Physical Management of Scar Tissue: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Deflorin, Carlina and Hohenauer, Erich and Stoop, Rahel and van Daele, Ulrike and Clijsen, Ron and Taeymans, Jan (2020) Physical Management of Scar Tissue: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 26 (10). pp. 854-865.

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Objective: The aim of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to describe the status on the effects of physical scar treatments on pain, pigmentation, pliability, pruritus, scar thickening, and surface area. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Subjects: Adults with any kind of scar tissue. Interventions: Physical scar management versus control or no scar management. Outcome measures: Pain, pigmentation, pliability, pruritus, surface area, scar thickness. Results: The overall results revealed that physical scar management is beneficial compared with the control treatment regarding the management of pain ( p = 0.012), pruritus ( p < 0.001), pigmentation ( p = 0.010), pliability ( p < 0.001), surface area ( p < 0.001), and thickness ( p = 0.022) of scar tissue in adults. The observed risk of bias was high for blinding of participants and personnel (47%) and low for other bias (100%). Conclusions: Physical scar management demonstrates moderate-to-strong effects on improvement of scar issues as related to signs and symptoms. These results show the importance of specific physical management of scar tissue. Keywords: cicatrix, conservative treatment, meta-analysis, physical therapy modalities, skin

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