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  • Writer's pictureAnne Taylor

An Introduction to Scar Therapy

Let's start from the beginning

I started my journey in ScarWork with Sharon Wheeler's ScarWork, the pioneer of gentle techniques that assist in the improvement of scars and the tissue beneath the skin. Emma Holly, the UK’s leading scar therapy educator and founder of Restore Scar Therapy, further developed the materials from Sharon Wheeler’s classical ScarWork.

Sharon Wheeler (left) & Emma Holly (right)

Emma Holly has incorporated a wider variety of non-invasive scar treatment options and specialist scar massage techniques into her courses, providing education around the world for health and wellbeing professionals.

It's all about the Fascia!

As your body heals after an injury, scar tissue forms which is fibrotic and less mobile than pre-injury. Adhesions may form, sticking together layers under the skin. Pain and sensitivity can also be due to the underlying tissue, which also needs treatment. This is the part most people don't know about - the Fascia.

Representation of Fascia

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Fascia is the thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve and muscle in place. The best way to visualise it is the thin, slithery skin you peel off of chicken. It's all connected like a web, so if one area is affected, you may feel pain or tension in another where the fascia has been stretched. This is common in people who have had surgery.

So how can ScarWork help you?

Although we can't make your scar tissue fully disappear, there are still many benefits of scar therapy and early treatment is recommended for best improvements:

  1. It can stimulate change to the surface and underlying tissue

  2. Reduces pain, numbness and sensitivity

  3. Promotes functional and cosmetic improvements to the scar tissue

Selfcare for your scar

There are a number of things you can do yourself at home to coincide with treatment and improve your scar faster:

Moisturising: your scar needs help, as the skin's natural barrier function is damaged. Start using a moisturiser once all scabs are gone. Apply a cream, oil or gel to your scar 2-3 times a day. This supports the skin and can reduce excessive scar tissue deposition.

Massage: as soon as the skin is ready, gentle massage movements to soften and stretch the scar and underlying tissue should help. Spend around 3-5 minutes, ideally twice daily. Don't cause pain or increase inflammation by massaging too hard on your scar, because this could actually increase scar tissue production.

Sun protection: until the scar is fully mature, use a high SPF on any exposed scar. It can take up to two years for your skin to finish healing,

so keep up with SPF protection.

Look out for signs of infection: tell your doctor if you have symptoms such as a rash, increasing redness or heat. If your scar is increasing in height and/or width, respond quickly. Start using silicone sheets, silicone gel and/or compression products. These are proven to help with keloid and hypertrophic scars, but you need to keep up use of the products for a prolonged period.

A word of warning

The technique in which you do this and the products you use are very important, as over-stimulation could aggravate the scar, so it's important to take advice from your practitioner on the best way to treat the scar yourself. After treatment, additional advice will be given on the different moisturisers, oil, cream or gel to use and how light to go with your selfcare massage, which would be taught during our session in clinic.

What to do next?

Get in touch! If you feel ScarWork may be for you, feel free to reach out and discuss your individual needs further to possibly start your journey with Scar Therapy. You can call me on 07525 448771.

Take care,

Anne x

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