Massage Techniques to Break Down Scar Tissue

Scar massage is a great way to help remodel scar tissue, and is a frequent treatment as part of physical therapy after injury or surgery. Also known as scar mobilization, scar massage can help lessen the appearance of any scar, but it has to be done with a high level of consistency.

That’s because scar formation and maturation are both on-going processes that can take months or years. The recovery process, in fact, often sees scars continue to grow and change as they progress – a process than can take between 12 and 18 months. Scar massage has long been known to be effective in decreasing the prevalence and buildup of scar tissue so that it becomes less noticeable.

It’s important to note that massage won’t work as well on scars older than two years. Why? These continue to heal and fade for a long time after the initial injury, and as the scar progresses in its healing, it tends to lighten. Mature scars tend to be small, flat, and pale as compared with fresher ones.  

Massage therapy is especially useful in scars that are forming over joints. Working those areas regularly with massage can relieve tightness and bring comfort.

Scar massage will soften and flatten forming scars, as it promotes collagen remodeling via that pressure application. You’ll also experience less itching because of the added flexibility and moisture.

How Soon Can You Start Massaging a Scar?

Don’t massage a fresh injury. You need to give it time to heal first. Then, after about two weeks, you can start massaging them. Wait until the doctor has removed any sutures and your scabs have fallen off on their own.

With the pads or soft tips of your fingers, gently yet with firm pressure, massage the surrounding tissue.

Three Directions

Use these three directions when massaging, and try to switch them up.

  1. Circular—Use two fingers to form small circles over the scar and surrounding areas.
  2. Vertically–Use two fingers in an up-and-down motion over the scar.
  3. Horizontally–Use two fingers in a side-to-side motion over the scar.

In terms of pressure application, apply as much as you can reasonably tolerate. You don’t want to hurt yourself but you don’t want to be too light and feathery either. You may want to start with light pressure and then get deeper and firmer with the more you can withstand.

A key part of massage is to use lotion, which will add moisture and pliability. Try to massage your scar for 10 minutes at a time, up to three times each day. Complement your scar massage with the use of Scarfade (proven to lighten scars) for at least six months after initial injury.

When to Stop Massage

Stop massaging the area if you experience:

  • Bleeding
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth at the site
  • Pain at the site

During initial healing, stay out of the sun, as UV rays may turn your scars darker in contrast with the light skin around it. Always don sun block with an SPF of 30 or more.

Check out Scarfade today – it’s a great addition to your scar massage routine!