Scar tissue – Its causes and ways to manage it Health

Scar tissue – Its causes and ways to manage it

When the body mends an injured area, scar tissue tends to form. The structure of external scar tissue differs from that of the skin. Collagen proteins grow in a straight path in scar tissues; however, collagen grows in a multi-directional manner in healthy tissues. This makes scars less elastic, thereby limiting the range of motion and causing pain. Let’s take a look at its causes and ways to manage scar tissue pain.

Causes of scar tissue pain

Scar tissue can cause pain in a variety of ways. The pain is often caused by tight skin that develops on the wound, making it hard to move around easily. Scar tissue pain can also occur due to nerve damage caused by the injury. If the injury is extensive and has impacted nerve cells, patients may experience long-term side effects in the affected area, like pain or loss of sensation. Some could also experience scar tissue pain if they are prone to fibrosis, a condition in which the body generates an unusually large quantity of scar tissue. This leads to adhesions, causing discomfort, swelling, and impaired function in the affected tissue or joint.

In some cases, pain can be experienced later and not when the injury has occurred. Initially, the pain may be due to swelling and skin damage. Scar tissues typically take a year to complete all four stages of healing, and hence the pain is not always felt during an injury but maybe later. A scar is said to be mature when the tissue blends in with the color of the skin or if it is not very sensitive to touch.

Home remedies to manage scar tissue pain

Massage the scar with some moisturizer or vitamin E oil in a circular motion with your fingers, using firm pressure. You can also apply light to moderate pressure on a golf ball, marble, or pencil, or even try using an electric massager if your wound is not very painful. These should help reduce the tightness of the tissue around the scar. Flexing and stretching the muscles nearest to your wound will help to minimize scar adhesion.

Exercising and physical therapy can do wonders for scars that have developed near joints. You can try retraction by placing your finger or thumb at one end of the scar, putting some pressure on it, and moving the body part in the opposite direction. One can also try squeezing the scar between your thumb, index, and middle fingers and then rolling the tissue in a circular motion.

Studies have shown that applying pure silicone gel can greatly reduce redness and enhance scar texture by creating a seal to retain moisture, thereby encouraging flexibility. You can also use liquid silicone gel. Taping or binding the scar can also help ease pressure and swelling. However, if your scar is deep and irritable even after trying some of these home remedies, please consult a health care provider. Delaying will only aggravate your condition and discomfort.

Other methods to manage scar pain

Cosmetic surgeries can be used to reduce or remove scar tissue. Doctors may do a skin graft, which takes the healthy skin from another region of the body. You should opt for this procedure if there’s a large scar or the scar tissue is causing too much discomfort. Usually, patients with severe burns and crash wounds are recommended this course of action. Dermabrasion or laser may help scar tissue from burns, wounds, and severe acne.

Usually, numerous sessions are spread out to see a marked difference. Dermabrasion helps in reducing the appearance of the surface layer but may not eliminate the whole wound. The doctor can suggest steroid injections to help reduce pain and inflammation, especially if a keloid or hypertrophic scar has developed. In instances of light scarring, doctors may suggest regularly applying creams or serums containing vitamin C.

Another procedure is using microneedles to prick the skin and generate microchannels. This promotes collagen formation, which enables the skin to restructure and reduce the appearance of scars. Another procedure is cryotherapy, which uses liquid nitrogen to bring the body temperature below zero degrees Fahrenheit. By influencing the underlying scar tissue, this therapy may help to improve the appearance of scars. It is recommended to speak to a dermatologist or healthcare provider to understand the long-term effects and severity before opting for one of these procedures.