Someone recently posted a question to me and asked “What do I do
for hardened scar tissue?”
Hardened scar tissue can form on your body for lots of reasons.
For instance, you could have a knee surgery where the sutures
(for a variety of reasons) don’t hold the wound closed while it
is healing (after the surgical cut). If you don’t have a tight
suture on the scar, or the sutures come loose during the first
week or so of healing, that wound will open. The body is going
to try to heal that wound, but what it’s going to do is work to
close up the wound as quickly as possible. A lot of times what
can happen is that you can end up with these thick bands of
hardened scar tissue.
These can become so thick and hardened that they can become very
difficult to work with.
I even got an email from a lady one time who got so tired of her
own scarring on her finger, and got so fed up with her doctor,
that she took a butcher knife and scissors and cut out her scar
tissue herself at home. (She said she had to stop when the pain
got to be too much to bear.) This was hard to read about. My
heart goes out to people when they feel they have no other
Here are a couple of ideas of things that you can do when you
have hardened scar tissue.
There are a few different methods we recommend for dealing with
hardened scars. I’m going to go through a couple of them today
so that you can get a good idea of these techniques.
When you have a hardened scar, it’s like this bulb that builds
up on top of the skin to connect one side of skin to another. If
you have a hardened scar that came from some kind of cut or some
kind of injury, one thing you can do is to work across that
What you want to do is take something like a twist tie or a pair
of tweezers, or something that has a point on it. Make sure
though that you are being careful and taking care of yourself
while you use pointed tools on and around your scars.
If you take the point of the tweezers, you can work across the
scar, perpendicular to how the scar lays on the skin.
On my own fingers, I have scars that could have developed into
hardened scar tissue. On my ring finger on my left hand. I had
an accident while playing high school football. The tendon
detached from the last knuckle and I had to have surgery to
re-attach the tendon. (My middle finger has scarring because (I
believe), they cut the wrong finger – but that’s another story.)
I have 100% feeling now though in my scars, even though for a
long time I had a very zingy sensation, which eventually went
numb. I then learned how to work with these scars and got back
the feeling into the tissue.
While the scars themselves are still somewhat hardened, the
tissue is now so much looser and has so much more feeling.
So what I do is take a pair of tweezers, twisty tie, or
something else with a point on it, and work across the scar. You
want to make sure you are working at a point that is
uncomfortable, but not painful.
Working across the hardened scar is going to do a couple of
You’re causing micro-tears along the scar. What this does is
encourage nerve connections and circulation re-growth in the
area, helping the nerves and blood vessels to work their way
back across the hardened scar.
You can use your own fingernail, but I like something with a
small point that is pretty firm, which is why I like using a
pair of tweezers.
What happens over time is that you actually get this scarring to
break down and become more pliable. This happens because as the
blood vessels and nerves grow back into the tissue, the scars
will return to and rehabilitate themselves into normal tissue.
When you’re working to get rid of scar tissue, it’s not really
“getting rid of” scar tissue so much as it is taking the
hardened scars and causing them to become normal tissue once
The goal of this is to get the skin more pliable, and to cause
the skin (through these micro-tears) to return to normal skin
There are a few other things you can do with hardened scar
tissue as well. I share some more suggestions for getting rid of
hardened scars in the book “How To Heal Scar Tissue”.
Jonathan Kraft, CMT Certified Massage Therapist and Author
What will it mean for you when you can...
Regain the movement you once had?
- Show family and friends how much your scarring has improved?
Be able to go out for a night on the town and feel GREAT!
Never again hide your scar under make-up or clothing?
Get up in the morning without feeling any pain?
Have such a complete recovery that you forget where "that old
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I tore a muscle when I was in Jr. High when my coach was introducing me
to weight training. Doing bench presses, he added weights with each
pump. I felt something pop in my right shoulder and I had to have the
spotter take the bar bell away before I dropped it. It hurt initially
but I had not used that muscle much so I don't notice it much. Once in a
while when doing push ups or lifting above my head. More recently I have
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in muscle injury and that prompted me to find your site.
I have read your book and I
agree with the physiology of it and the nature of scar tissue. I will
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I had knee replacement 8 months ago and I
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is it probably scar tissue. He said other than moving the knee -
(he didn't give any more specific exercises) - there was nothing to be
I was so upset when he said this. He is a
top doctor in my area and I was shocked that there is nothing he can do.
I did Rehab, PT (as much as insurance
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