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Scar massage press and release

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.

Press and release

This technique uses gentle finger pressure over the skin. You should press down just enough for the skin to blanch (turn pale) underneath for 30 seconds and then release. This technique can be used as soon as the wound has healed. For small areas use a fingertip or two and for larger areas you can use all your fingers or your whole hand.


The pressure should be the same across the whole scar. Make sure you put your fingers on and off the scar without rubbing or tearing the skin.

You will need to work your way across the scar for 30 seconds at a time until the whole area has been pressed.

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: OT27

Resource Type: Article

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