time works wonders. While grafts rarely rarely ever look like your skin “used to look”, they will start to “normal”.

14 years ago I was burned 35% of my body, mostly 3rd degree. Now, my patchwork quilt of grafts almost entirely feels like “my skin” again. Where there was some nerve damage, I think it will always feel weird. But all the other skin functions, for the most part, like everyone else’s skin. Grafts will normalize after a year, maybe more. I did find that the pressure garments really helped the way they felt.

Best of luck with it, and remember, time really does heal. Stay strong,

Blake in North Carolina

     

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Blake Tedder, MSW, RYT
Hillsborough, NC
btburn.org

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Thank you for your post! I really appreciate it, it helps to hear it from someone who has been there. Its still all pretty new to me.

     
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Sure. There are a bunch of us who have gone through what you are going through, so if I or the community can be of any help, reach out.

Happy holidays.
Blake

     

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Blake Tedder, MSW, RYT
Hillsborough, NC
btburn.org

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My son is 1 month post burn. The grafts feel like leather. Can someone please tell me what to expect at this time as far as pain, sensitivity, range of motion? His hands and arms were burned. Prior to burn he was a hands on guy, building, cooking, mechanic. Can someone recommend a lotion that will help grafts that is not petroleum based that will soften skin?

     
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I find that Aveeno is a good lotion

     
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Joined 2016-10-29

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I experienced deep 2nd and some 3rd degree burns to the tops of my feet and ankles 7 months ago from a propane explosion. I spent 6 weeks in the burn unit. I had donor grafts first every where then I had autografts to one area on my foot and ankle. My autologous graft has healed wonderfully with little symptoms but the rest of the tops of my feet and ankles burn, prickle and generally hurt the pain eventually gets unbearable with my feet in a dependent position until I elevate them . Needless to say wearing shoes is impossible. This area is red and quickly turns purple when i stand or sit still. I’m 65 and otherwise healthy, I walk, bike and swim to try and walk for exercise in hopes to heal the circulation to this area. My biggest concern is , is this normal, will this ever get better and how long will it take? The discomfort/pain is pretty much all the time except right after I massage with Eucerin lotion.

     
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JJ
I was burned over a year ago and while the pain has subsided quite a bit i still have breakthrough pain and itching, but it is slowly getting better in that the pain is less frequent and in intensity. So yes i do believe it will get better but really as to when its just gonna be a waiting game. As for he color change it is normal mine does the same through out the day depending on how my arm is positioned.If you are willing to try myofascial release could help you with the pain. It helps basically by un-sticking the underlining tissues. This webstie has a in depth description of MFR (http://www.myofascialpainrelief.com/treatment/myofascial-release/) .If itching is also a problem for you i found that bio oil worked for a longer time then just lotion did.  HOPE IT HELPS TO KNOW IT WILL GET BETTER .

     
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Joined 2017-04-23

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Thanks SE and Blake I was burned 48% of my body above the waist and I am experiencing the same symptoms as mentioned above, the grafts and the purple skin and bad pain that goes deep through my body the non stop itching etc….. I was burned and electrocuted on May 30th 2016 and it has been a slow road to recovery. Coma for 2 months and then several months in a burn unit. My wounds keep opening up as well They are just now starting to close in some of the troubled areas, I thought they never would. Even had problems healing the donor sites on my back. Did you guys experience this too? Thanks again, Vinny

     
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Hey Vinny!
Yea I am a year and a half out from my graft and im still getting that intense itching and pain it just intermittent now. I also found sometimes putting the compression garments back on when I am in pain helps. I also had some trouble areas as well that took longer to heal and scared worse than the rest of my graft. I find that these spots itch the most. All i can say about that is carry lotion everywhere, LOL. Also after everything has healed and your done with the compression garments talk to your doctor about laser scar treatment. I has read and talked t a couple of people who said that the treatments helped with increased range of motion and decreased itching. I hope this helps you.

     
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Hey SE, Thanks for the quick reply it’s good to finally have others to talk to that have gone through the same experience! All my doctors say the same thing “everyone heals differently” I can’t get a straight answer!~ LOL I have had so many issues, when I got home from the hospital I was able to do things like reach into the cabinet and make my coffee etc…. I felt that if I could do those things now probably in two weeks I will be so much better! Boy was I wrong! A couple of days later the nerve pain started and I was in bed most of the time with pain going through my whole body deep in my bones (felt like my body was having a tooth ache) I tried getting out of bed but found that the best thing to do when the pain hit was to just lie still in my bed until it passed. I would get up to try and do things as much as possible. I had lost 40 lbs from being in a coma and all my muscles had atrophied so I kept working on the muscles as much as possible by walking and hand and arm excercises. I was not able to walk at first or use my hands I had to learn all over again. Your right about the lotions I used to hate that feeling of putting them on, I kept changing brands to find what worked the best, in fact I am still trying new ones. My arms feel like sausages wrapped in new skin! LOL it takes a while getting used to that feeling I am still uncomfortable in my skin but I feel that it is getting better everyday! It’s hard staying positive I find my self getting down at times but I have to say these last few weeks have been a welcome turn around, I’m on the upswing! Thanks again Talk to you soon, Vinny

     
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hey Vinny,
I’m glad your in an up swing! About the lotions, I dont know if u have tried CeraVe itch relief moisturizing lotion, but I found that it gave me the longest amount of relief compared to the other lotions i’ve tried. And as much as you hate putting it on that will also help you skin feel “normal” again by helping desensitizing it and less like a sausage. LoL.  Also is normal to find your self feeling down. Like I said i’m a year and half out and i still feel like that sometimes but it has gotten much better. w hat helps is talking to others like ourselves or maybe even a professinal. I dont know if you have gone to a support group or if you have tried the phoenix society one that is on Wednesday i believe but it may help.

Always a pleasure, Sarah

     
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Good luck !