We are all familiar with scars. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process of cuts, wounds, lacerations, and even acne. In young children, scars usually fade as they grow, unless they are very deep, whereas, in adults, they tend to remain. Scars can make for exciting tales of battle. But mostly, they tend to be ugly and can make you self-conscious. So, do you want to know how to get rid of scars naturally? I am sure, you do.

There are some effective natural methods to get rid of scars such as lemon juice, raw honey, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, emu oil, etc.

Natural methods may not be effective on keloid scars as they are only effective on fresh scars. But before we talk about anything, let’s understand different types of scars.

What are the different types of scars?

A scar is formed of fibrous tissue that replaces normal tissue at the site of injury. There are various types of scars ranging from simple small ones to large keloids.

Normal scars

Normal scars are flat, in line with the skin surface and remain confined to the wound margins.

Hypertrophic scar

A hypertrophic scar is one which is confined to margins of the wound but raised from the surface, commonly seen where wound healing occurs under extreme tension.

It forms due to excessive collagen deposition, around 4-8 weeks following injury and is seen as a red, raised lesion.

Keloid

Keloid is a more severe form of scarring,  usually seen in people of African origin. It spreads beyond its margins and is elevated from the surface. Wounds due to surgery, trauma or even vaccination can induce keloid formation.

Common sites for keloids are over the shoulder and chest region. Paradoxically, surgical removal of keloid can sometimes make it worse.

Trophic scars

Atrophic scars are formed when underlying support structures such as muscle, bone, and fascia are lost or damaged. They are common sequelae of acne, chickenpox or spider bites. These are also seen in Ehler-Danlos syndrome.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks ( also called striae) are also a form of scarring, seen when skin is stretched excessively such as in significant weight gain, pregnancy, wound healing near joints, etc.

They usually improve in appearance after a few years. People suffering from Cushing syndrome, a form of hypercortisolism also suffer from striae.

Contractures

Contractures are scars which develop over large wounds such as burns. These can cause significant impairment of mobility and are usually unavoidable even with the best of treatment.

Although devastating to victims, it is rare to eliminate contractures completely.

How to get rid of scars with natural methods?

People suffering from skin disorders should consult a dermatologist before using any of the natural remedies listed below.

1) Lemon juice

Lemon juice is rich in alpha hydroxy acids which help to remove dead cells and assist in the proliferation of new cells. It acts as a natural bleaching agent which helps to lighten scars.

It is also loaded with vitamin C and helps in collagen formation, which gives tensile strength to the skin. The acidic nature of the juice helps to kill bacteria on the skin.

How to use it?

  • Squeeze the lemon to obtain the juice in a bowl.
  • Wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Pat it dry with a clean cloth.
  • An optional but beneficial step is to apply a hot wet towel over the affected area and leave it until the towel no longer feels warm. This allows for better absorption.
  • Take a few cotton balls and dip them in the undiluted lemon juice. Dab it over the scar. Avoid spreading it over unaffected skin as it can irritate the skin.
  • Rinse with water after 10 minutes. Avoid going out in the sun as lemon juice can sensitize your skin to ultraviolet radiation.

How to get rid of scars

2) Shea butter

You can apply raw shea butter over a scar 3-4 times daily. The high omega-3 fatty acid content in shea butter inhibits scar tissue formation and aids in skin repair. It also helps moisturize dry skin. Shea butter is found to be beneficial even in keloids. (1)

You do not even need to wash it off as it is very healthy for your skin. Just be careful not to let any onto your silk garments as it may stain them.

How to use it?

  • Wash and dry the affected area.
  • Using your hand apply raw shea butter over the affected area.
  • Apply shea butter at least 3 times a day including at night for better results.
  • You can even mix shea butter with rose water or coconut oil to get a fluffy scar removal lotion.

3) Raw honey

Raw honey is beneficial to help fade scars because it stimulates wound healing and tissue regeneration. It also acts as a natural moisturizer with antibacterial properties.

How to use it?

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of raw honey with 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Apply it over the scar after washing it thoroughly.
  • Rub it over the scar for 3 minutes.
  • Wash it off.

It is not recommended to use honey for removing acne scars as it is a sticky liquid and can lead to more acne formation. Also, always confirm if you are not allergic to honey before using it for scar removal.

4) Aloe Vera

A well known natural remedy for a variety of skin conditions, aloe vera, is very useful in treating scars. Its efficacy in scar healing is due to immunomodulation, increased wound contraction and faster reepithelialization.

