Effectiveness of various methods of manual scar therapy

Skin Res Technol. 2023 Mar;29(3):e13272. doi: 10.1111/srt.13272.


Background: The skin is a protective barrier of the body against external factors, and its damage leads to a loss of integrity. Normal wound healing results in a correct, flat, bright, and flexible scar. Initial skin damage and patient specific factors in wound healing contribute that many of these scars may progress into widespread or pathologic hypertrophic and keloid scars. The changes in cosmetic appearance, continuing pain, and loss of movement due to contracture or adhesion and persistent pruritis can significantly affect an individual's quality of life and psychological recovery post injury. Many different treatment methods can reduce the trauma and surgical scars. Manual scar treatment includes various techniques of therapy. The most effectiveness is a combined therapy, which has a multidirectional impact. Clinical observations show an effectiveness of manual scar therapy.

Material and methods: The aim of this work was to evaluate effectiveness of the scar manual therapy combined with complementary methods on the postoperative scars. Treatment protocol included two therapies during 30 min per week for 8 weeks. Therapy included manual scar manipulation, massage, cupping, dry needling, and taping.

Results: Treatment had a significant positive effect to influence pain, pigmentation, pliability, pruritus, surface area, and scar stiffness. Improvement of skin parameters (scar elasticity, thickness, regularity, color) was also noticed.

Conclusion: To investigate the most effective manual therapy strategy, further studies are needed, evaluating comparisons of different individual and combined scar therapy modalities.

Keywords: cesarean section; dry needling; manual therapy; scar taping; scars.

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix* / physiopathology
  • Cicatrix* / therapy
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / physiopathology
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / therapy
  • Complementary Therapies* / methods
  • Cupping Therapy / methods
  • Dry Needling / methods
  • Humans
  • Keloid / physiopathology
  • Keloid / therapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Therapy, Soft Tissue / methods
  • Wound Healing* / physiology