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August 31, 2020
Can old scars be removed? If you have old scars formed from acne, burn, surgery, or chickenpox and wondering how to get rid of them, you’ve come to the right place.
When healing, an injury seems to become softer, smoother, and paler for a period, leaving behind permanent marks that tarnish your skin. As you age, these marks become more noticeable as wrinkles form around the area.
Having these old scars glaring, especially in exposed areas like the face or legs, is somewhat embarrassing. It can even affect one’s self-esteem and lower their confidence.
So what can you do to remove old scars?
This article answers some of the frequently asked questions about old scars. We’ve also compiled a list of natural and medical remedies that can help fade the scar and make them less noticeable.
Old scars are marks that form from past injuries, whether from insect bites, burns, surgery, or chickenpox, to mention but a few. Before we explore how to remove old scars, let’s first understand the different types of scars.
Scars come in all shapes and sizes. Here are the main types of scars:
These are elevated and large scars that grow outside over and above the original wound. They mostly form at the back, chest, and behind the ear lobes. These benign tumors can be revised surgically, but they still reappear even after surgery.
These are raised but firm growths that don’t form beyond the affected area. They appear to have modular structures.
Unlike other scars that grow outwardly, Atrophic scars create an indentation or sunken marks on the affected area.
These are scars that result from burn wounds. They make the skin tighten and contract together. They can affect the nerves and muscles beneath the affected skin, limiting movement of the affected area.
Old scars rarely get infected. But, you can develop an infection in the skin fold, causing a secondary infection of the scar tissue.
Yes, old scars can become relatively itchy. This may happen during sudden weight changes due to the variation in tension on the scar.
Yes. Old scars tend to hurt years later. This pain may come on because of nerves that develop after the injury heals itself. The good thing is, you don’t have to worry much – there are several options to help get rid of old scars.
You can decide to either go natural or choose different medical treatment options. Here are some of the natural remedies to help lighten or fade old scars.
Raw honey is a widely known therapy that has been used for centuries as alternative medicine. Honey is rich in bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-biotic properties useful in stimulating tissue regeneration.
Use of honey alone or mixing it with different natural products like baking soda, cinnamon, or apple cider vinegar help treat old scars.
Massage raw honey in the area and wash it after a few minutes. Alternatively, combine honey with the other ingredient and massage the mixture on the scarred area gently. Let it rest for a few minutes and rinse it off.
Do this daily for two to three days. If you are allergic to honey, then this method is not safe for you.
Lemon can reduce the appearance of scars resulting from acne, zits, and pimples. It helps repair the affected areas’ skin as it contains bioactive compounds known to exhibit antioxidant qualities.
You need 3 to 4 teaspoons of lemon juice and a cotton ball. Dip the cotton ball into the juice and then dab it on the scarred area.
Be ready for a stinging sensation after applying it to the skin. Leave it there for around ten minutes and then wash it off. Apply a moisturizer or sunscreen if you intend to go out in the sun.
Repeat this routine daily for two to three days. Use this method only if you’re not allergic to lemon.
Onions are also rich in anti-inflammatory properties that help inhibit collagen production. This helps fade the scars away.
Squeeze a little fresh onion juice and apply it on the scar. Then, let it dry naturally and wash it off after 15 minutes. Repeat this 3 to 4 times a day and moisturize.
4.Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera gel is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties. The gel can encourage tissue regeneration and reduce skin irritation.
You can either apply a store-based organic aloe vera gel or a freshly extracted one on the scars. Massage it thoroughly and let it remain there. Don’t wash it off until you are ready to reapply. Do this at least two to three times a day for a while for good results.
Another excellent homemade remedy is the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil contains vitamins, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds that help develop tissues and skin cells. Also, it has antimicrobial properties that are ideal for the prevention of further breakouts.
Get one teaspoon of virgin coconut oil. Rub the coconut oil between your palms and then dab it on the scars. Let it remain there overnight. Repeat this every night before you sleep for a week
Here are the medical methods you can opt for include:
1.Over the Counter Creams and Drugs
From silicone-filled bandages to traditional ointments, OTC treatments hydrate the skin and minimize the scar’s overall appearance. Applying OTC scar ointments and drugs can fade old scars. Also, they reduce discomfort and itching that you may be having.
Some of the great OTC examples include Mederma, Peter Thomas Roth Acne Discovery Kit, Proactiv Advanced Dark Spot Correcting Serum, and Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel.
Mederma is an excellent OTC cream that has a chemical formulation of aqueous onion extracts. The ointment can eliminate post-surgical scars. Contact your doctor or dermatologist before using any OTC cream. They may take time before they work, and continuous use can increase the side effects risks like the development of rashes or irritation.
Studies show Silicone Gel or sheeting can help improve an old scar’s appearance. Applying Silicone gel and Silicone sheeting, on the other hand, is more effective in improving the appearance of hypertrophic scars. This method has a low risk of side effects, is painless, and easy to use. Also, it is available in many stores, and you can get it even without a prescription.
You can lighten old scars with chemical exfoliants made with chemical peels. The procedure is also perfect in improving the overall skin texture as well as removing skin dullness. Different chemical peels work on different types of scars. However, the procedure works best for superficial scars.
People use chemical peels for a variety of cosmetic concerns, including scar and wrinkle minimization. Chemical peels remove the outer layer of skin (epidermis) to regenerate new skin cells through a process known as exfoliation.
Typically, chemical peels do not remove scars but minimize their appearance. They are ideal for flattened surface scars only.
You need to use them regularly to achieve optimum results. A specialist may recommend 2-4 weeks based on the types of ingredients used and individual intolerance.
Chemical peels use salicylic acid, pyruvic acid, glycolic acid, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA). They have side effects, including redness, burning, and peeling.
Microdermabrasion also removes the top layer of the skin (epidermis). Unlike chemical peels that use acids, microdermabrasion uses abrasive ingredients.
A skincare specialist carries out the procedure. The process works best when regularly done and works best for smaller surface scars.
Unlike microdermabrasion that removes the outer skin layer only, dermabrasion removes both the outer layer (epidermis) and the middle layer of skin (dermis). This is also conducted by a skin specialist and might even require general anesthesia. The specialist uses a sanding machine against your skin to remove layers to remain with smoother and evenly toned skin.
This method is not useful for deeper scars and has several side effects, including new spots, the blotchy coloring of the skin, enlarged pores, and even infection.
Another tremendous old scars treatment is micro-needling, also referred to as “collagen-induction therapy” or just“needling.” It is a treatment that involves using needles to puncture your skin gradually.
This process helps stimulate the production of collagen used in wound healing. Its side effects include swelling, bruising, and infection. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) usually recommends doing follow-up treatments every two to six weeks for better results. Significant results will start to manifest within nine months.
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