Scars

Scars

Scar formation is a normal response following any injury or surgery. It is the way the body heals injured structures. An active scar may be red, raised, firm, and thick. Scar tissue may involve only the superficial skin, or it may involve the deeper tissues beneath the skin, including nerves and tendons. Scars can become overly sensitive and can limit motion and function.


Treatment

  • Scar massage can help reduce sensitivity and loosen any adhesions to deeper structures. Scar massage helps to produce a scar that is smooth and mobile.
  • Silicone gel can be placed on the scar in sheets or in liquid form for adults (often at night), and taping/wrapping of the scar can help reduce swelling and tension. The goal of this treatment is to reduce scar sensitivity and to help the skin become tolerant of the normal forces of everyday living. This process of “desensitizing” the scar can take up to 4 months and is best initiated as soon as the skin and repaired tissues have adequately healed.
  • Injections or surgery for special scar problems, such as burn scars/contractures or keloids are reserved for those that require more vigorous treatment.
  • Some scars take up to a year to become completely mature. Therefore, some scar revisions may not be offered until a year after injury/surgery.
  • Scars have completed the healing process when they are light in color, smooth, supple, and no longer sensitive to touch. Scars that are immature and in the healing phase (pink, red, raised, thick, and sensitive) should be protected from the sun as sunlight can damage the fragile scar and ultimately darken its color.

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