Whether it's a childhood accident, a misadventure in the kitchen, or a surgery, the scars on our bodies all have a story to tell. Yet, for many people, that story is not one they want the entire world to see.
There are many factors that go into scar formation, and many different types of scars, and just as many ways to approach treatment using natural remedies. Unfortunately, some of these remedies may be limited but you have nothing to lose by trying them first.
Types of Scars
The appearance of a scar varies depending on many factors, including genetics, the cause, location on the body, and what types of treatment were used when it happened.
Scars are a natural part of the body's healing process. When the skin is broken, the body sends new collagen fibers to the damaged area to fix it. The new collagen will have a different texture and quality from your regular skin, which is why it stands out.
Depending on the cause and other factors, the body will produce different types of scars including:
Keloid: These are caused by an over-reactive healing process. The extra collagen build-up causes it to extend beyond the original injury and also makes them thicker and stand out from the skin.
Hypertrophic: Like keloid scars, these are raised red scars caused by an excess of collagen during the healing process. Unlike keloid, they will usually fade and grow smaller over time.
Line Scars: These are thin scars which show up as a red or pale line across the skin. They are usually caused by cuts and scratches and will usually fade naturally over time.
Atrophic: On the face, these are also known as Acne scars, because they are usually caused by severe acne and lost collagen. They look like a pit or sunken area of skin.
Contraction: Contraction scars are caused by burns. The loss of skin tissue tightens what remains, leaving a contracted scar.
Scar Treatment Approaches
Removing or reducing the appearance of scars is a three-stage process where if step 1 doesn’t work, you move to step 2 and so on.
The first step consists of the use of natural remedies that are known or believed to help with scar removal and prevention. Examples of some of these include aloe vera and onion extract.
Aloe vera is one of the oldest skin care remedies still in use today for one reason - it works! Many people have sworn by the ability of aloe vera to treat and reduce the appearance of scars.
Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence that can verify (or deny) the claims of reducing scars because most research only assessed wound healing time and not scar quality. This doesn’t mean it does or doesn’t work - it simply means that it has not been studied in this capacity.
Onion extract, on the other hand, has been studied for its effect on scar quality and the results have been positive for the most part. In fact, many of the studies used scar removal creams containing onion extract as the main active ingredient.
Lemon juice is another well-reputed scar removal hack. It helps the scar removal process by removing dead skin cells and lightening the target area so it blends in better with the surrounding skin. This also means that lemon juice is only useful on flat scars such as line scars.
Other natural remedies include emu oil, apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil.
If you have little or no luck with the natural remedies, however, the next step is to find the best scar removal cream available for you. Be sure to read reviews on to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t so you don’t end up wasting your time or money.
If you have a really stubborn scar, however, you may need to escalate to laser removal. Laser treatment is the final approach you can take in order to remove a scar. It is the most effective and versatile, but it is also the most expensive, which is why it is listed as the last option
Using Scar Treatment
Regardless of which approach you decide to use, it will be important to stay patient and start early. Scar treatment remedies won’t necessarily remove most scars, but they can reduce the appearance. It may be weeks before you notice improvement, so staying patient and consistent in the application is the most important step.
The earlier the treatment begins, the better its chances of success but older scars, particularly those that aren’t flat, often require surgical or laser treatment.
Also, while the skin is healing, be sure to stay hydrated. A wet environment reduces scarring more than a dry environment and reduces inflammation. So drink plenty of water and make sure that your treatment includes moisturizing the area, either through the ointment itself or a doctor recommended moisturizer.
Finally, leave the scabs alone. Scabs are part of the natural healing process and picking at scabs can actually cause more scarring than if the skin is permitted to heal naturally.