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Scars are a result of the natural healing process, and so they are usually nothing to be worried about. However, self-care measures and other remedies may help lighten the scars.
It is best to protect yourself from injuries and take proper care of your wounds to avoid scar formation in the first place.
Home Remedies to Treat Scars
You can help improve the appearance of scars using home remedies.
1. Use onions
Onions are rich in medicinal compounds that stimulate the healing of a wound or injury. These can be ground to a paste and applied topically to help reduce the formation of scars.
A study demonstrated that the use of a 12% onion extract gel thrice a day could help reduce scar height and other scar symptoms post-operation. (1)
Another study found that onion extract gels can safely improve the appearance of new scars by influencing their redness, smoothness, and softness. (2)
Application of onion in the form of paste or extract-containing gels not only improves scars but also helps prevent scar formation.
2. Apply vitamin C
Vitamin C available in the form of topical oils and serums, can aid in the healing of scars.
One study showed that the topical application of a silicone gel containing vitamin C could help improve fine scars on the facial skin of Asians. (3)
Another study demonstrated the safe and effective use of the hyaluronic acid sponge system along with vitamin C for scars older than 4 weeks, especially post-surgery. (4)
Vitamin C aids in the stimulation of collagen production, thus helping in the reduction of scars.
3. Massage with almond oil
Almond oil has a high content of vitamin E and fatty acid, which help in skin repair. Therefore, massaging the affected area with almond oil at bedtime can help improve scar appearance.
A study demonstrated the effectiveness of a 15-minute massage using almond oil during pregnancy in reducing the appearance of striae gravidarum. (5)
Another study revealed that sweet almond oil helped relieve the itch associated with striae and prevented its progression. (6)
Almond oil has been shown to help inhibit striae development and therefore aids in preventing stretch marks.
Self-Care Tips to Manage Scars
The following lifestyle changes and self-care methods can help reduce the appearance of the scars.
1. Use OTC creams, gels, or ointments
2. Try scar massage
Wearing a pressure appliance over the scar, generally, up to 6 months continually, stimulates collagen maturation and remodeling of the scar. It also helps reorient collagen fibers, improve pliability, and disrupt fibrotic tissue. (8)
3. Use silicone sheets or gels
These products create a waterproof seal over the scar to protect it from bacteria and dirt while maintaining a moist environment ideal for skin healing. A study found silicone gel to be effective in reducing scar texture by 86%, scar color by 84%, and scar height by 68%. (9)
4. Opt for a skin camouflage
Special makeup suitable for covering scars is readily available in pharmacies. This type of makeup is especially useful in covering facial scars.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking can interfere with the healing process and can worsen the scars. It is in your best interest to quit this habit.
6. Protect your skin from the sun
Damaged skin can discolor on sun exposure for up to 6 months post-injury. Therefore, avoid sun exposure while your skin is healing by covering the cut with clothes or using sunscreen after 2 weeks of the injury.
7. Exercise regularly
This helps prevent stiffness in the joints around the scar. Physiotherapy and exercise also release tensions arising from scar tissue and improve tissue perfusion, thereby relieving articular contractures. (10)
ALSO READ: Medical Treatment of Scars
Scar formation can primarily be prevented by avoiding injuries, wounds, and accidents. If an injury does occur, the following tips can help reduce the likeliness of scar formation:
- Keep the cut, injury, or scrape clean at all times.
- Apply an ointment to the wound immediately.
- Use a bandage to cover the wound.
- Change the dressing regularly.
- Use sunscreen after the wound is healed to help fade the scar.
While you can treat minor wounds or scrapes at home, it is recommended to get professional medical help if you have a deep or painful wound or if your skin is infected.
While most scars fade over time, some may require treatment to help improve their appearance, including keloids and depressed acne scars.
However, the best measure is to prevent the formation of scars. This can be done by enabling proper healing, supported by the use of onions, vitamins C and E, proper wound care, and sun protection.