Scars can be an unpleasant reminder of past injuries or surgeries. While the most guaranteed ways to get rid of them are laser therapy and prescription treatments, there are natural remedies can fade scars, too.
These methods can be great for small scars, or just to reduce the appearance of them. Just don’t expect them to completely get rid of scars.
Understanding Scars and the Healing Process
When your skin is injured, collagen fibers form to repair the damaged skin. Sometimes this process creates raised or sunken scars, as well as discoloration.
The good news is that the body continues to remodel scar tissue over time, and with the help of natural remedies, you can speed up this process.
Aloe Vera Gel: The Healing Wonder
Aloe vera gel is a popular natural remedy known for its soothing and healing properties. It contains essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help fade scars by promoting collagen production and reducing inflammation.
To use aloe vera gel for scar fading, simply apply a thin layer to the affected area twice daily and massage gently until fully absorbed. Regular use will help soften and fade scars over time.
Why It Works
There is some scientific evidence to suggest aloe vera gel may help reduce scars. Note that its effectiveness can vary from person to person, and not all scars will respond in the same way.
Also note: aloe vera gel is more likely to be effective on fresh scars or scars that are still in the healing process. Older scars or deep scars may not see as much improvement.
If you’ve never used aloe before, do a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any allergic reactions.
Here’s why aloe can work:
Anti-inflammatory properties: Aloe vera contains compounds like acemannan and polysaccharides that have anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation plays a role in scar formation, and by reducing inflammation, aloe vera may help minimize scar tissue.
Collagen production: Aloe vera is believed to promote collagen production in the skin. Collagen is an essential protein that helps with wound healing and tissue repair.
By stimulating collagen synthesis, aloe vera may help in the formation of healthier skin and potentially reduce the appearance of scars.
Moisturizing effect: Aloe vera is an excellent natural moisturizer. By keeping the scar area moisturized, it may help improve the skin’s texture and elasticity, which could contribute to the overall improvement of scars.
Antioxidant properties: Aloe vera contains antioxidants like vitamins C and E, as well as various enzymes, which can help protect the skin from free radicals that can damage skin cells and delay the healing process.
Mild exfoliation: Aloe vera gel can have a gentle exfoliating effect on the skin, which may help to remove dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new, healthier skin tissue.
Honey: The Sweet Solution
There is actually some scientific evidence that honey can help to fade scars. Interestingly, the type of honey used can play a role, with some studies suggesting that medical-grade or “active” honey (such as Manuka honey) may have more potent wound-healing properties.
Why it Works:
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Properties: Honey has natural antibacterial properties due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal, and other compounds. By keeping the wound or scar area clean and free from infection, honey can help the healing process.
Moisturization: Honey is a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture.
Anti-inflammatory Effects: Honey has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce redness, swelling, and irritation around the scar.
Wound Healing: Honey has been shown to promote wound healing by stimulating the growth of new tissue and enhancing the formation of granulation tissue.
Antioxidant Content: Honey contains antioxidants that can protect the skin from oxidative stress, potentially supporting the healing process and minimizing scar formation.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of honey in scar reduction can vary depending on the type and severity of the scar, individual skin characteristics, and other factors. Additionally,
Apply a thin layer of raw honey directly to the scarred area and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. For best results, repeat this process daily.
Lemon Juice: Nature’s Brightening Agent
Lemon juice less well-documented scientifically, but some people find it helps. The way it works is that it’s a natural bleaching agent that can help lighten the appearance of scars.
It’s also possible the high vitamin C content in lemon juice stimulates the production of collagen, promoting skin regeneration.
And its acidic nature may act as a mild exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells and promoting the growth of new skin cells.
Note: lemon can irritate skin. Also, not all scars are darker than skin color. Don’t use it on scars lighter than your skin tone, and always start with less to see how your skin tolerates it.
To use lemon juice for fading scars, squeeze fresh lemon juice into a small bowl, dip a cotton ball into the juice, and apply it directly to the scarred area. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.
It’s important to note that lemon juice can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so be sure to apply sunscreen before going outside.
Coconut Oil: Nourish and Hydrate
Coconut oil is a versatile natural remedy that offers numerous benefits for the skin. Its use in fading scars, however, isn’t well-documented. Results are mixed.
Its moisturizing properties help hydrate the skin, which could reduce the appearance of scars. It also contains fatty acids that aid in the repair of damaged skin cells.
To use, just warm a small amount of coconut oil in your hands until it melts, then gently massage it onto the scarred area for a few minutes. Repeat this process twice daily for optimal results.
Essential Oils: The Fragrant Healers
Certain essential oils are believed to have scar-fading properties due to their regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects. But note the scientific evidence here is lacking compared to the other remedies.
The oils people recommend are tea tree oil, lavender oil, and rosehip oil.
These oils can be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and applied to scars using a cotton swab or your fingertips. Remember to do a patch test before applying essential oils to ensure you are not allergic or sensitive to them.
Exfoliation: Renewing the Skin’s Surface
Regular exfoliation is key to fading scars as it helps remove dead skin cells and promotes the growth of new, healthy cells. You can make a simple homemade exfoliator by mixing sugar or baking soda with olive oil or honey to create a paste.
Gently massage the mixture onto the scarred area in circular motions for a few minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water. Exfoliate once or twice a week to avoid over-exfoliation, which can irritate the skin.
If these are going to help at all, it’s likely to take weeks. Be patient and keep using them daily before you give up.
When to Seek Professional Help
If your scars are severe, deep, or causing significant distress, these remedies probably aren’t going to be enough. A dermatologist or skincare professional can recommend additional treatments such as laser therapy, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels that complement your natural remedies and accelerate scar fading.
Remember, every scar is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be kind to yourself and embrace your journey towards scar fading, knowing that you are taking steps towards healthier and more confident skin.