Scar tissue is a common beauty concern for many. It is the tissue that replaces normal skin when the skin has been damaged beyond its first layer. This can occur for several reasons like minor burns, cuts, scrapes, acne, a fungal infection, bites or some kind of surgery.
Technically speaking, scar tissue is the same type of tissue as healthy skin. But it looks different because the fibers in this tissue are arranged differently.
Scar tissue does not cause pain, but it is definitely a beauty concern for many and so people look for various options to get rid of it.
You can try some natural remedies to help fade and minimize scar tissue. Bear in mind, results may vary from person to person depending on the depth and severity of the problem. Scar tissue also tends to fade naturally over a period of time.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of scar tissue.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids that act as antioxidants, preventing and reversing free radical damage. This oil can effectively stimulate collagen production and soften the skin to speed up the healing process.
- Warm 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in the microwave.
- Apply this warm oil to the affected area, gently massaging using small circular motions until it gets absorbed.
- Repeat several times daily until you get the desired result.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is known for its ability to regenerate skin tissue and can help reduce the size and appearance of scars. Its soothing and moisturizing property will increase the elasticity of scar tissue and help reduce inflammation.
- Cut an aloe vera leaf in half and squeeze out the gel.
- Apply the gel on the scar and massage gently for several minutes.
- Allow it to dry on its own, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Do this several times a day for 1 or 2 months.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another very popular remedy to get rid of scar tissue. It is an effective antioxidant and has a moisturizing property that helps revitalize and nourish the skin. Plus, it can stimulate the formation of collagen, which improves skin texture and strength.
- Extract the liquid from a vitamin E capsule and apply it on the scar 2 or 3 times daily for several weeks. You can also use a vitamin E cream.
- Plus, include foods rich in vitamin E in your diet like almonds, safflower oil, hazelnuts and peanut butter.
4. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a very effective way to deal with scar tissue. Lemon has alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) that help remove dead skin cells and regenerate and repair damaged skin. Plus, it works as a natural bleach to help lighten scars as well as blemishes.
- Apply freshly extracted lemon juice on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
- Apply some moisturizer.
- Follow this remedy twice daily for several weeks until you are satisfied with the result.
Note: As lemon juice can make your skin sensitive to light, always wear sunscreen before going outside.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another excellent remedy to get rid of scar tissue is apple cider vinegar. Its acidic nature will exfoliate the affected skin and remove dead skin, which in turn will reduce the appearance of scars.
- Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it on the affected area.
- Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash it off with water.
- Apply some moisturizing lotion.
- Use this treatment a few times daily for a few weeks.
Note: If apple cider vinegar causes skin irritation, dilute it with water before using.
6. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil contains skin cell rejuvenating properties that can help treat scar tissue and keloid scars. It helps increase the skin cell turnover rate, in turn preventing scars from becoming permanent.
- Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil on the scar. Massage gently in circular motions for 10 to 15 minutes so that the oil penetrates deep into the skin.
- Another option is to mix equal amounts of lavender oil and olive oil, apply it on the affected area and massage gently for several minutes.
Follow either of these remedies twice daily for several weeks to get positive results.
As honey is a natural moisturizer, it is often used to treat scar tissue. Honey can stimulate tissue regeneration as well as prevent excess collagen growth and dead skin accumulation.
- Apply raw honey on the affected area and massage for 10 minutes. Leave it on for about 1 hour, then rinse it off with warm water. Do this twice daily for several weeks.
- Another option is to prepare a mixture with 2 tablespoons of raw honey and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Apply this paste on the affected area, massage for 2 to 3 minutes and place a hot washcloth over the area. When the washcloth becomes cool, wipe the area with it. Repeat 3 or 4 times a week for a few months.
8. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter can also help treat scar tissue. It is a natural moisturizing agent that can moisturize deep into the skin layers. Plus, it is rich in vitamin E that aids skin repair.
- Rub the affected skin with a wet, coarse washcloth and towel dry.
- Massage a spoonful of pure cocoa butter into the skin using firm, circular motions.
- Repeat up to 3 times a day for several weeks.
9. Sandalwood Powder
Sandalwood powder is another good home remedy for removing scar tissue. Sandalwood has many skin-regenerating properties that can reduce and lighten scars.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of pure sandalwood powder with enough rose water to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on the affected area before going to bed.
- Leave it on until it dries completely and then wash it off the next morning with lukewarm water.
- Do this daily for 1 to 2 months.
10. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has strong scar-removing as well as skin-healing properties that make it an ideal remedy for removing scar tissue. As this oil is very strong, dilute it with water before using.
- Add 2 drops of tea tree oil to one teaspoon of olive oil or almond oil. Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours before washing it off. Do this once daily for several weeks.
- Another option is to add 2 or 3 drops of tea tree oil to 1/2 cup of warm water. Use it to wash the affected area twice daily for several wekes.
