Scar Tissue - Part 2 The Natural Remedies

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Scarring is an inevitable part of life. Luckily with time and patience; there are home and professional remedies to get rid of them or at the very least, diminish their appearance.


If you've read part 1, you'll know how to identify which scar you have and thus find a solution for it. The next few posts will be dedicated to each of the 4 categories of remedies so as not to give you info overload.


These are:
  • At-home natural remedies
  • At home medical remedies
  • Professional care medical remedies
  • Surgery

Although I prefer at-home treatments, one has to remember that some scars need more aggressive treatments hence my inclusion of professional treatments such as surgery. Depending on the depth, age and severity of your scars; you can pick which treatment will work best for you. Maybe even try a few at once. 

At-home Natural Remedies





Lemon

Lemons contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) which help to remove dead skin cells, encourage cell turnover and increase elasticity of the skin. As a natural bleaching agent, it can help lighten scars.

Make sure the scar and surrounding area are cleaned thoroughly first (take a warm shower beforehand)

Apply 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a cotton disk
Rub the disk on the scarred area
Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off
Lemon juice makes skin photosensitive so please make sure you wear sunscreen before going outdoors.


Cucumber paste

Cucumbers contain some of the highest water percentages in fruits and vegetables. They are known to soften and hydrate skin with periodic use. You can get cucumber paste from health stores or prepare your own organic cucumber paste at home:

Remove any visible seeds and blend 3- 4 cucumbers with few mint leaves and one teaspoon of lemon juice.
In a separate bowl crack an egg and beat thoroughly.
Spoon out the blended cucumber into a jar and add the egg.
Shake gently and apply the mixture on your scar (works really well for facial and chest scarring)
Let it dry for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.

You may also use the paste as a mask for dry skin 

Baking Soda


Baking soda is a popular remedy for removing acne scars through its exfoliating effects. The gentle coarse granules of soda mixed with water remove the dead skin layer off your face without causing any inflammation. 

Take a couple of teaspoons of baking soda and using water make a thick paste.
Gently massage your face with this paste focusing on pimple scars.
After massaging for 1-2 minutes, leave the paste there on the face for 10 minutes.
Rinse off with warm water.
Apply some moisturiser, preferably E.V olive oil.
Repeat the process twice or thrice a week.

I like using this when I've run out of exfoliant.


Raw Potato


Raw potato seems to work really well in fading acne marks, however it has a mild skin bleaching effect. Use with caution and a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Patience too. I'd say 1 - 2 months for a noticeable difference.

Grate a medium sized potato (leave the skin on) into a clean dry bowl.
Using the tips of your fingers rub it gently over your face in circular motion.
Keep doing this for 2 minutes.
Leave on to dry for about 15-20 minutes.
Rinse off thoroughly with warm water. 

Pat skin dry
Apply some moisturiser 

Alternatively use thinly sliced potatoes to make a mask and follow the same instructions as above.

Do the potato massage 3-4 times a week for at least 1-2 months depending on the intensity of your facial scars


Oils 

Lavender and flax seed are the little known oils you should be using in your scar treatments. Everyone knows about coconut oil and shea butter for hydrating skin - however these 2 pack quite a punch for fading and hydrating scars. Massage into scarred skin twice or thrice a day (preferably after a bath/shower to lock moisture). The massage action is really important. Increase blood-flow means a faster healing time if the scar is fresh or better, more noticeable results in older scars. Olive oil is another one of my favourites (especially for acne scars, this is why I like using it for oil cleansing on its own.


Olive oil is an excellent remedy for scars due to the high acidity and antioxidant levels of olives. It contains a lot of skin friendly vitamins like A, D, C, B1 and B2 and iron. The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil also help remove acne scars. It also contains Vitamin E and K that are known to promote skin healing and regeneration.

Pour a small amount of olive oil into your palm and use your fingers to gently massage the oil all over your scars. Rub gently and let the oil stay on your face/ scars for an additional 10 minutes. Thoroughly wipe away with a warm moist cloth. You can either massage the olive oil as you would with lavender and flaxseed or use the oil cleansing method for all three oils. 

Grapeseed extract, jojoba and almond oil are all effective scar treatments, especially when combined together.

Tea tree oil has strong scar fading and cleansing properties that make it an ideal remedy to remove surgical scars and scars from various skin conditions. You can dilute it with water to minimise skin irritation.

Mix warm water and add a small amount of tea tree oil in a clean bowl.
Prepare the soapy mixture and slowly cleanse and massage your scar.
Leave on for a few minutes then wash off with warm water.
You may experience tingling but that's normal as tea tree oil has an antibacterial and astringent effect. 

Finally - my favourite all purpose oil - Castor Oil
Use with a plastic wrap and a heating pad.

NB: Be sure to use only food grade saran wrap, NOT any old plastic bags plastic bags.

Rub a generous amount castor oil on the scar and then wrap the area with the plastic wrap. Place a heating pad turned on as high a setting as you comfortably stand and leave on for 20 to 25 minutes. If you can't get one use wet, heated towels. This is one of my favourite scar treatments because the heat from the pads or towels have a great muscle relaxing effect. 

Remember that not all oils are created equally. Make sure you use organic, cold-pressed oils. Though slightly more expensive - you get what you pay for.



Raw Honey

Honey can also be used to fade scars. Besides being a natural disinfectant, it's a great moisturiser, effective in the treatment of wounds, and stimulates tissue regeneration. Make sure you use the purest, organic honey you can find.


Mix 2 tablespoons of raw honey with 2 tablespoons of baking soda
Massage scarred skin for 3 minutes
Place a hot, wet towel over the area
When the towel has cooled, use it to wipe the area clean

If you're trying to fade facial marks try mixing 2 tablespoons of raw honey with 1 tablespoon of baking soda to make an exfoliating wash to help fade acne scars.



Aloe Vera


Another fave of mine and a  "wonder " plant that's been used for years to speed up scar healing or minimise their appearance.


Aloe Vera comes in the form of gels, creams or juices for both internal and external use. Although the convenience of an over-the-counter gel cannot be overstated; the benefits of aloe are best seen in the plant's sticky gel-like secretions when you break off a leaf. This gel works very well on new scars, speeding up healing time and also lifting and tightening the skin around the scar. Apply the gel direct from the plant twice or thrice a day on your scar. The scent is so light you needn't worry about weird odours or clashing with your perfume. 

The most effective form of aloe vera for scars is the pure gel with no additives. Frequent application is not known to have any adverse effects, and the more frequent the application, the more likely it is to be effective. Keep a plant in your house especially if you burn yourself frequently. 

Aloe Vera helps promote the regeneration of skin and in addition induces a soothing effect when applied topically on the skin by reducing inflammation and swelling. 




All these at-home remedies are not going to remove your scars overnight. The key to natural lessening and elimination of scar tissue is persistence. Serious scars may take up to several months, but with persistent and consistent effort you should eventually see good results.












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