Looking to get rid of your scars from acne, burns, or previous illness?
Getting rid of scars is not easy.
The bad news is your scars won’t disappear completely. The good news is it’s possible to reduce their appearance almost fully over time!
There’s natural DIY treatments, products on the market, and medical procedures available.
This guide provides three different methods to help fade scars.
Keep reading to find a treatment that suits you!
♥ What are scars and why do I have them?
Scars are formed by the body after healing a wound from an injury. It’s possible to develop scars after acne, chicken pox, burns, and from other injuries or illnesses.
After struggling with acne for so long it can be so disheartening when you’re left with acne scarring. While you’re waiting for scars to heal, makeup can help cover scars. Check out our lists of the best foundations for dry skin, sensitive skin, and the best airbrush foundations.
We outline three different methods to help get rid of scars below. It’s best to try them out in chronological order – don’t consider invasive procedures before you’ve tried all the DIY and product methods first. Always consult your dermatologist before changing up your skincare routine.
♥ At Home DIY Remedies
Aloe vera, used since biblical times, is well known for healing burns. Did you know it can also reduce the appearance of scars? Just open the aloe leaf and apply the liquid to your scars. Leave for a few hours or put it on before bed and let it soak in overnight. It smells great and it’s cooling on the skin.
Scientific research confirms the benefits of aloe vera. Aloe not only helps with scars, it also helps treat wounds, burns, ulcers. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, and even has it’s uses in helping treat cancer. The aloe vera’s enzymes help to regenerate the skin, and aloe vera stimulates the production of amino acids in the cell, treating scar tissue and preventing scars after injury.
Almost as trendy as avocado toast, coconut oil is not just for cooking – it works great for shaving, moisturizing, and yes – some say it reduces it helps get rid of scars, too.
A trendy treatment – Channing Tatum rubbed coconut oil on his pregnant wife’s belly to help prevent stretch marks. It’s easy to apply: just rub a small amount of the oil between your clean fingers to turn it into liquid. Then massage it onto your scars.
There’s some evidence that coconut oil helps heal wounds in young rats. However, much more research is needed on its effect on human skin. There is some anecdotal success using coconut oil to reduce the appearance of scars.
It’s not the most likely to work. But if you already have it in your house, it’s worth a shot!
♥ Be Cautious – Natural Products Are Not Always Safer
Baking Soda has many uses, including teeth whitening (check out our baking soda for teeth whitening crash course here.) Some recommend using it on the face to get rid of acne and scars.
However, you should be cautious.
Baking soda is often too abrasive for the skin. On the PH scale baking soda sits at 9, while the skin is typically around a 5. Using products too alkaline or acidic for the skin can cause damage to the skin.
We don’t recommend using baking soda because it’s too abrasive. When in doubt, consult your dermatologist before altering your skincare routine.
Many recommend Vitamin E as a natural way to reduce scarring. However, academic evidence casts a shadow of doubt on the positive impact of Vitamin E on skin scars.
In one study, in 90% of cases using Vitamin E did not help heal scars, and in some cases the appearance of scars became even worse. It does not end there. 1/3 of participants in the study developed contacted dermatitis after using Vitamin E on their scars.
♥ Products To Fade Scars
Maybe you’ve tried the DIY methods above with little success, or maybe you’re time constrained? If you’re willing to splash a little cash, there are some products on the market to help get rid of scars.
There are some products on the market that help heal scars.
It’s possible to get a prescription from the doctor for certain scar healing and fading products. If your scars are from surgery, ask your surgeon what you should use on your scars post-operation.
A staple in many family homes growing up – I know it was my grandma’s fix all solution to any skin problem! Not just an old wives’ tale – it’s used in some professional burn centers.
It’s a multitask oil. Bio Oil claims it reduces the appearance of both new and old scars – from surgery, burns, acne, bites, accidents or conditions. Many like to use it for stretch marks (especially pregnant women). It also helps to even out uneven skin.
Younger scars fade easier than older scars. But continued use of the oil over time should also make a difference to older scars.
Dermarolling (micro-needling or collagen induction therapy is a treatment that helps reduce the appearance of scars and stretchmarks. A roller brush with 100s of little needles that prick the skin.
Sounds a bit like a medieval torture device! Why go through the pain? Microneedling not only helps to reduce acne scarring and discoloration, it also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and stretch marks. It can increase skin thickness, rejuvenate the skin, and enhance skin care absorption. The mini pricks help the skin generate collagen and elastin.
How well does it work? In one study, 80% of participants rated their dermaroll treatment as ‘excellent’, and 34/36 noted a 1-2 grade reduction in the appearance of their acne scars.
It’s a non-invasive procedure, and the recovery time is typically short.
Dermarolling from the comfort of your own home is a relatively new concept. Previously it was only carried out by professionals. Let’s check out some professional methods for scar treatment next.
Other Scar Fading Products
- Hydroquinone creams – people hear about whitening creams and are understandably turned off. However, these hydroquinone creams are not for bleaching deeper skin tones. They’re designed to even out the skin. The bleaching element in the cream can lighten discolored scars for a more uniform colored skin. Check out our list of the best hydroquinone creams, the academic research into the risks, and the best alternatives here.
- Silicone gels/sheets are available to flatten scars, and prevent uncomfortable itching. There’s some evidence to suggest it’s a safe and effective way of fading scars.
♥ Cosmetic Procedures For Scar Minimization
Maybe you’ve tried the DIY methods above, and tons of scar healing products on the market with little success.
If you’re really serious about reducing the appearance of your scars there are some cosmetic procedures available.
These are usually much more invasive and risky than the other options above. Not to mention more expensive. However, they can be much more effective.
These are for the most serious cases of scarring only. Always research further and talk to your dermatologist before considering one of these invasive procedures.
- Laser therapy (aka light therapy) involves a laser wand moving over the skin to diminish the appearance of scars and treat damaged skin cells. It can reduce the appearance of injury scars, burn marks, hyperpigmentation, or acne scars. There’s some academic evidence to support the efficacy of this method on reducing the appearance of scars. However, it’s not clear if it helps impact scar tissues.
- Cryotherapy is a fairly new treatment. It uses freezing (or almost freezing) temperatures to freeze scars. During intralesional cryotheraphy a needle is placed through a scar where nitrogen vapor freezes the scars from the inside outwards. Research finds that cryotheraphy is both safe and quite effective, even after just a small number of treatments. However, adverse effects can include pain, de-pigmentation, and recurrence of scars.
- Soft tissue fillers (aka dermal fillers) are injections that temporarily fill deeply depressed scars for more even skin. Fillers have become increasingly popular with the recent lip injections craze. The process is similar to lip fillers. A collagen stimulant or hyaluronic acid is injected into the impacted area with a needle. One of the most common lip filler ingredients, Juvaderm, is also typical for soft tissue filler treatment. Results last from 6 to 24 months.
- Scar revision surgery is a procedure that minimizes the appearance of scars to better blend the scar with the surrounding skin.