Scar Work is a specialised massage technique whose purpose is to improve the function, appearance and feel of scarred tissue and underlying structures
Why would I have scar work?
When not healed correctly scars following surgery or accident, can develop ‘adhesions’.
These adhesions can cause issues as they connect structures which shouldn’t be connected and can be thought of as layers of tissue that are ‘tangled’ or ‘stuck’ together.
Mobility can be affected, organ function can be reduced, and they often cause pain.
Some people choose to have scar work for cosmetic reasons. Scars are often a by-product of an accident or trauma, and visible scarring can act a a constant reminder of an unpleasant or traumatic event.
Let scar work help you
What Is Scar work?
Scar Work is a therapy which is designed to improve the feeling and function of the skin and tissues surrounding a scar.
The focus of Scar work is on the breaking-down of ‘adhesions’ – removing the restriction of movement between the layers of the skin, fascia and muscles.
The treatment stimulates the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems to help encourage correct healing, and promote correct, healthy tissue regeneration. Tightness in the surrounding structures is reduced which allows underlying muscle function to be improved.
Whilst treatment is directed at functional improvement of the tissue surrounding the scar, visual changes are often seen too – treated scars can appear smaller, lighter and less prominent, and their texture is often more ‘normal’.
When should Scar work Be Done
Scar Work can be effective on both old and newly-formed scars.
New scars should be fully closed and dry, and have no sign of infection or inflammation. This is usually about 6 – 8 weeks into the healing process.
Which scars can and can't be treated
Most scarring can benefit from treatment whether resulting from an accident, operation or cosmetic procedure, such as:
- Knee, hip replacement
- Skin grafts
- Facial scarring
- Foot surgery
- Abdominal surgery
- Appendix removal
- Gallbladder removal
- Caesarean section
- Breast surgery
- Spinal surgery
- Tummy tuck surgery
- Plantar Fasciitis
- And many more
Unfortunately the following cannot be treated
- Keloid scars: unfortunately keloid scars do not respond well
- Weeping or open wounds
- Inflammation or infection, including cellulitis
- Patients undergoing radiotherapy. Scar treatment may be given following completion of treatment after a period of no less than six weeks
- Active, untreated cancer in the area of the scar
Is treatment painful?
Scar Work may be mildly uncomfortable but it should not hurt.
Your therapist will work completely within your pain thresholds adapt their touch, angle, and/or technique according to the patient’s direction.
Whilst appearing seemingly effortless, treatment can instigate whole body shifts where patterns of dysfunction cause by old injuries are released. This process is often the first step in the rehabilitative process
Cho YS, Jeon JH, Hong A, Yang HT, Yim H, Cho YS, Kim DH, Hur J, Kim JH, Chun W, Lee BC, Seo CH. The effect of burn rehabilitation massage therapy on hypertrophic scar after burn: a randomized controlled trial. Burns. 2014 Dec;40(8):1513-20
Roh YS, Cho H, Oh JO, Yoon CJ. Effects of skin rehabilitation massage therapy on pruritus, skin status, and depression in burn survivors. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2007 Mar;37(2):221-6.
Field T, Peck M, Scd, Hernandez-Reif M, Krugman S, Burman I, Ozment-Schenck L. Postburn itching, pain, and psychological symptoms are reduced with massage therapy. J Burn Care Rehabil. 2000 May-Jun;21(3):189-93.
Silverberg R, Johnson J, Moffat M. The effects of soft tissue mobilization on the immature burn scar: results of a pilot study. J Burn Care Rehabil. 1996 May-Jun;17(3):252-9.