It also helps in organizing scar tissue in proper bundles giving strength to the scar. (2) Wounds treated with aloe vera gel tend to heal with higher tensile strength. It also tightens and makes it wrinkle-free, making you look younger.

You can grow aloe vera in your garden, or you can find aloe gel at your local health store. Although it is available in many forms such as ointments, lotions, and creams, I would still recommend using a fresh leaf.

If you are using a fresh leaf, peel of the outer green covering to access the white gel.

How to use it?

  • Wash the affected part of the skin.
  • Apply aloe vera gel to the affected part of the skin and leave it. It dries quickly and peels off on its own. It can also be applied overnight.

5)  Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

Amla is a small yellowish-green fruit. It contains loads of vitamin C which is necessary for the removal of the dead necrotic tissue, collagen formation, and wound healing.

The efficacy of amla is maximum if it is applied to a freshly healed area. Amla paste is easily available in health stores.

How to use it?

  • Wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Let it dry.
  • Apply the amla paste and rub it for 2-3 minutes.
  • You can wash it off after 10-15 minutes or let it dry.

6) Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil with powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It is used for acne treatment. (3) The oil is available in a very concentrated form and should never be ingested. Always dilute it before applying it over the skin.

How to use it?

  • Add a small amount of oil to water till you get a soap-like consistency.
  • Wash and rinse the affected area.
  • Apply the solution over it. It is normal to feel a  little stinging when you apply the oil. If the stinging persists or is unbearable, please consult a dermatologist.
  • Another way to use tea tree oil is to mix a few drops with coconut oil and rub it on the affected area.

7) Emu oil

Emu oil is obtained from the fat of the emu bird, a bird from Australia, closely related to ostrich. Emu oil is rich in omega 9 fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids.

Emu oil can penetrate deep into your skin and provide a radiant and healthy glow to your skin. It is available at leading health stores across the country.

The best time to apply emu oil is two days after the healing starts. Do not use it over a fresh wound as it will delay wound healing. It promotes wound contraction, epithelialization, and proliferation of granulation tissue. (4)

How to use it?

  • Wash and rinse the affected area. Let it dry.
  • Apply emu oil to the desired area with your hand and gently spread it around. One drop of emu oil usually covers an area about the size of the back of your hand.
  • Emu oil penetrates the skin on its own within a few minutes. If the skin feels oily when you are done, you are using excess quantity of oil. Reduce the amount next time.
  • You can repeat it several times a day.
  • Allow the emu oil to penetrate thoroughly before covering the area of the skin with clothing as this will prevent staining.

8) Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is especially useful for the removal of acne scars. A natural astringent and disinfectant, it helps to tighten the skin and prevent bacterial growth.

The acidic nature of vinegar causes sloughing off of dead skin cells which helps in fading of scars.

How to use it?

  • Mix apple cider vinegar with honey.
  • Wash the affected area with soap and water. Let it dry.
  • Use a cotton ball to apply it to the skin or affected area.
  • Leave it for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse.
  • You can do this three to four times daily.

9) Pressure garments

Pressure garments have been used since the early 1800s. These garments exert compressive mechanical force to help in wound apposition and healing.

Initially, the skin is conditioned for the pressure using tight crepe bandages. Studies claim to show considerable healing using pressure garments. (5)

A few things to keep in mind

  • All the above-listed remedies work better on new scars.
  • Old scars are not much affected by natural remedies. To get rid of old scars, consult a dermatologist.
  • Do not use any of the above products if you are allergic to them.
  • In case you feel any symptoms such as itching, burning, stinging, hives after applying any of the above products, stop application immediately. Wash the area and consult a dermatologist.
  • While trying anything new, pregnant women and small children must do so in consultation with their doctor.
  • The above remedies are meant for normal simple scars and acne scars, not for keloids, contractures, and hypertrophic scars.

Final thoughts

There are many medical treatment options to get rid of scars, which tend to burn a hole in your pocket and are painful. Instead, you can try out the above mentioned natural and cost efficient remedies in the comfort zone of your home to get rid of scars.

Always know that scars cannot be removed entirely, so don’t have unrealistic expectations. The above remedies will help you to lighten a scar. Also, to reduce scarring, try these methods on a fresh scar.

To get keloids and hypertrophic scars removed, always consult a doctor.

There are some effective natural methods to get rid of scars such as lemon juice, raw honey, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, emu oil, etc.