Scar tissue normally forms after some injury that leads to loss of skin's integrity as well as injury of organs and tissue located deep inside the body. It represents non-functional tissue and replaces permanently damaged cells. The process of scarring is generally painless. However, under certain circumstances, formation of scar tissue may be accompanied by pain and discomfort of different intensity.
There may be explanation why the process of scarring is sometimes painful. Namely, scars are completely made of rigid, thick and quite dense connective tissue. While the scar is forming it may stretch different structures around it. These may include blood vessels, nerves etc. Stretching of these structures is tolerated up to a certain degree. However, excessive stretching inevitably leads to pain.
Symptoms of Scar Tissue Pain There are many factors which influence the severity of pain associated with the process of scarring. Some of these are the location of scar tissue, its size and the nearby structures (nerves, blood vessels etc.). Initially, people usually have to deal with itching, redness and tenderness of the area involved in scarring. The pain may occur at this stage too, and it is usually experienced as sharp, sudden and rather severe. The pain is usually most intensive in people who have undergone hysterectomy or some other abdominal or pelvis surgeries. In such case scarring may easily affect the intestine and eventually lead to intestinal obstruction. Generally, the entire area is tended and will remain that way for certain period of time.
Pain of the greatest intensity occurs if nearby nerves are compressed or stretches due to the presence of scar tissue. If compression is severe and lasts for a long period of time, the pain is also permanent and lingers until compression is dealt with. Apart from pain, nerve compression may also cause other functional abnormalities in the affected area such as numbness or tingling sensation, muscles weakness etc.How to Deal with Pain Associated with Scar Tissue?
If such pain is mild or moderate, it can be easily brought under control with different non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In case there is additional irritation, patients may be also prescribed topical corticosteroids and antihistamines. More complex cases may be treated with interferon which is injected directly into the painful area. Additional treatments include silicone gel sheathing, massage and ultrasound of scar tissue.
If none of the conservative treatments succeed to provide with pain relief, one may need to undergo surgical correction.