A- A A+
Home > Patients and Visitors > Health Library

Scar Massage

How do Wounds Heal?
Wound healing typically goes through the following phases:

Phase 1: Inflammation
-It is the body’s way of removing devitalised tissue (dead tissue), debris and foreign substances in response to an injury.
-This phase usually lasts over 5 days for a clean wound, but may last longer for an infected wound.
-You may experience swelling, redness and/or pain.

Phase 2: Fibroplasia
-During this phase, fibroblasts, which are responsible for the production of collagen, elastin and proteases, grow in the wound while inflammation cells decrease.
-The skin starts to rebuild as new capillaries form to carry blood and nutrients to regenerate new skin at the wound site.
-This phase usually lasts 2 to 6 weeks.

Phase 3: Scar Maturation
-During this phase, the new tissue matures.
-The scar gradually loses its red appearance as blood vessels that are no longer needed are removed through apoptosis (cell death).
-This phase varies depending on the depth and size of the wound, and may last up to several years.
-A fully matured scar is flat and close to the colour of your skin tone. An immature scar may be raised, red and darker than your skin tone

When Should I Start the Scar Massage?
-You are advised to start scar massages during the fibroplasia phase.
-You may stop scar massages when the scar has fully matured.

What is the Recommended Duration and Frequency of Each Scar Massage?
-The duration of massage depends on your tolerance levels and the size of the wound.
-A general guideline is approximately 10 minutes, at least twice and up to four times a day.

How Should I Perform the Scar Massage?
The scar massage should be applied:
-Perpendicular to the scar with firm pressure moving away from the scar
-In small circular motions (clockwise or anti-clockwise) with firm pressure
-You may use your thumb, or one or two fingers depending on the size of the scar.

-Creams should be used to prevent injurious friction and superficial tissue damage. Oil-based creams are recommended as they are not rapidly absorbed into the skin, providing better lubrication.
-Only gentle massage should be performed on newly-healed or recently adherent grafts.
-Avoid performing scar massage on fragile skin and open wounds.

What are the Benefits of Regular Scar Massage?
Scar massage can result in the following benefits:
-Encourage wound healing
-Reduction in adhesions
-Reduction in itching
-Desensitisation & sensory re-education
-Increase in joint range of motion (ROM)
Last Updated on