What Causes Pain in Scar Tissue and How to Alleviate It?

Have you ever experienced discomfort or pain in an area where you have scar tissue? It’s a common issue that many people face, especially those who have undergone surgeries or suffered significant injuries.

Why Does Scar Tissue Hurt?

Scar tissue forms as part of the natural healing process when your body repairs damaged tissue. However, sometimes, you might feel pain or discomfort in these areas. Let’s break down why this happens:

1. Nerve Damage or Compression

During the healing process, nerves in and around the wound can be affected. If nerves are damaged or compressed by the scar tissue, it can lead to pain.

2. Tissue Tension and Reduced Elasticity

Scar tissue is not as elastic and flexible as normal skin. It can pull on the surrounding area, creating tension and discomfort, especially when you move.

3. Increased Sensitivity

The area around a scar can become more sensitive. This means even light touches or changes in temperature might cause discomfort.

4. Inflammation

Sometimes, scar tissue can be inflamed, particularly in the early stages of healing. This inflammation can cause pain.

How to Alleviate Pain in Scar Tissue

Now, let’s focus on ways you can alleviate this pain:

1. Massage Therapy

Gently massaging the scar can help. It increases blood flow, reduces tension, and can break down some of the fibrous tissue, making the scar less rigid.

2. Moisturization and Scar Gels

Keeping the scar moisturized helps maintain skin elasticity. Special scar gels can also help in reducing scar tissue thickness, which may alleviate pain.

3. Stretching and Exercise

Engaging in stretching and exercise improves flexibility and reduces tension in the scar area. Remember, don’t push too hard; being gentle and consistent is the key.

4. Heat Therapy

Applying heat can increase blood flow and relax tight tissues, reducing pain. A warm compress for a few minutes a day can be beneficial.

5. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

For occasional pain, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can be helpful. However, it’s best to consult with a doctor before taking any medication regularly.

6. Professional Treatments

For persistent pain, a visit to a healthcare provider is advisable. They might recommend treatments like physical therapy, laser therapy, or, in severe cases, surgery to remove excess scar tissue.

7. Pressure Garments or Silicone Sheets

In some cases, wearing pressure garments or applying silicone sheets over the scar can help reduce pain and improve the appearance of the scar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for scar tissue to hurt years after an injury?

Yes, it can be normal, especially if the scar is over a joint or a heavily used part of the body. However, persistent or worsening pain should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Can scar tissue pain go away on its own?

It can diminish over time as the scar matures, but some proactive steps like massage and stretching can speed up the process.

Are there any natural remedies for scar tissue pain?

Natural remedies like aloe vera or essential oils can soothe the skin.


While scar tissue can be a source of discomfort, there are multiple ways to manage and reduce pain. The key is to find the right combination of treatments that work for you and to give your body time to heal. Always consult with a healthcare provider for persistent or severe pain.


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