Category : Scar Treatment

Hand Surgery Hand Therapy Scar Treatment Scars

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Scar Management

After an injury or surgery, our bodies naturally make scar. Scar tissue can become a problem if it limits function and/or is unpleasant to look at.  Scar tissue can be treated. A physical or occupational therapist who specializes in treating upper extremity injuries can help. There are several factors a therapist assesses to determine the best course of action for scar management. These factors may include the following:

  • How close the scar is to a tendon or muscle: A scar may become adherent to the surrounding tissue such as tendons and/or muscles. As tissues heal, scar adhesion can make movement more difficult. Therapists prescribe specific and directed movements that can reduce adherent scarring.
  • Shape of the scar: If your scar is from a surgery, it is usually a thin line. If scar is from an accident, it may be irregularly shaped and/or vary in depth which could make it unpleasant for you to look at.
  • Type of scar: As skin heals, it shrinks slightly and can cause pain and interfere with motion.  Hypertrophic scarring can occur causing scar tissue to form outside the normal borders of the wound.  Keloid scarring can also occur which causes a large, raised scar.
  • Sensitivity of the scar: Skin is used to being touched by different textures during the day such as clothes, jewelry, and resting surfaces. After an injury or surgery, the wound area is covered for a short amount of time to keep it clean and protected.  During this time, the skin can become hypersensitive.  This can be very painful, cause you to protect your scar during use, and may also affect your sleep.
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Arm Hand Scar Treatment Scars

5 Ways to Heal a Scar

You may have a scar from an injury or just from a surgery. It may be red, raised and firm. Some scars can even be sensitive or affect the way you use your hand or arm. To make sure that your scar does not affect your motion, and to help it heal properly, try these treatments:

  1. Scar Massage: Use Vaseline or any lotion to massage your scar twice a day for 10 minutes. This can help decrease sensitivity.
  2. Exercise: This can help prevent stiffness of joints near your scar.
  3. Apply Silicone Gel: This gel can be put on your scar in liquid or sheet form.
  4. Vibrating/Rubbing: Using vibration or rubbing your scar with different textures can desensitize it.
  5. Injection or Surgery: These options may be available if you have a unique problem with your scar.
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Hand Hand Therapy Scar Treatment

How to treat a scar

Scar Stages (4)

 

Scars are normal after an injury or surgery.  It is how the body heals. Your hand surgeon or hand therapist may recommend a variety of scar treatments after your injury is healed, cut is healed, or stitches are removed. Here are some treatments that may help the look and feel of your scar:

  • Massage: Gently massaging your scar can help reduce sensitivity and make it more smooth and movable.
  • Rubbing with textures: Exposing your scar to different textures can also help reduce its sensitivity, making it more used to the normal forces of daily life. Desensitizing a scar can take up to four months. You should begin as soon as you are done healing.
  • Exercise: An early exercise program can prevent stiffness of the joints near your scar.
  • Silicone gel: This gel can be placed on your scar in the form of gel or sheets, often at night. Wrapping the scar can reduce swelling and tension.
  • Injections or surgery: For special scar problems such as burns, an injection or surgery may be recommended by your surgeon.

Some scars take up to a year to complete the healing process, which is complete when the scar is light in color, smooth, and no longer sensitive to touch. During the healing process, be sure to protect your scar from the sun. Learn more about scar treatment at www.handcare.org.

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