HFL 11x17_Scar Care and Mobilization for Upper Extremities

NEWSLETTER Living Hands for

SPECIALTY EXPERTISE For Shoulders, Arms, and Hands

Scar Care and Mobilization for Your Upper Extremities

Scarring is natural but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating. When the body heals from an injury or surgery, it is not uncommon for a scar to form. Depending on the area of scarring, this can lead to physical limitations and feelings of insecurity in a patient. Fortunately, there is a solution to treating scars with the help of hand therapy. Our certified hand therapists (CHTs) can provide you with the care you need for helping relieve your scarred areas. If you have recentlyformed a scar in an area that was injured or surgically repaired, don’t hesitatetocontactHandsforLivingtoday. Tips for Scar Care It is important to note that there are several stages of scarring.Therefore, the wayyour scar looks nowmay not be how it will look once it is completely healed. It is normal for a scar to become enlarged and redden in the first 4-6 weeks after an injury or surgical procedure. This alarms manypatientsand isoftenmistakenforan infection. However, it is simplythe body’s natural way of healing itself.

After this phase, the scar should become smaller or paler in the next 2-3 months. Once it is finally healed, the scar should become soft, and it may even return to your natural skin color. Our hand therapists can help you speed up this healing process, so you do not have to wait several months foryour scar toheal.AccordingtotheAmericanSociety for Surgeryof the Hand, some of themost effective tips for scar care include: • Massagingthescar.Ourhandtherapists are highly experienced in performing targeted massage to affected areas. Massage can help decrease the sensitivity you feel in the scarred area and loosen up the deep scar tissue.You can also help do this on your own by massaging over-the-counter creams, such as Vaseline, onto the scar. • Using different modes of massage. Deeper and more sensitive scars may be in need of a massage that includes different techniques.This may include adding different tools to our hands-on treatments,suchas IASTM (instrument- assisted soft tissue mobilization). This will help desensitize the scar and reach

the deeper tissues that are affected. With some severe scarring, this may take up to 4 months. • Taping/wrapping the scar. Your hand therapist mayrecommend keeping the scarwrappedduring itshealingprocess in order to avoid additional strain to the affected area. In some cases, a special gel (such as silicone gel) may be used inside of the wrap, which can further reduce your swelling and tension. • Using special gloves or topical treatments. Especially for burn scars, it is likely that your hand therapist will recommendwearingspecialglovesand applying a topical treatment to the area every day.This will help keep the scars safefromharmfulenvironmentalfactors (such as sunlight or rough materials) and will enhance the healing process. In some more severe cases, your hand therapist may recommend injections or surgical correction for burn scars. For more information about howwe can help restore your body and get your life back, call our office today at 425-368-7943.

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