Objective: To evaluate the effect of burn rehabilitation massage therapy on hypertrophic scar after burn.
Method: One hundred and forty-six burn patients with hypertrophic scar(s) were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group. All patients received standard rehabilitation therapy for hypertrophic scars and 76 patients (massage group) additionally received burn scar rehabilitation massage therapy. Both before and after the treatment, we determined the scores of visual analog scale (VAS) and itching scale and assessed the scar characteristics of thickness, melanin, erythema, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), sebum, and elasticity by using ultrasonography, Mexameter(®), Tewameter(®), Sebumeter(®), and Cutometer(®), respectively.
Results: The scores of both VAS and itching scale decreased significantly in both groups, indicating a significant intragroup difference. With regard to the scar characteristics, the massage group showed a significant decrease after treatment in scar thickness, melanin, erythema, TEWL and a significant intergroup difference. In terms of scar elasticity, a significant intergroup difference was noted in immediate distension and gross skin elasticity, while the massage group significant improvement in skin distensibility, immediate distension, immediate retraction, and delayed distension.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that burn rehabilitation massage therapy is effective in improving pain, pruritus, and scar characteristics in hypertrophic scars after burn.
Keywords: Burn; Hypertrophic scars; Massage therapy; Rehabilitation.
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