After a surgery you will develop scar tissue. Dr. Brooks will see you for your follow ups and suggest when to start doing your scar massage. He will instruct you (or a family member) in the proper scar massage technique. Why a family member? Scar massage doesn’t feel pleasant. Patients will often go easy on themselves, but a loved one can help by applying the firm pressure needed, while the patient focuses on something distracting.
Proper healing must have taken place before scar tissue massage can begin.
Massaging a scar that is not fully healed can cause damage to the developing scar tissue which can delay healing, or worse it may open the incision and lead to infection. It is very important to wait until your surgeon says it is safe to start scar massage.
Creams or Oils?
A scar cream or oil is recommended for use during scar massage. The evidence for the success of scar massage is based upon the effects generated by the heat and friction of your fingers/thumbs over the scar. Think of a massage therapy appointment- it is easier to repeatedly move your hands over the skin when a lubricant like a cream/oil is used. You can use Aloe-Vera, body lotions, Vitamin E oil, or our silicone based scar cream with Vitamin C to help with your scar massage. You don’t have to use our scar cream to get a great scar. It is more important to make a point to do the massage once or twice daily. Why do we sell scar cream then? There is good evidence to support the use of silicone based creams for improved scar healing, so we sell it for your convenience, and to try to use all the evidence we have to get you the best scar possible.
Technique: Cross Friction Massage
An effective method of scar massage is called cross friction massage. This involves using one or two fingers to massage your scar in small circles, or in a direction that is against (perpendicular) the line of your scar. Dr. Brooks can show or explain to you how to do the scar massage at your follow up.