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Scarring is a normal skin function that repairs damaged tissue from an injury. Scars vary in shapes, sizes, and degree of severity. In this article, we will explore what causes scarring, detail the different types of scars, and show how to specifically treat each of them. These home remedies will help minimize the appearance of scarring.
Types of Scars
There are four main types of scars, each varying in severity and treatment. In some cases, your injury will require scar removal surgery known as a scar revision. These scar repair methods restore skin function and reduce the harsh appearance of your skin.
Scars that impair your mobility by tightening your skin are called contracture scars. Second-degree and third-degree burns on your skin are some of the events that can lead to a contracture scar.
These scars are usually deep and affect your nerves and muscles. The limited mobility from a contracture scar could make day-to-day tasks such as getting dressed, walking and eating more difficult. Exercise and physical therapy would help improve your range of motion if you suffered from a contracture scar.
Keloid scars form after a dynamic healing process. These scars cause bumps and raise your skin above its normal level. The raised skin spreads to areas outside of the initial injury, affecting the surrounding part of your skin as well.
Victims of keloid scars should consider scar revision surgery to lessen the appearance. Alternative options to surgery include steroid injections or a liquid nitrogen freezing procedure. Freezing scars is only effective on small raised areas.
People who have darker skin are more susceptible to keloid scarring.
Hypertrophic is another type of raised scar. These scars are a less severe form of keloids. The elevated skin is confined to the injured area only, as opposed to the surrounding skin. To flatten the bumps, use silicone gel pads and apply pressure to the healed skin. Steroid injections are also an option to minimize the appearance of uneven skin.
People who suffer from pimples and acne can get acne scars. Although most people associate acne with their face, these scars can form anywhere on your body including your back, chest, and arms.
Acne scars also range in severity based on how extreme or mild your acne was. Acne affects people of all ages. Improper acne treatment, which including picking or popping pimples, increases your chances of suffering from scars. To remove acne scars, consider using creams and ointments.
Acne scars are a type of atrophic scar. Atrophic scars are sometimes recessed or sunken into your skin. These appear when fat or muscle in your skin gets lost from an injury. Bug bites, chicken pox, traumatic accidents, and surgeries cause atrophic scars.
How Scars Happen
Scars occur naturally during the healing process of an injury. Scars form when the thick layer of your deep skin, known as the dermis, gets damaged. To repair the wound, your body creates collagen made from the protein in your system.
The mended tissues have a different appearance and texture from the rest of your skin, creating visible scars.
Sometimes your body has an overproduction of collagen during this process. People who are younger and people with dark skin typically produce more collagen while their skin is healing. Excess collagen creates raised scars such as keloids and hypertrophic.
One of the best home remedies for scars is aloe vera. Extract fresh aloe vera from a leaf or purchase gel from your local drugstore. Apply the aloe gel directly to your scar, rub it in, and let it sit on your skin for at least an hour. You can use aloe to treat your scar two or three times a day. You can also put it on at night, so it stays on your skin while you sleep.
Coconut oil helps your wounds heal at an accelerated rate. Fatty acids found in coconut oil increases your collagen production. Dip your wound directly in coconut oil or pour the oil onto your skin. You can also use cotton balls or a clean washcloth to apply it to your skin.
Vitamin E Oil
Many creams and ointments designed for minimizing scars contain vitamin E. Applying vitamin E to your scars after surgery can prevent bumps and raised keloids. Vitamin E ointment also speeds up the recovery time of a healing wound. You can also ingest vitamin E supplements in your diet to improve bodily functions that treat your scarring. Nuts, seeds, and leafy, green vegetables are all natural sources of vitamin E.
Olive oil moistens your skin with soothing anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Use olive oil to treat scars of all severities. Mix olive oil and baking soda in a bowl and stir until the two ingredients form a paste. Massage the paste onto your scars for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash your scar with lukewarm water to remove the substance. Repeat this process twice every day for optimal results.
The vitamin C and citrus properties in lemon exfoliate your skin and produce new skin cells. Lemons are also antibacterial, which tightens your skin, kills bacteria, and smoothes blemishes from scarring. Squeeze fresh lemons into a bowl of cotton balls. Dab the cotton balls on your scars for 5 minutes every day until you notice results.
You can use raw honey alone, or mix it with other ingredients such as lemon, cinnamon, turmeric, brown sugar, nutmeg, tomatoes, oatmeal, papaya, milk, cucumbers, and aspirin. Regardless of what you decide, mix the raw honey with your choice of supplement and leave it on your scar for at least 10 minutes on a daily basis.
You can leave honey on your skin overnight as well to reduce the appearance of scars. When mixing honey with hard ingredients such as cucumbers or tomatoes, use a blender to combine the elements
Apple Cider Vinegar
The antibiotic and antiseptic properties of apple cider vinegar dry out or skin and balance your pH levels. Apple cider vinegar contains vitamins A, C, E, P, B2, and B6, which promote skin tissue regeneration.
It also has malic acid, lactic acid, hydroxy acids, and amino acids that exfoliate your skin and reduce scarring. Mix apple cider vinegar in a bowl with water and soak a few cotton balls in the liquid.
Hold the water-soaked cotton balls against your skin for several minutes once or twice per day. You can also use rosewater instead of tap water for the mixture. Try drinking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with honey and water on a daily basis as well.
Cocoa butter nourishes, softens, and smoothes out your skin. Scars will look less noticeable over time if you regularly apply cocoa butter to the area. You can also rub cocoa butter on other regions of your skin for protective and preventative benefits in addition to softening your skin.
The high-fat content in cocoa butter acts as a natural moisturizer and absorbs into your skin with ease. Daily cocoa butter treatments will hydrate your skin and promote tissue growth that repairs your scarring.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural remedy for scar excision. The antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil help treat minor scars from acne or bug bites. It is also an effective method to lower the bumps on hypertrophic scars.
Apply a few drops of tea tree oil directly onto your scar twice per day. Rub the liquid into the effect region. You can also mix tea tree oil with coconut oil for accelerated results.
Many cosmetic products contain sandalwood because of its properties that heal wounds. Get sandalwood oil or powder and mix it with rosewater in a container. You can also add other essential oils such as almond oil and grape seed oil to the mix.
Use a cotton ball to apply the sandalwood blend directly to your scar. Leave the liquid on your skin for 15 minutes before you wash it away with water. Sandalwood works best on scars from chicken pox or acne.
Baking soda works well in removing acne scars. It dries out oil trapped in your skin, balances your pH levels, and helps aid the collagen growth process. Baking soda also removes dirt and dead skin trapped in your pores from acne and repairs your scar one layer at a time.
Mix baking soda with your facial cleanser and massage the combination onto your face, back, or other areas for 30 to 60 seconds. Focus on the region that has the most scarring. Let the baking soda dry on your face for 5 to 10 minutes before you rinse it off with cold water.
Your skin should feel tight after baking soda treatments, but it is an effective method for reducing and eliminating scars from acne.
Use one or more potatoes based on how big your scars are. Clean and slice the potato before you rub it directly onto your skin. Let the moisture from the potato seep into your skin. You can also slice potatoes into thin slices, place them on your scar, and wrap them in gauze to keep them in place. You can wear the bandage throughout the day, replacing the potatoes every couple hours.