What are scars?
Scars form due to injury to the skin. This is a normal process and may be caused by cuts,
Burns or crush injuries. Scars can appear on and under the skin. Your body produces fibers called collagen that strengthen scars.
The longer a wound takes to heal or the more severely damaged the skin is, the more likely it is that the scar will be thicker and less pliable. Scar tissue is never as good as the skin or tissue it replaces.
Your age and skin type can also affect the formation and appearance of scars.
Is there anything I can do to help control scarring?
Scar massage is a method of softening and smoothing scars. It prevents the formation of scar tissue and helps fade scars. Your scar or scars will continue to grow and change for approximately twelve to eighteen months, so the earlier and more frequently you massage your scars, the less likely they are to develop long-term problems.
Scar massage can help:
- Reduce itchiness or hypersensitivity of scars
- If using cream, moisturize scar
- Improve scar flexibility, mobility and softness
- By applying pressure, collagen is formed more evenly.
When the wound has healed or sutures have been removed, you should begin massaging the scar. Your therapist may recommend that you start earlier or later, depending on the surgery you have had and the condition of your skin.
How to massage scars?
Apply a water-based cream, such as Water-based Cream or E45 Hand Cream, to the scar. Use your fingertips to massage the scar and surrounding tissue. Full range of massage .
Apply as much pressure as possible without causing damage, starting with light pressure and moving to deeper, firmer pressure.
Massage the scar every day.
You should continue massaging your scar for at least three to six months after surgery .
What happens if I do nothing?
Your scar may become hard and less elastic, or it may develop adhesions.
Scars across the joint may prevent you from bending or straightening the joint (contracture).
This may cause deformity or may mean your movements are more limited, which may affect the way you can use your hands.