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Scar massage gliding

Scar massage

Scar massage has been shown to help scars become flatter and softer. It can also improve symptoms like pain, sensitivity and itch. This happens because the massage process affects the way that the skin cells behave and helps to reduce the scarring.

There are lots of types of scar massage. Your child’s therapist will show you the best type of massage for your child’s scar.

Top tips

  •  All scar massage should be done slowly and with gentle pressure. It should not cause pain or rub the skin.
  • A gentle non-perfumed moisturiser should be used to help moisturise the scar and prevent dryness.
  • Your child’s nurses will have given you a suitable cream.
  • You should massage the scar at least 3 times a day.


Use as much of your fingers as possible to do this massage. Start by putting both hands on the scar. Press down gently until the scar goes pale.

Stage 1

Keep one hand still and gently move the other hand, keeping the pressure on the scar to move the top layer of skin. Move the skin in all directions – forwards, backwards, and side to side.

Stage 2

Only do this if your child’s therapist advises it. Starting with your fingers in the same position as in stage 1, press down on the skin and then move both hands in different directions.

Both stages can only be used when the scar is over 3 months old.

therapist performing scar tissue massage

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: OT26

Resource Type: Article

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