While some people consider their scars to be marks of pride, many people just want them to go away. Since they can affect your appearance, they can make you feel self-conscious.
If you want to get rid of an old scar, you need to understand what a scar is and what type you’re trying to get rid of.
A scar forms as part of the natural healing process following an injury. When the dermis — the second layer of skin — is damaged, your body forms collagen fibers to repair the damage, and that results in a scar.
- In most cases, the faster a wound heals, the less collagen will be deposited and the less noticeable the scar will be.
- Typically, the severity of the scar is based on the severity of the injury or damage.
- Scars form differently on different parts of the body.
- Scars form differently based on the age of the injured person.
- There are different types of scars.
There are different types of scars, each with defining characteristics.
Atrophic scars are characterized by the loss of tissue. They appear depressed, serrated, or flat against the upper layer of the skin. Often atrophic scars have darker skin pigmentation than other area of your skin. Examples of atrophic scars include acne scars and chickenpox scars.
Hypertrophic scars are characterized by excess tissue that forms over the skin as it heals. Unlike a keloid scar, it does not grow outside the injured area. Hypertrophic scars are commonly darker than other skin in the area.
Keloid scars are the result of aggressive healing and an overproduction of tissue. They are characterized by a raised, thick, puffy appearance. They are typically darker than the surrounding skin. Unlike a hypertrophic scar, keloid scars can grow beyond the injured area.
Contracture scars result from large areas of skin being lost or damaged, typically from burns. They are characterized by tight, shiny skin that can restrict movement.
There’s no known way to make scars totally disappear, but many will become lighter over time on their own.
That being said, advocates of natural healing believe that there are remedies that can speed up the lightening process and make a scar less noticeable. Here are some of the remedies that have been effective for some people.
- Remove the dark green “skin” from the flatter side of an aloe vera leaf.
- Scoop out the almost clear light green gel.
- Apply the gel directly to your scar using circular motions.
- After half an hour, wash the gel off with fresh, cool water.
- Repeat twice each day.
- Cut open a vitamin E capsule over the scar and squeeze the oil onto the scar (you might need more than just one capsule to get enough liquid for full coverage).
- For about 10 minutes, massage the oil on and around the scar.
- After about 20 minutes wash off the oil with warm water.
- Repeat this process a minimum of 3 times per day.
- Before going to bed, cover your scar with a layer of honey.
- Wrap the honey-covered scar with a bandage.
- Leave it on for one full night.
- In the morning, remove the bandage and wash off the honey with warm water.
- Make this part of your routine every night.
- Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil, just enough to liquefy it.
- Massage the oil into the scar for about 10 minutes.
- Let the skin absorb the oil for a minimum of one hour.
- Repeat two to four times every day.
Apple cider vinegar
- Combine 4 tablespoons of distilled water with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- Dip a cotton ball into the water-cider mixture and generously dab your scar.
- Let it dry.
- Do this every night before you go to bed, washing the area in the morning.
Lavender and olive oil
- Mix three drops of lavender essential oil into three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Massage the mixture into the scarred area for about 5 minutes.
- Leave the oil in place for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse the area with warm water.
- Repeat this process a minimum of three times a day.
- Cut a wedge from a fresh lemon.
- Gently rub the juicy side of the lemon on the scar while you squeeze the juice onto the scar.
- Relax for about 10 minutes before rinsing off the area with cool water.
- Do this every day at approximately the same time.
- Slice a potato into medium thick rounds.
- Using a circular motion, rub the potato slice on your scar.
- Once the potato slice starts to dry out, discard it and continue rubbing with another slice.
- Continue rubbing and replacing for about 20 minutes and then let the scar air-dry for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse the area with cool water.
- Repeat this process at least one time each day
Rosehip and frankincense
- Mix equal parts rosehip essential oil and frankincense essential oil.
- Massage the rosehip-frankincense mixture onto the scar.
- Wait for 45 minutes before gently rinsing the area with warm water.
- Follow this procedure three times a day.
- Mix distilled water — a little at time — into two tablespoons of baking soda until it forms a paste.
- Wet your scar with distilled water and then apply the paste to the wet scar.
- Hold the paste in place with a warm compress for 15 minutes.
- Rinse the area and repeat daily.
Before trying any of the remedies above, thoroughly wash and dry the scar and the area around it. Also, only use these remedies on scars — not open wounds. Should any of these remedies cause any irritation, stop use immediately.
If you want to make a scar look less noticeable, you may want to try a natural remedy. There are many people who believe that natural remedies can get the job done.
As with any home remedy, have a conversation with your doctor before starting. Your doctor can offer insights and recommendations about which remedies you should or should not try.