Massaging your scars can help for a number of reasons. Why should you massage scars?? The main goal of massage is to help your scar become “mature,” meaning flat and pale, which can take up to 2 years. It can also help reduce pain and sensitivity around the scar while it’s healing. Once a scar has healed completely, massage won’t help anymore. Your body naturally creates scars when healing itself, whether from an injury or surgery. It’s actually an amazing process, but it can leave behind a hard, raised area that you likely want to do something about.
The good news is massaging can help reduce these issues by smoothing out the scar a bit. It can also help make it less rigid, creating a suppler scar more like your skin. Over time, the scar can also attach to the tissue underneath it, including the muscles and even the bones. That can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, but massaging the scar will reduce the likelihood of this happening.
How do you massage scars?
- Begin massaging the scar once the scabs have come off of the wound on their own time. Don’t try to massage the area before the scabs come off or try to scrape off the scabs. That will just make your healing time longer, and it could even lead to infection or make the scar worse.
- To massage your scar, begin at one edge of the scar. Go over the scar with the pad of your finger, using small circles and firm pressure. Make sure to do the whole scar by moving from one end to the other, while still working in small circles.
- Then rub up and down one direction, moving along the scar. Next, massage back and forth perpendicular to the way you just rubbed, going along the scar. Rubbing in multiple directions helps ensure you’re hitting all parts of the scar. The skin on the scar should move slightly as you massage it.
- To get the right pressure, make sure your fingernail turns white at the end while you’re rubbing with that finger. If it hurts too much, you can lessen the pressure a bit. Over time, it should become less sensitive to the pressure, and then you can increase it again. If you have severe pain, talk to your doctor.
- Apply a gentle massaging motion to your scar a couple of times a day, though you can do it more often if you prefer. Aim for anywhere from a couple of minutes to 10 minutes of massage each time you rub your scar. It’s important to massage it regularly to help break up the tissue and smooth it out over time. Try not to go more than a day without massaging it, and keep it up until the scar has turned pale and flat, which can take 18-24 months.
If you’re worried about getting a big scar, massaging will help over time. It probably won’t make the scar go away completely. However, it can make it less noticeable and softer to the touch. Plus, it can make your tissue less sensitive to the touch, so massaging benefits your scar all around.