Healing and Minimizing Scars
Scars form on patches of skin as a result of injury from burns, surgery, acne, hormonal changes, lack of nutrition, and even stress. They are the body’s natural way of repairing itself after injury. Burn scars can involve deep layers of the skin and can be very difficult to remove. Illnesses such as chicken pox can sometimes leave scars created by sores that develop because of scratching due to the intense itchiness that is part of the illness. Sun exposure is another potential culprit as everyone’s skin responds to the sun differently. Keloid scars are large pink, red or brown lesions that can look inflamed and are often itchy and painful.
However, "nature provideth" as there are numerous home remedies that will help scars fade if not cause them to disappear completely. Preventative measures can also be taken to stop or lessen scar formation. Aloe vera, vitamin E, olive oil, and honey are among the top natural remedies for scars.
Aloe vera, in use for thousands of years, is considered an effective treatment for any scar type as aloe vera helps to speed the growth of new cells and quickens the healing process. The plant’s moisturizing abilities and anti-inflammatory properties are likely contributing factors as are its vitamin and mineral content. Fresh pulp from the aloe vera plant can be applied directly to the skin, or use pure aloe vera gel which is available at most health food stores. Applying aloe vera gel directly after injury will help the wound heal and can prevent deep scarring. Aloe vera is super soothing and gentle, meaning it will not irritate acne-prone scarred skin.
Olive oil, particularly extra virgin, contains healing properties that reduce inflammation which can be helpful when dealing with the often-inflamed keloid scars. In addition, olive oil helps maintain skin moisture and can prevent infection. It can therefore be utilized in treating fresh wounds and in healing acne-scarred skin and also helps to prevent breakouts.
Raw, unprocessed honey contains antiseptic properties that keep the scar area clean. Its rich vitamin content helps nourish skin while its moisturizing properties keep skin hydrated. Pure vitamin E oil is another healing and moisturizing agent that is considered one of the most effective natural scar remedies.
Lavender essential oil is helpful for all types of scars, and raw, unprocessed, organic apple cider vinegar is particularly effective on acne scars. Lavender essential oil can be applied three times daily to any scar for several weeks to improve scar appearance due to its skin cell rejuvenating properties. Apple cider vinegar is a gentle natural exfoliant which aids in treating light acne scars. Try diluting one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water if skin is sensitive.
Massage is another effective method of diminishing scar appearance, particularly raised scars due to surgery. Massage can help get rid of new scars and prevent the build-up of scar tissue. Using moisturizers when massaging scars will help increase blood flow to the scar which aids in the healing process. It also increases collagen production in the area and ensures even collagen distribution. This will also keep the scar moist which prevents the loss of skin elasticity. Simply press on the scar until it becomes white and massage it in all directions including vertically, horizontally and in circular motions.
Additional home remedies for scars include onion extract which is available in gel form and can be applied to scars three to four times a day. Onion extract contains anti-inflammatory properties and inhibits the over-production of collagen in scar tissue. Also the active ingredient in Mederma, onion extract is a common over-the-counter scar treatment. It’s effective on many scar types including acne, burns, and stretch marks.
Cucumber juice can be applied to facial scars for 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water. An overnight treatment of sandalwood paste mixed with rose water is considered an effective scar remedy. To prevent the formation of acne scars, try boiling one teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds in a liter of water for a few minutes before applying to the face once somewhat cooled. Crushing mint leaves tied in a muslin cloth, extracting the juice and applying it to the scar is another effective acne scar treatment. Tea tree oil helps keep the skin moist, contains anti-bacterial properties, and reduces inflammation thereby making it an effective scar treatment.
All of the above described scar remedies should be used until the desired results occur. However, after three months’ use of a chosen remedy without results, try another one. Not every remedy works effectively for every person. After all, we’re all unique with different body chemistry, diet habits, activity levels, and on and on.
Because humans are constantly moving, playing, climbing, working with tools and machinery, and so on, accidents will occur resulting in wounds which often result in scars. Perseverance is the key to using the above detailed remedies, and none of them have side effects. So, although scars are a universal condition, they don’t have to last forever nor do they require expensive treatments to minimize and potentially get rid of them!