How Massage Therapy Can Improve the Healing of Scars

If you’ve been wondering how you might improve the appearance of your scar, you should know that massage therapy can help. Scar formation and scar maturation are on-going processes, as scars will actively change as they progress through the recovery process. This can take between 12 and 24 months. 

Scar massage has been proven as an effective method for decreasing scar tissue buildup and helping make scars less noticeable. However, massage therapy is not as effective for softening mature scars that are over two years old. 

That’s because scars actively heal and fade for up to two years.  As it heals, a scar will naturally become lighter and less prominent, with a mature scar being smaller, flatter, and less noticeable than a fresh one. Especially in the case of larger scars located over joints, it’s important to “work” them to prevent them from becoming hard and tight.

Scar massage is an effective method to help soften and flatten scars, by helping to promote collagen remodeling through the application of pressure. It also helps decrease itching and provides needed moisture and flexibility to the scar.

When to Start Massage

In some cases, you can start massaging your scars as soon as two weeks after surgery or injury. It’s important to wait until sutures have been removed and scabs have come off naturally. Massage the scar and tissue surrounding it using the pads or soft tips of your fingers.

Massage going in three directions:

  • Circles–Using your fingers, form small circles over the scar’s length and the skin that surrounds it. 
  • Vertical–Using your fingers, massage the scar in an up-and-down motion.
  • Horizontal–Using your fingers, massage the scar going in a side-to-side motion.

Wondering how much pressure to apply? A good rule of thumb is to apply as much pressure as you are able to tolerate. Start off with light pressure and progress to deeper, firmer pressure.  If it becomes painful, back off until it is no longer uncomfortable.  Use lotion with your massage to make it easier to manage. Do this two to three times daily for roughly 10 minutes per session. 

Scarfade silicone gel is a clinically proven home treatment for improving the appearance of active scars. You can get Scarfade without a prescription and use it in place of lotion during massage therapy sessions. 

You can massage your scars for at least six months following injury or surgery. Stop massage treatment immediately if you experience any of the following: 

  • Redness
  • Bleeding
  • Scar starts to feel warmer than the skin around it
  • More pain than usual at the site

At least while scars are actively healing, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, which can cause them to become hyperpigmented (darker than the skin around them). Use sun block with an SPF rating of 30 or more and wear protective clothing to protect you scars.

Have a recent scar? Grab some Scarfade today and apply as directed.