Natural Treatments for Scar Healing & Removal
Behind every scar on a person’s face or body, there’s a story. Sometimes, it’s the result of something positive, like the birth of a child, but other times, the scar can be the result of a traumatic injury, or an embarrassing situation, like adolescent acne. Regardless of what caused the scar, many people find them to be unattractive and distracting, especially scars appearing on the face, and desperately search for ways to help heal, fade and remove their scars permanently.
While there are surgical procedures and laser treatments which can help get rid of or significantly lessen the appearance of scars, those methods are very costly. There are also many lotions and creams available on the market which claim to heal scars, but they are also expensive, loaded with chemicals, and don’t always produce the desired results.
Luckily, there are many scar treatments you can try which are all-natural, inexpensive and can be done in the comfort of your own home. The best part about these natural scar remedies is that you’d be using products you may already have on hand, or can easily get from your local pharmacy, supermarket or health food store.
Before we get into natural scar removal methods, let’s first go over some scarring facts.
Scars to the skin can be caused by many things, including cuts, burns, surgery, stretch marks, infections, viruses, and acne/pimples. Depending on how the scar was formed and its location, size and how deep it is, has a significant effect on its appearance, healing time and which method would be the ideal for treating it. How long it takes a scar to heal can also be related to age, sex, and ethnicity.
Scars are a natural part of your skin healing from the incident that caused it. Scars are made out of the same collagen as your healthy skin, but with scars, the collagen is overexpressed, and the tissue is not nearly as elastic as normal healthy skin. Scars are the result of the inflammation response by the tissue.
Types of Scars
There are 4 main types of scars. Let’s go over each one, so you can classify which type scar or scars you may have, and then determine which treatment option would be right for you.
- Hypertrophic Scars: These scars are raised, but not more than 4 mm, and usually have a red or pink color. They occur when the body overproduces collagen, and typically appear within 4-8 weeks after the wound infection, wound closure, and/or traumatic skin injury.
- Keloid Scars: These are a more severe form of scarring because they can grow into large tumorous-like legions, indefinitely. This type of scarring can occur with burns, acne, scratches and surgical incisions.
- Atrophic Scars: This type of scar is the opposite of a hypertrophic and keloid scar because it’s sunken into the skin rather than raised. This occurs if the underlying fat and muscle structures are damaged or lost. You commonly see this type of scar with insect bites, acne, and chicken pox.
- Stretch Marks: This is also a form of scarring. Stretch marks are caused when the skin is stretched too rapidly, like during pregnancy, significant weight gain, or adolescent growth spurts. These scars typically improve a little on its own and over time.
Top Tips for Scar Removal at Home
To achieve the best results, you’ll want to treat the scar while it’s still relatively new. Old scars are much more difficult to treat and may require a surgical procedure to get rid of them entirely.
Improving the appearance of scars will take some time, so be patient. It can take weeks or months, so don’t give up too soon. It’s important to continue with your scar treatment on a daily basis, and keep the scar away from sun exposure, as that can worsen the scar’s appearance and interfere with its healing process.
Tip No.1 – Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, making it an excellent natural remedy for scars, as it works wonders in healing skin tissue and reducing the appearance of scar tissue. It’s most favorable for treating and helping to diminish acne and hypertrophic scars. If you have sensitive skin, tea tree oil may sting and cause irritation. Test it first on a small patch of healthy skin, before applying directly to the scar itself.
Rub 2-3 drops of undiluted tea tree oil directly on scar twice a day. You can also mix tea tree oil with a good oil base, such as coconut oil or olive oil, and apply the same way.
Tip No. 2 – Shea Butter/Coconut Oil
The omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in coconut oil and shea butter have been shown to hinder keloid scar tissue and repair skin. With cuts, lacerations or burns, it’s crucial to keep the area moist and covered to help promote its healing process. Coconut oil and shea butter are ideal for keeping the skin moisturized, which helps prevent the scar from increasing in size and depth, and the moisture will counter any itching related to the scar.
Apply coconut oil or shea butter directly to the scar, two to three times a day. You can let it absorb into the skin, without having to wash it off, as both offer a host of skin benefits.
