What is Scar Desensitization Therapy?

What is Scar Desensitization Therapy?

Often, following surgery or an injury that leaves behind a major wound, the first thing that patients are worried about is how the scar will look when the wound has healed.

While the visibility of scars is a concern, though, it is equally important to think about the overall maneuverability of the area in which the scar tissue is forming. Scar tissue is, by definition, tougher and less pliable than normal skin. Read: Why Scar Tissue is Different from Normal Tissue.

For hands and joints especially, this lack of pliability is a problem, as it can significantly impair the range of motion that you are capable of achieving. Playing instruments is difficult with scarred hands, for instance, just because the scar tissue makes dexterous and accurate movement more difficult.

Scar Desensitization

Luckily, there are types of therapy that can, as a scar heals, help to ensure that it is as pliable and maneuverable as possible in the future. Scar desensitization therapy, for instance, is at least partially designed with this aim in mind. The basic idea behind scar desensitization is that, as a wound continues to heal and scar tissue forms and matures, that tissue becomes tighter, tougher, and less pliable. If allowed to heal without scar desensitization therapy, a scar will have a considerably more adverse impact on range of motion than it would have with therapy.

Scar massage and other similar procedures are the core basis of scar desensitization therapy. By rubbing and tapping on a scar region as it heals and as scar tissue continues to form, you can ensure that scar tissue is growing uniformly across the wound. More systematic growth, in turn, can reduce the feeling of tightness that often comes with a fully healed scar, allowing for a broader range of motion in that part of the body.

Dealing with Hypersensitivity

Scar desensitization also helps to reduce skin hypersensitivity in and around a scar. The site of an injury or surgical incision on the skin can often feel irritated, itchy, or sore for weeks or months after the spot has started healing. The soreness can radiate out from the site of the wound as well, affecting surrounding skin. The nerve fibers of the skin in these spots have been interrupted by the injury, which results in skin that is hypersensitive and often racked with discomfort.

Massaging or tapping the scar as it heals desensitizes these nerve fibers and helps to restore a feeling of normalness to your scar area. In the short term, this therapeutic action contributes to reducing pain and irritation. In the long run, it helps restore capability to the scarred area faster and more fully than would otherwise be possible.

Treating Scars Further

Scar desensitization therapy is smart because it minimizes the ongoing chronic pain of an injury and maximizes the range of motion. These factors are both highly relevant to your continued quality of life, and should be the first thing you address when you begin treating a scar. Afterward, once the scar tissue has formed and the hypersensitive nerve fibers have desensitized, you can start thinking about how to treat the scar to reduce its overall visibility. InviCible Scars can help with that part of the therapeutic process, with our powerful scar treatment cream.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to assist.

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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