A scar develops when fibrous tissue called fibrosis replaces old skin after a wound or injury. Scarring is a natural part of the body’s healing process. Almost all types of injury results to scarring. There are many factors involved in the degree or level of scarring such as severity of injury, age, genes and sex.
There are several types of scars namely keloid, hypertrophic, and contracture scars. Keloids develop when the healing process of the injury becomes over aggressive, thus the development of new skin extends beyond the wound. Keloids are most common in people with dark skin. Small keloids can be treated with topical creams, while larger or extreme keloid formation often requires surgery.
Contracture scarring is commonly due to skin burning, which often affects the muscles and nerves. This type of scarring may also decrease movement ability as the skin is tightened. Lastly, hypertrophic scars are usually red in color but similar to keloids. This type of scarring is usually treated by silicone injections or the use of steroids to minimize inflammation and swelling.
Scars often develop on the area affected by an injury where fibrous tissues that are red or purple in color are seen. Over time, these tissues turn pale to brown while becoming flat and less remarkable.
Development of scars can be caused by many factors:
• Accidental injury – injury from riding a bike or other sports related injuries
• Deliberate or forced harm – injury from an attack with weapon, or self-inflicted wounds
• Body piercings which include ears, nose, lips etc.
• Accidental burns which usually happen in households
• Insect or animal bites or injuries
• Surgical operation
Natural home treatment for Scars
Scars can be annoying and reduce self-confidence of the affected person. Severe scars are usually treated by plastic surgery, but with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, there are many effective natural treatments to minimize the size and level of scars. Below are some of the various scar treatments you can do at the comfort of your home without hurting your pockets.
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is packed with antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, which have been proven to minimize the possibility of developing keloid scars while promote faster skin tissue repair. In addition, this healthy oil can also be used as an effective moisturizer for the skin. For fresh wound or injury, coconut oil’s antibacterial properties can also decrease bacterial infection.
Apply coconut oil on the affected area at least 3 times daily, morning, noon and before sleeping. Make sure to pick the best brand of coconut oil which is available in supermarkets. After applying, wrap the affected area with a bandage or gauge to prevent the oil from coming in contact with other things.
Aside from applying topically, you can also directly consume coconut oil. Take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in the morning, preferably after breakfast. Take another teaspoon before going to bed. You can also mix 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to your favorite drinks such as coffee or tea.
2. Onion Extract
Onions are rich with bioflavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol and cepalin, all of which have been proven to effectively treat scars. Studies showed that applying onion extract on scars resulted to softer skin and faster wound heating. The daily application also resulted to decreased swelling while the scarred area became lighter.
Look for scar treatment gels that contain onion extracts. Apply on the affected area once a day or as prescribed by your doctor. After four to eight weeks of daily application, you will notice dramatic improvement of the scar.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is primarily known as a very effective skin moisturizer. However, it is also packed with healing properties that work best with faster wound healing and treating scars. Furthermore, aloe Vera has been proven to increase tissue repair.
Get 3 to 5 aloe Vera leaves and extract the gel substance. Liberally apply the aloe Vera gel in the affected area. Leave for a few hours until it dries out. To prevent spilling, put bandage or gauge. Repeat this process at least 3 times daily. You can also leave the gel on the affected area when going to bed.
You can also look for drinks that contain aloe Vera and consume during breakfast and before sleeping. Although extracting aloe Vera leaves on your own ensures that you get the freshest gel, you can also buy commercially made aloe Vera lotions and creams from drugstores.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is highly demanded for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, which prevent wound infection and minimize scarring. Tea Tree Oil works best with acne scars and other hypertrophic scars.
Apply tea tree oil on the affected area at least twice a day, preferably before going to bed. To get more anti-scarring power, you can mix 1 teaspoon of tree tea oil with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and apply to the affected area before sleeping. Leave overnight and wash with lukewarm water in the morning.
5. Emu Oil
Emu oil, which comes from the fats of Emu birds, is another effective natural cure for scars. This unique oil contains high levels of omega acids that promote faster wound and scar healing. It is also easily absorbed by the skin, enabling it to penetrate hard and deep scars. In addition, Emu oil is also loaded with moisturizing properties that make skin more elastic and radiant looking.
Look for Emu oil in supermarkets or drugstores and apply liberally on the affected area in the morning and evening. Make sure to wash off with lukewarm water after waking up.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar from apple cider is a highly demanded natural ingredient due to its versatility in treating numerous health conditions including skin issues. This heathy vinegar is a natural astringent and disinfectant, making it an effective cure for acne and acne scars. In addition, it helps remove dead skin cells while promoting growth of new skin.
Get a small cotton and dab in apple cider vinegar. Apply on the affected area at least 3 times a day. You may feel a little sting during the first few days because of the acid content. Also, do not mind the smell of the vinegar. Leave for an hour or two before washing off with lukewarm water.
Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water. Mix well. Drink two glasses of this drink mixture, preferably during morning and before sleeping.
7. Baking Soda
Aside from being a common baking ingredient, baking soda can also fight wound infections and scarring. It is loaded with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which promote faster wound healing and growth of new skin tissues.
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with lukewarm water. Stir well. You can also add 1 teaspoon of honey and several drops of lemon to get more anti-scar power. Apply on the affected area at least 3 times daily. Leave for about an hour or two before washing of with water. You can also put a bandage on the affected area to prevent from falling off.
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