Scars are generally seen in day-to-day life. It’s a normal process of healing wounds and is not typically a cause for concern. While some people consider their scars to be marks of pride, many want them to go away for cosmetic reasons. Some scars fade over time, while others are permanent. Since they can affect your appearance, they make you feel self-conscious.
If you want to get rid of an old scar, you need to understand the type of scar you’re trying to get rid of. Home remedies or professional treatments may help reduce their appearance. In sporadic cases, they become severe conditions.
What is a Scar?
A scar is part of the natural healing process following an injury. When the dermis, the second layer of skin, is damaged, your body forms collagen fibers to repair the damage, resulting in a scar. In many cases, the faster the wound heals, the lesser the collagen will be deposited, and the spot will be less noticeable. Typically, the intensity of the scar is based on the severity of the injury or damage. They form differently on different parts of the body depending on the injured person’s age
Types of Scars
A Scar can be a fine line, a pitted or sunken hole on the skin, or an abnormal overgrowth of tissue.
1. Normal Fine-Line Scars
A minor wound like a cut will usually heal to leave a raised line, slowly fading and flattening over time. This process can take up to 1.5-2 years. The scar will not disappear completely. A visible mark or line is left.
Fine-line scars are common following a wound or surgery. They may not be painful, but they may be itchy for a few months.
2. Keloid scars
A keloid scar is an overgrowth of tissue when too much collagen is produced at the site of a wound. The scar keeps increasing, even after the wound has healed. Keloid scars are raised above the skin with pink, and red, the same colour or darker shade than the surrounding skin. They’re often itchy or painful and can restrict movement if it is tight and near a joint.
3. Hypertrophic scars
Hypertrophic scars, like keloid scars, result from excess collagen produced at a wound’s site. Hypertrophic scars do not extend beyond the boundary of the original damage. They may continue to thicken for up to 5-6 months before gradually improving over a few years.
4. Atrophic scars or Pitted or Sunken scars
Atrophic scars look like a pit or dents in the skin. They are the outcome of damage to the skin’s collagen and commonly occur with conditions such as chickenpox and acne. It can also develop due to an injury that causes a loss of underlying fat. It is also known as “ice-pick” scars.
5. Scar contractures
Burns cause scar contractures. They happen when the skin contracts, leading to tightness and a restriction in movement.
How To Remove Wound Scars?
Complete Scar Removal is not possible, but most scars will eventually fade over time.
Many treatments are available that may lessen the visibility. If scars are ugly, uncomfortable, or restrictive, treatment options may include:
- Topical silicone gel or silicone gel sheets
- Pressure dressings
- Skin camouflage (makeup)
A Combination of treatments can often be used.
Home Remedies For Scars
Many lotions, creams, and other products claim they can reduce a scar’s appearance, but they lack proper evidence to back their claims. The sections below discuss some options for those who wish to treat scars at home.
1. Silicone sheets and gel
Silicone may not be able to make old scars disappear, but it can assist in lessening the visibility of fresh scars. For more than 35 years, doctors have employed silicone sheeting. There is evidence to support the effectiveness of these options in lessening scarring. For instance, Chinese researchers discovered in 2018 that silicone gel minimized scarring in infants who had undergone cleft lip surgery.
After surgery or an injury, doctors often prescribe silicone scar therapy treatments, but you can also use these at home without a prescription.
Silicone is often simple and painless to apply and rarely has any adverse side effects.
2. Onion extract
Onion extract is one of the most used natural treatments for scars. A 2012 study found that after 4 weeks, a gel containing onion extract healed and softened scars.
In a 2020 study, 120 women who had a second cesarean section administered a gel containing onion extract to the scar area for 6 months or did not apply any treatment. Reduced elevated scarring, less color change, and improved blood flow to the wound area were all observed in those who utilized the gel.
Generally speaking, the sooner scars are treated, the better the results. Waiting years to repair a scar may require various forms of treatment in addition to home treatments. A person might require microneedling or cortisone injections, for instance. Because of this, this is the best way to treat the scar in the initial stages.
3. Chemical exfoliators
The outer layers of dead skin can be removed with creams, masks, and serums containing exfoliants, giving the skin a smoother appearance. They might benefit those who have acne scars.
Active components Among the reliable sources that could help scars look less noticeable are:
alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acid
A dermatologist can offer product recommendations and administer care. The strength of over-the-counter products will be less than those prescribed by a dermatologist.
