Most of us will develop scar tissue at some point.
Some of us have it from childhood injuries, some from past surgeries or accidents. No matter the size, you can still find yourself wondering, “Why does my scar hurt?”
Any wound can leave a scar. A small injury can leave a mark if in a sensitive place. Everybody’s scar healing process is different, but what causes scar pain, and what can be done about it?
What Is Scar Tissue?
Scar tissue is formed when the tissue is damaged. It is the body’s natural reaction to healing wounds such as burns, sores, surgical incision, or general cuts. Scar tissue does not have the same elasticity that undamaged tissue has. The result is thick, fibrous tissue that can be stiff and limit your range of movements.
During the healing process, the wound can be uncomfortable and painful. Sometimes you can experience scar pain long after you think you are all healed up. Signs of scar pain can include:
- Inflammation and swelling
- Redness on the wound site
- Sensitive to touch
- Tightness or reduced range of motion, especially on or near joints
Why Does My Scar Hurt?
When tissue is damaged, if the wound is deep enough nerve endings can also be damaged. For a while, you may feel little to nothing on and around the scar. Once the process of regeneration begins this can change, and pain or tingling can occur.
Sometimes the scar pain may be more discomfort such as tightness or numbness, rather than actual pain. If the wound was deep or over a big area then the damage to nerves and tendons can take much longer to heal than the tissue.
Some people produce extra scar tissue. This is called fibrosis and can lead to ongoing inflammation, pain, and loss of function in joints or tissue.
If you are asking yourself, why does my scar hurt long after you feel it shouldn’t anymore, ask your Doctor about fibrosis.
The Healing Process
The pain from the wound site will improve with time. The scar tissue pain can appear at any point after the injury has healed.
Scars can take up to 12 months to mature in full and go through the four healing stages. Scarring may look worse after about a month than it did initially, but after a few months will start to fade. Once it is paler in color, smoother, and less sensitive to touch it has matured.
You may find yourself often looking for a way to ease discomfort. There are a few home treatments you can try before you need to see your doctor about pain in a scar.
- Massage can help decrease sensitivity
- Controlled exercise programs can help with stiffness and range of motion
- Keeping the skin soft can help, so make sure to moisturize regularly
- Taping can help support the injured area and take some pressure off
Scar tissue can start to bother you at any point. While it is tissue healing, many of us have spent plenty of time asking why does my scar hurt, and what can I do? Home treatments can help ease scar pain. If it doesn’t improve, speak to your doctor about medical options
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