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It’s rare for anyone to go through life without getting a few scars. And if you happen to be someone who’s gone through surgery, scars easily, or have a serious bout of acne, you know how embarrassing and distressing it is to show off your skin, especially when the unsightly mark is on your face.

Even if the scar is hidden underneath your clothing, you know that the blemish exists and this somehow affects your self-confidence. And as if that’s not enough, scars can be itchy and sore, making you even more uncomfortable.

Why do we even get scars?

It would be nice to go through life unfazed by the inconvenience and ugliness of a scar. But whenever you get a wound, you know that a scar is sure to follow.

A hand with a raised scar

Overproduction of collagen after an injury makes the scar tissue look raised or lumpy.

Scars are part of the natural healing process of the skin. In fact, scars are new tissue that form rather quickly to protect the body from germs and bacteria. Overproduction of collagen after an injury makes the scar tissue look raised or lumpy. The new tissue is no longer flexible as the one it has replaced, that’s why it looks different from the rest of the skin.

While most scars are usually red or purple in color because of the blood vessels underneath, some turn white after a while. This happens when you get a deep wound that damages the melanocyte cells, which control pigmentation.

Natural remedies to improve the appearance of scars

If you’re lucky, you could have one of those flat, pale scars that could easily be covered by concealer. But some people get the lumpy, raised patches that are difficult to conceal. Regardless of the type of scar you have, reducing its size and appearance can be challenging.

Skin camouflage or medical tattooing can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee that the scar will be completely invisible after treatment. Scar treatment gels and serum do a decent job, but over time, they will also cost you money.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and natural way to minimize the severity of your scar, you can look into your kitchen or medicine cabinet for some natural cures:

  1. Apple cider vinegar

    A yellow apple hanging off a treeApple cider vinegar (ACV) has received plenty of attention recently because of its numerous health benefits. Aside from its ability to lower blood sugar and cholesterol and detoxify the body, ACV is also known to be effective in reducing the appearance of scars by exfoliating the skin. High in acetic acid, ACV is also a potent antiseptic and was used for cleaning wounds in the old days.

    How to use it

    1. Dilute one part apple cider vinegar with one part water.
    2. Dip a cotton ball into the solution and apply it on the scar.
    3. Leave it on for about 15 minutes before rinsing the area with water.

    Apply twice a day.

    Note: You could use pure ACV on your scar, but to minimize the occurrence of skin irritation, it’s best to dilute it with some water.

  2. Raw honey

    A cup of rich-dark honey
    Honey is a popular kitchen staple that’s valued not only for its health benefits, but also for its medicinal value as well. Commonly known as liquid gold, honey contains antibacterial properties that speed up wound healing. Honey is acidic, which increases the flow of oxygen to the wound to expedite the healing process. The antimicrobial agents in honey create a protective barrier against infection, which decreases the likelihood of severe scar formation. More remarkably, honey helps in skin regeneration and prevents formation of excess collagen, which is responsible for unpleasant scar tissues.

    How to use it

    1. Apply raw or Manuka honey on the scar.
    2. Massage the scar for 10 minutes.
    3. Leave it on for about an hour before rinsing with warm water.

    Note: You could add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to two tablespoons of honey to create an exfoliating mixture. Gently massage the mixture on to the skin for about 3 minutes, then rinse.

    Apply twice a week for best results. If you’re using baking soda, apply mixture only once a week to gently remove dead skin.

  3. Lemon juice

    A bunch of lemons hanging off a treeIf you’ve been suffering from acne, you may have already heard that lemon juice works great in reducing scars. It works like a bleach by reducing redness. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C which stimulates production of collagen to help in skin regeneration. It also has alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) that remove dead skin cells so scars become less visible.

    How to use it

    1. Make sure you have 1 teaspoon of lemon juice soaked in a cotton ball.
    2. Apply it to the affected area and rinse off after 10 minutes.

    Apply twice a day.

    Note: Just like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice is acidic. So if your skin is ultra-sensitive, dilute the juice with a little bit of water before applying it to your skin. Additionally, lemon juice can make your skin photosensitive. So if you’re going out, make sure to put on some sunscreen or seek shade to avoid skin irritation.

  4. Aloe Vera gel

    A wild Aloe-Vera plantAloe Vera is a versatile plant that’s prized for its nutritional and medicinal properties. As an adaptogen, it helps the body cope with stress and illnesses by boosting the immune system. It’s also the go-to remedy for soothing sunburns and insect bites. Aloe Vera gel also works well in minimizing scars. This emollient helps soften the skin and bring more oxygen to the skin cells. This makes the scar tissue more elastic and less visible with continued use.

    How to use it

    1. Cut an Aloe Vera leaf in half and squeeze out the gel.
    2. Apply the gel directly to the scar.
    3. Massage the area if possible and rinse off after 10 minutes.

    Apply 3 times a day.

  5. Coconut oil

    A colorful pile of coconutsWhether taken orally or topically, coconut oil works wonders for the body. From improving digestion to boosting brain function, coconut oil does practically everything – including minimizing scars. It enhances the elasticity of the skin and softens it, making scars appear less visible. It’s also a great moisturizer that you can use on any part of your body.

    How to use it

    1. Apply warm virgin coconut oil onto the scar. (If the coconut oil has become solid, scoop a teaspoon into a bowl and heat for a couple of seconds.)
    2. Gently massage onto the skin until the oil fully absorbed. No need to rinse or wipe off.

    For best results, apply coconut oil 2-3 times a day. Don’t go overboard, though – applying too much, too often could lead to irritation.

Scars can be a nuisance and can dampen one’s self-confidence. But you don’t need to live with unsightly marks all your life. More importantly, you don’t need to spend tons of money on scar removal and ointments. Most of the treatments for reducing these unsightly marks can be found at home and they are quite inexpensive too.

But before you start with the treatment, you should know — There are no instant results – It will take some time and effort for these natural remedies to work. You should notice some difference in the color and severity of the scar after 1-3 months of continued use, sometimes even earlier than that!

About Author

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Cecille Doroja likes digging through fads to uncover the real deal on wellbeing. As a health writer, her mission, through writing, is to help like-minded individuals find their route to better health.