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Scar Desensitisation Case Study


Alison* was 11 years old when she trod on a broken glass in 2015 when playing outside with friends. She underwent surgery to remove glass from her left foot but during the healing process, Alison’s scar and surrounding tissues became hypersensitive.

In 2018, Osiris Health was instructed by Alison’s solicitor to provide a programme of desensitisation.

Alison is very active and a committed dancer, participating in ballet, tap, pointe work and modern dance. At the time of assessment she reported she could only tolerate 30 minutes of dance before a strong tingling / stinging sensation in and around her scar developed. This limited her activity and her enjoyment. Walking caused abnormal sensations related to the scar. Alison was very keen to treat these issues – she wanted to complete her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award in the summer of 2018.

When Osiris Health’s specialist clinician assessed the scar, light touch, varied textures and vibrations all created unpleasant stinging feelings along and around the scar that worsened the longer the assessment was continued. The scar, although barely visible, was thickened beneath the skin surface.

The specialist clinician devised a programme of daily desensitisation using various treatments that included massage, differing textures and vibration.

Six months of treatment, including 5 face to face sessions resulted in a complete resolution of Alison’s symptoms. Alison had managed to progress through her whole desensitisation programme with no symptoms recorded on her final assessment.

The scar texture was markedly improved. Alison could dance without pain and had increased her dance sessions from 2 to 4 times a week. In July 2018 she walked for 5 hours on 2 consecutive days as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award and was symptom free.

Alison and her family were delighted with the outcome.

*Pseudonym used to protect client confidentiality

Please note, this image is from stock photography and is used for illustration purposes only.

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