- You can also wash the affected area using soap made with tea tree oil twice daily.
- You can crush 2 aspirins and add water to make a paste and apply it on the scar twice daily.
- You can also apply white toothpaste to help cure scars.
- Massage the area with oil to soften the dead skin tissue and reduce the size of the scar.
- Taking vitamin C supplements can also facilitate the healing process.
- Eat foods rich in beta-carotene as well as zinc to help your body deal with scar tissue.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydrated skin.
- Avoid pricking or scratching the tissue with your nails or another sharp tool.
These natural treatments may take time to show results, but they will be less abrasive and harmful than chemical or surgical treatments. Plus, these remedies help restore your skin’s natural ability to heal.
Expert Answers (Q&A)
Answered by Dr. Anne Truitt, MD (Dermatologist)
What are the different types of scars?
Some background information on scars need to be discussed as there are many different types and sources (i.e., trauma, surgical, acne). Scars are the result of cutaneous healing, and the type will often dictate the treatment.
Deeper traumatic scars can be permanent and can possibly lead to hypertrophic or keloid scarring. Normal skin with shallow abrasions can heal quickly with little residual effect over time which is only temporarily noticeable.
Patients with prominent cystic acne can have permanent deep dermal scars if the acne is not treated and controlled quickly. There are certain surgical techniques that can minimize the permanent scarring resulting from skin cancer treatment; however, surgical scars will distinctly improve with time but usually never completely disappear.
Regardless of the reason for scarring, the character of a scar is often related to genetics, location of the scar, any concurrent inflammation, and hormones.
Can scars fade on their own?
Yes, scars can fade with time. They will be most prominent for the first 6 months post procedure if surgically created, with considerable improvement usually reported in the first month itself. They will continue to fade until about one year, but the majority of improvement will be in the first 6 months.
Acne scar discoloration will fade with time, but will often be noticeable with a permanent “boxcar” or “pitting” appearance, unless treated.
What is the best remedy to lighten scars?
When referring to the color of scars, there are usually two types of discoloration: redness and brown pigmentation. Topical treatment for redness can include silicone pads or gel; for brown pigment, I like Skin Ceuticals Discoloration Defense and Murad Rapid Lightning (no financial interest).
Other products contain hydroquinone, retinoid, azelaic acid, kojic acid, or tranexamic acid, and these are best used under the care of a doctor.
Laser is also excellent for treating both of these types of discoloration as well as hypopigmentation (loss of pigment).
Is vitamin E a good remedy for scar treatment?
Vitamin E has not been shown to consistently improve scars, and some dermatologists state that it may impede wound healing.
Vitamin C is preferred as it is an antioxidant and works with collagenase (stimulates collagen production). It has been used in combination with silicone gel for the treatment of scars.
Is it possible to treat internal scar tissue?
Cutaneous dermal scarring is the basis of a skin scar which can be treated with Kenalog injections, laser, or surgical resection.
Is laser surgery a good option for treating scars?
Laser is one of the most effective treatments for scars. Both ablative and non-ablative lasers can be used for this purpose. Ablative surgery is majorly concerned with destroying and then rebuilding the tissue, and thus requires more healing time.
We use the non-ablative Cynosure 1540nm, but there are many different types of lasers that can improve scars significantly. It will often require multiple treatments (3-6) about 3-4 weeks apart depending upon which laser is used.
What is the best way to get rid of acne scars?
There really is no way to get rid of acne scars, but improvement is certainly possible. Most important is to treat acne early so as to prevent scarring. Laser is really the best way to get the most improvement in texture, color, and tone of the skin after acne scarring. Chemical peels can also show improvement but would need to be of deeper depth to get the most improvement.
Do acne scars cause permanent marks?
A scar, by definition, is technically a permanent mark on the skin. Cystic acne is one of the prime culprits for prominent and permanent scarring. Early treatment of this skin condition is perhaps the best prevention against permanent scarring.
Please provide some important tips or inputs regarding the effective removal of scar tissue.
Obtain treatments through an experienced board-certified dermatologist who specializes in scar treatment. Topical agents, chemical peels, and lasers can have deleterious effects if not used properly for the type of skin and scar to be treated.
Speak at length with the doctor to let him/her know what is bothering you the most about the scar: color, position, depth, texture. Each of these is a separate entity that may require different treatments. Follow exactly the post-operative instructions provided by the doctor.
Use good sunscreen protection. Scars do not like the sun. Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher with at least 5% zinc oxide provides good broad-spectrum protection. Reapply as needed. Hats, clothing, and sunglasses are also important to protect the skin.
About Dr. Anne Truitt, MD: Dr. Truitt is a Board Certified Specialist in Dermatology and has special expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers to include melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and other types of skin growths.