4. Sun protection
Sun protection cannot remove scars, but it can stop them from burning or growing more obvious. Scar tissue is readily burned and is sensitive to sunlight.
Anyone with a scar ought to attempt:
Cover the scar with thick sunscreen for at least 18 months following the injury or operation, one hour before sun exposure.
Scars can be concealed or lessened in appearance with medical cosmetics. Even though it cannot get rid of the scar, it can lessen its psychological effects and improve a person’s self-esteem.
Getting advice from a dermatologist on medical makeup will:
- minimize the appearance of minor to severe scars
- not make the wound worse
- fit the person’s sensitivity and skin tone
- be OK for use with other prescription medications
- be appropriate for the particular skin type, such as the face, lips, or legs
- be simple to use
They might also recommend programs to help people understand how to use these goods properly.
6. Pressure therapy
Applying pressure to the wound, elastic bandages, pressure stockings, and other clothing may help lessen scarring. These, though, can be uncomfortable, and the person might have to wear them nonstop for six to twelve months before they start to work.
Numerous more folk cures are supported as scar removers, but further study is required to demonstrate their efficacy. Among these natural therapies are:
1. Aloe vera:
There is no proof that aloe vera helps treat scarring, although some research indicates that it can keep the skin moisturized and speed up wound healing.
According to specific evidence uncovered by scientists, honey may aid in the healing of wounds. They don’t have any proof that it lessens scarring, though.
3. Plant oils:
Safflower, olive, and other plant oils may help non-keloid scars seem better, according to one study, but further research is required.
4. Vitamin E:
Although many people use vitamin E, there is currently no evidence that utilizing vitamin E products alone may cure scars.
5. Vitamin C:
Is an antioxidant that aids in collagen formation, although it is unclear if or how it helps speed up the healing of scars.
These compounds are probably safe to use and may aid in softening and smoothing the skin. However, experts have not yet established that they effectively reduce or eliminate scarring.
Medical And Cosmetic Treatments
Small patches of scarring may respond to home remedies, but older or more prominent scars frequently only respond to surgical or cosmetic operations.
The following are professional Remedies for leg scars:
Injections of various kinds help lessen the visibility of scars.
1.1 Dermal Fillers:
Acne scars can be temporarily treated with collagen or fat fillers. These fillers inflate areas of skin indentation to hide them.
Botox injections may temporarily smooth out the skin and lessen the sight of the scar if the scar is on a muscle or set of muscles.
1.3 Corticosteroid injections:
These shots can minimize the size of scars and flatten elevated scars. Scars can also be flattened using skin tape that contains steroids.
2. Pressure bandages:
Scars become softer and flattened by pressure dressings. People must wear them continuously for 6 to 12 months to notice the effects.
Cryotherapy, in which the doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the scars, may be effective for raised scars. These scars can be made flatter and have less development with cryotherapy.
A little roller or pen with hundreds of tiny needles is used for microneedling. A medical practitioner will use this to make small punctures in the skin’s top layer where scarring is present. To lessen the look of scars, the body creates collagen.
Usually, it takes a few sessions to see results, and the outcomes might differ.
5. Laser treatment
To cure severe scars, laser therapy uses a concentrated beam of light. The procedure focuses on blood vessels located within the scar tissue.
Although outcomes are frequently beneficial, additional treatments are commonly required. Redness and swelling are brief side effects.
Surgery is often the last resort for scar removal. People with a tight scar that prevents an adjacent joint from moving freely may benefit from it. Similar to all procedures, there is a chance of bleeding and infection. Additionally, it might aggravate the scar.
Before deciding on this procedure to lessen leg scars, people should carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of surgery and their alternative treatment options.
Tips for Caring Scar:
- Keep any cut, scrape, or other skin damage clean to reduce the appearance of scars left behind by wounds like deep scratches or skinned knees.
- Keep the wound moist with petroleum jelly to encourage faster skin healing.
- After cleaning the wound, apply petroleum jelly or an equivalent ointment and wrap the area with an adhesive bandage.
- Change your bandage each day to keep the wound clean as it heals.
If your injury requires stitches, adhere to your doctor’s recommendations on how to care for the wound and when to have the sutures removed.
Once the wound has healed, cover it with sunscreen.
By appropriately tending to wounds or scrapes at home, you can lessen the visibility of a scar in cases of mild injuries. Seek emergency medical attention, however, if your wound is severe, extremely painful, or if your skin becomes infected.
Though small scars can fade away with time, few leave lifelong permanent marks.