How to Massage Scars to Help Heal Them

Scar tissue occurs when collagen fibers form over an injury during the healing process. Sometimes these fibers grow in all directions, causing scars to appear darker and more pronounced, according to Massage Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. Massage therapy is just one alternative to more complex procedures to reduce scar appearance and formation. By increasing blood circulation, massage therapists say massage speeds the healing process and prevents the scar from re-opening by remaining pliable.

Rub the scar in a circular motion to help promote fluid drainage. **This is known as lymph drainage technique and is used to minimize swelling of scar tissue 7. Through this form of scar massage, your lymph nodes are prompted to drain excess fluid that commonly surrounds scar tissue during the healing process.

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Stretch the surrounding skin outward -- gently rub the scar with your thumbs using a circular motion. This helps keep your scar flexible and prevents it from restricting your movement, especially if the scar is located on or near a joint.

Apply pressure to your scar with your finger or thumb and rub in one direction. You might also use the palm of your hand for larger scars. This breaks up excess collagen and adhesions, according to website Body of Health.

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Apply lotions or massage oils to your scar when you massage it to prevent the skin from drying out. When a scar is overly dry, it can break open and cause new sores to form 7. Massage oils and lotions come in varying scents and herbal mixtures.


Consult a certified massage therapist for alternative massage techniques, such as cupping, which also increases circulation.


Do not massage deep scars until they are fully healed. You can reopen them and cause infection.