Apart from being unsightly, scars can be a daily reminder of painful surgeries or accidents. More importantly, they can be disruptive factors for several functions of the body. Time consuming and costly, cosmetic treatments may entail invasive surgery and extended recovery periods. In several Western countries, acupuncture is increasingly considered as a viable treatment for several conditions, symptoms, and illnesses, including the removal of scars particularly if the scars result in dysfunctions in the body or generate pain.
How Scars Develop
Whenever the lower or middle layer of the epidermis experiences a rupture, cut, or tear, the skin needs to undergo cellular regeneration in order to repair the damage skin. In several instances, the regenerated skin does not form perfectly which results in scarring. The severity and type of the scar depend on the various factors some of which include the direction of the scar, the healing ability of the person, the manner in which the scar came about, and the size of the former wound.
What is Acupuncture?
A form of ancient Chinese healing modality, acupuncture involves the use of uses tiny needles inserted at certain points on the skin to treat illness and pain in any part of the body. This treatment is based on the notion that blockages/obstructions hinder the flow of energy (qi) along the energy channels of the body. This leads to pain and illness and so these blockages need to be cleared out to relieve and treat the condition. For scar treatment, the needle insertions generate a necessary healing response.
When to Seek Treatment
A lot of scars can be unpleasant simply due to cosmetic considerations. However, as mentioned before, there are scars that generate pain and/or cause dysfunctions in the body and they are the ones that need to be resolved. A scar on your body that is painful to the touch is an indication of a blocked or stagnant qi or blood. It is especially essential to go for treatment if the scar is painful and affects the stomach, back, scalp, neck, and face meridians.
During an acupuncture procedure, ultra thin acupuncture needles are inserted at various acupoints along the scar. This stimulates certain nerves that cause a boost of blood flow to the scar region. The blood flow helps break down scar tissue and dead skin, and also activates the lymphatic system in order to rid the body of these dead skin cells. Although effective, the treatment is slow and progressive with the eventual disappearance of the scar or the scar becoming less noticeable over a certain period of time.
Acupuncture is not recommended for scars that are less than a month old. The reason for this is that it might lead to infection. Cancer patients, diabetics, old people and people suffering from neurological disorders may need extra care when going for acupuncture treatment.