Some people boldly show off their scars, weaving long tales about how their skin came to be permanently marked. While scars are undoubtedly desirable in a Jaws-esque discussion of near-death experiences, most people consider their scars to be unwanted relics of injuries gone-by. They can impact appearance, which can make you feel self-conscious – something that can have a very real impact on quality of life! If you have an old scar that you don’t like for whatever reason, you might be able to get rid of it – or at least improve it.
Different Types of Scars
To best get rid of your old scars, the first step is understanding the type of scar that you’re dealing with. Types of scars that are commonplace include:
- Atrophic Scars – scars characterized by a loss of tissue. These types of scars are typically indented, serrated or flat against your skin’s upper layer. These also typically have darker skin pigmentation – if you have scars from acne and chickenpox, you have atrophic scars.
- Hypertrophic Scars – these scars are instead characterized by excess tissue. This tissue is almost like a small growth and is often darker than the skin that surrounds it.
- Keloid Scars – these scars are raised, thick and puffy, much more so than hypertrophic scars. They are caused by aggressive healing, where the body overproduces the tissue needed to heal your skin. These are darker than the surrounding skin and can grow beyond the area of injury.
- Contracture Scars – these scars occur when larger areas of skin are damaged. They make the healed skin tight and shiny and are commonly associated with burns.
It is unlikely that an old scar will completely heal, but there are ways of speeding up and stimulating the healing process that will reduce signs of scarring.
Silicone coating gel sheets are soft wound covers that can be placed easily on the scar. They are special because the silicone coating gel induces hydration and promotes the oxygen and moisture on the surface of the skin to be far friendlier to the wound-healing process than other topical agents. The oxygen and moisture content on the surface of the skin means that the dry skin and scar tissue can regain elasticity, as well as hydration and tensile strength. It is used after surgery to speed up the healing process and it even helps to regulate collagen production at the site of the scar. That means that silicon coating is particularly useful in the treatment of hypertrophic and keloid scars.
A 2018 study looked into rosehip oil as a potentially fully-natural wound healing compound. It found that rosehip oil does produce significant improvements in the healing of wounds and the appearance of scars. That is because rosehips are plant ingredients that have a large amount of vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants that all work together to prevent damage to cells. If you want to let rosehip oil work its magic, you should massage rosehip oil onto the scar and let it soak in for 45 minutes before washing it off. For the most effective results try and do this three times a day.
Vitamin E Oil
There is some evidence that vitamin E oil can help to reduce surgical scars naturally and promote healthy healing. For best results apply twice a day by thoroughly massaging onto scar area – why not try mixing vitamin E oil with sweet almond oil or rosehip oil, too.
Coconut oil (virgin) is a great topical ointment that can help collagen to form, as well as prevent secondary infections if the scar is still young. Massage this on to the area as you would do with rosehip oil.