Tip No. 3 – Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is an excellent natural remedy for lightening the appearance of scars. It contains alpha hydroxy acids, which help eliminate the dead skin, making room for the body to regenerate new skin faster, and it improves the skin’s elasticity. The vitamin C in lemon juice will help rebuild the skin’s collagen.
Use only freshly squeezed juice from a lemon. Apply twice a day using your fingers or a cotton ball. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with water. Do not use this remedy if you plan to be outside in the sun, as lemons can make your skin highly sensitive to sunlight.
Tip No. 4 – Natural Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has powerful skin healing benefits and is highly effective when used for treating scars, especially those caused by acne, burns and stretch markets. It not only removes scarring, but it also tightens your skin, helps eliminate wrinkles and provides your skin with a healthy glow, which are certainly added benefits when it’s used to treat facial scars. Aloe vera gel is incredibly soothing to your skin, helps regenerate damaged skin tissue, and provides a boost to its healing process.
It’s always better to use aloe vera gel taken directly from an aloe vera leaf. Just peel back the leaf’s outer green cover to retrieve its miraculous gel. If you don’t have access to the actual plant, you can find pure aloe vera at any health food store. Apply gel directly to the scarred area, two times a day. Let it dry and leave it on for 30-60 minutes before rinsing off with water. You should notice your scar fading within just a few days.
Tip No. 5 – Silicone Sheets/Gel
Silicone sheets and gel can speed up the healing of scars and get rid of them over time. Silicone sheets work similar to a Band-Aid, as it’s a transparent, sticky pad that goes over the cut, making it less red and painful. The sheets help hold in moisture to the scar, which can decrease its healing time. Silicone sheets are more effective than the gel, but it can be bothersome to apply and needs to be replaced every few days. Using the sheets as a treatment for a scar on the face is not ideal, due to its obvious and unattractive appearance.
Silicone gel, which can be found in a lot of the over-the-counter scar healing products at your local pharmacy, is easy to apply and is practically invisible when it dries. But it does need to be applied multiple times a day. This can be a highly effective treatment for hypertrophic and keloidal scars.
Tip No. 6 – Vitamin E
Vitamin E oil is a popular remedy for healing scars and stretch marks naturally. It promotes collagen production, which enhances the skin’s texture and elasticity. Before using vitamin E oil, make sure the cut or wound has fully healed, as vitamin E can interfere with its natural healing process.
Vitamin E oil can be applied directly to scars, two times a day, either in concentrated oil form or with the contents of vitamin E capsules. You can combine its topical use with taking vitamin E supplements and eating foods which are rich in vitamin E, such nuts and seeds, to gain a more potent effect of its skin benefits.
Tip No. 6 – Honey
Honey is another natural scar remedy, which can be used in different ways, to help minimize the appearance of scars. It can be applied to the scar directly, left on overnight and rinsed off in the morning.
Honey can also be combined with other natural ingredients, such as oatmeal or cinnamon, which have their own skin healing benefits, and made into a paste. The oatmeal mixture should be left on for 15-20 minutes, while cinnamon mixture can be left on overnight, then rinsed off in the morning.
Tip No. 7 – Olive Oil
Olive oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and contains skin friendly nutrients including vitamin E, A and C, which makes it an excellent choice to use for healing scars.
Massage a small amount of extra virgin olive oil on the scar and surrounding skin. Wait for it to absorb, then use a warm, wet towel on the scar applying a bit of steam. Then gently wipe off excess oil. After two minutes, rinse off the remaining oil with water.
If an at-home scar treatment if not for you, and you would prefer to try an over-the-counter scar lotion, one that I highly recommend is Revitol. It’s made of 100% organic and natural ingredients, including collagen, vitamins E and A, and aloe leaf extract. It can treat all types of scars, whether they are old or new.
Remember, scars don’t have to last forever. There are several kinds of treatments available, many of which are all natural, that can remove scars entirely or significantly reduce its appearance. Just be patient and continue daily with your chosen treatment, or try different treatments, until you get your desired results.