We all have scars. Both physical and metaphorical. I am the biggest advocate for changing the way we view our scars; for seeing them as battle wounds that we survived. But I also recognize that they can become heavy. That they can tear away at our self-esteem and confidence.
Whether it's acne scars from your teenage years, stretch marks from your first pregnancy, or self-inflicted scars from a particularly difficult time in your life, there are many reasons why you may be seeking to lighten those deep brown, purple, or green tones that some scars can have.
When it comes to lightening scars, experts say it is important to know not only how scars form, but what type of scar you’re dealing with. Here’s a breakdown:
When a wound is deep enough to penetrate the dermis – the second layer of your skin – a scar is formed. Collagen fibers created as a repair mechanism by the body lead to the formation of scar tissue, leaving the discoloration you are likely familiar with.
Generally, the more surface a wound, the quicker it takes to heal which means minimal scarring. That said, the more severe a wound, the more severe the scar will be.
It is also worth noting that the formation, color, and shape of scars are highly dependent on their location, as well as the age of the person in question.
The different types of scars:
“Atrophic scars are characterized by the loss of tissue. They appear depressed, serrated, or flat against the upper layer of the skin. Often atrophic scars have darker skin pigmentation than other areas of your skin. Examples of atrophic scars include acne scars and chickenpox scars.”
“Hypertrophic scars are characterized by excess tissue that forms over the skin as it heals. Unlike a keloid scar, it does not grow outside the injured area. Hypertrophic scars are commonly darker than other skin in the area.”
Keloid scars are the result of aggressive healing and the overproduction of tissue. They are characterized by a raised, thick, puffy appearance. They are typically darker than the surrounding skin. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloid scars can grow beyond the injured area.
Contracture scars result from large areas of skin being lost or damaged, typically from burns. They are characterized by tight, shiny skin that can restrict movement.
As you read through this list of natural remedies though, I want to remind you that your scars are beautiful. That they tell the story of your trials, your triumphs, and all the things that have made you you.
Remove the dark green “skin” from the flatter side of an aloe vera leaf.
Scoop out the almost clear light green gel.
Apply the gel directly to your scar using circular motions.
After half an hour, wash the gel off with fresh, cool water.
Repeat twice each day.
Cut open a vitamin E capsule over the scar and squeeze the oil onto the scar (you might need more than just one capsule to get enough liquid for full coverage).
For about 10 minutes, massage the oil on and around the scar.
After about 20 minutes wash off the oil with warm water.
Repeat this process a minimum of 3 times per day.
Before going to bed, cover your scar with a layer of honey.
Wrap the honey-covered scar with a bandage.
Leave it on for one full night.
In the morning, remove the bandage and wash off the honey with warm water.
Make this part of your routine every night.
Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil, just enough to liquefy it.
Massage the oil into the scar for about 10 minutes.
Let the skin absorb the oil for a minimum of one hour.
Repeat two to four times every day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine 4 tablespoons of distilled water with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Dip a cotton ball into the water-cider mixture and generously dab your scar.
Let it dry.
Do this every night before you go to bed, washing the area in the morning.
Lavender and olive oil
Mix three drops of lavender essential oil into three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
Massage the mixture into the scarred area for about 5 minutes.
Leave the oil in place for about 30 minutes.
Rinse the area with warm water.
Repeat this process a minimum of three times a day.
Cut a wedge from a fresh lemon.
Gently rub the juicy side of the lemon on the scar while you squeeze the juice onto the scar.
Relax for about 10 minutes before rinsing off the area with cool water.
Do this every day at approximately the same time.
Slice a potato into medium-thick rounds.
Using a circular motion, rub the potato slice on your scar.
Once the potato slice starts to dry out, discard it and continue rubbing with another slice.
Continue rubbing and replacing for about 20 minutes and then let the scar air-dry for about 10 minutes.
Rinse the area with cool water.
Repeat this process at least one time each day
Rosehip & Frankincense
Mix equal parts rosehip essential oil and frankincense essential oil.
Massage the rosehip-frankincense mixture onto the scar.
Wait for 45 minutes before gently rinsing the area with warm water.
Follow this procedure three times a day.
Mix distilled water — a little at a time — into two tablespoons of baking soda until it forms a paste.
Wet your scar with distilled water and then apply the paste to the wet scar.
Hold the paste in place with a warm compress for 15 minutes.
Rinse the area and repeat daily.
When trying these remedies, it is important that you be sure to wash, disinfect and dry the affected area before applying anything topically.
Also, these are meant to be used on healed scars and not open wounds. Anything that causes pain or discomfort should be stopped immediately.
Remember, the phrase “time heals all wounds” isn’t only true in the metaphorical sense. These remedies are not overnight cures, and you’ll need to be patient. But if you stay diligent, and combine the methods that work best for you, we’re sure you’ll see noticeable improvement.