After an injury or surgery, an area of skin (commonly around the scar) can become extra sensitive or ‘hypersensitive’. Hypersensitivity in this context refers to a reaction of extreme discomfort or pain in response to a stimulus that is usually non-threatening and does not normally provoke pain. This is a common problem encountered in rehabilitation, particularly in the skin of the hands and fingers, and can stop the person from using their hand in everyday tasks as it is too painful or uncomfortable.

Desensitisation is a treatment that involves exposing the skin and scar to many different textures to decrease sensitivity and encourage the person to use their hand or other affected body parts as normal again. It is common for people to protect the hypersensitive area; however it is important to expose the area to normal sensations in order to decrease sensitivity. The goal of desensitisation therapy is to decrease the painful and uncomfortable response that occurs when the hand is used or exposed to different textures, and to allow the person to return to using their hand for functional tasks.

At Hand Works Occupational Therapy, we are able to form desensitisation programs to assist with your hypersensitive upper limbs and scars. We will be able to monitor your condition closely, recording progress and customising programs based on your symptoms. If you would like to know more about desensitisation and the treatments that we offer, please contact us on 1300 887 798.