Scarring is a critical part of the healing process after a wound, injury, skin inflammation, or surgical site has healed and generally happens in three phases. If you take very good care of your wound and your whole body right from the start, this will greatly aid your body in the scar tissue healing process.
The scarring healing process takes about a year to complete but for many, it takes longer. Scars look different depending on which part of the body they are on, and will also vary quite a bit depending on the age of the person. It is thought that genetics may play a part in whether a person has a tendency to develop more noticeable scarring.
Scar tissue is not exactly the same as the original body tissue that existed before the injury, and it usually does not work as well. For example, hair follicles and sweat glands do not grow within scar tissue. One exception to this is the healing process within bone tissue, which is capable of healing without losing its full capacities.
The Stages of Scar Tissue Healing
Inflammatory Phase – in this stage, your wound stops bleeding or oozing fluid or pus. White blood cells fight off infections and your body begins the process of collagen formation. This inflammatory phase of wound healing and can last from two days to about week.
Proliferative Phase – now your body continues to produce collagen, pulling the edges of the wound or acne sore together, producing new capillaries. The proliferative phase can cause red bumps in the wound and a thickening of the edges of the wound. Your body will produce cells to keep the wound clean, which causes it to look wet.
Maturation Phase – in this final phase of scar tissue healing, your body produces more collagen and slowly reforms the scar so that the excess collagen is removed and the scar becomes less noticeable. Over the next six to eighteen months' time your wound can transform from red and raised to flatter and more white colored. Scars often do not reach their final appearance for up to two years.
What can you do to speed healing and minimize scarring? So glad you asked and I am sure my answer will be no big surprise!
Slather it in coconut oil! (One of the 333 uses for it!)
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Coconut oil's medium chain fatty acids dramatically increase the rate at which wounds heal by stimulating collagen production and turn-over. Also, new blood vessels form more quickly in skin treated with virgin coconut oil. All of this aids the body in producing healthy skin that is free of scarring.
What other natural options are effective at preventing scarring or aiding an old scar? Grab a cup of tea and settle in because the list is loooong! Which is a good thing!
Aloe Vera Gel – a deeply soothing and cooling gel that is widely used for soothing burns and all kinds of skin irritations, and is used to help with scar removal and scarring healing. (I like this brand)
Banana – mash up a banana and cover the affected area twice daily to promote healing. This helps lighten scars already in place!
Calendula – applying calendula gel or cream to a scar twice a day reduces inflammation and increases healing in an early scar. (I like this brand)
Cilantro Juice – beneficial for burns and the treatment of burn scar tissue due to its cooling nature. To make your own cilantro juice at home, place a handful of fresh cilantro in a blender. Add about 1/3 cup of purified water and mix. Apply some of the juicy pulp directly on the skin. The cilantro juice can also be taken in 2-tsp. increments internally, three times a day to promote healing.
Cocoa butter – slather it on as often as you can! It helps repair damaged skin. (I like this brand)
Collodial Silver – can be sprayed directly on a burn to prevent scaring and promote healing. Alternatively, a bandage can be soaked in a solution of colloidal silver and applied to the skin. (I like this brand)
Comfry, Goldenseal, and Vitamin E Paste – the herbs comfrey root and goldenseal root have traditionally been used to promote the healing of skin ailments, fight bacteria, and relieve inflammation. These herbs have soothing and heat clearing qualities, which make them beneficial for burn scar treatment. Mix 1/8-tsp. of comfrey root powder, 1/8-tsp. of goldenseal root powder, with one capsule of Vitamin E to form a paste. Apply this home remedy paste to the scar or burn for treatment several times a day. Do not rinse off for maximum benefit, as the paste will become a scab as it hardens.
Cucumber – in juice form it is an effective scar treatment and a good astringent for us after the other remedies.
Elderberry Flower Oil – the herbal essential oil of elderberry and elderflower can also be used for the treatment of burn scars. Combine purified water and up to 10 drops of the elder flower essential oil in a clean cosmetic spray bottle. Let them combine for a couple of hours, shake the bottle, then spray a little bit of the solution on the burn scar. Repeat a couple times a day. Elderberry juice can also be taken internally in 1/2 tsp. increments, three times a day.
Emu Oil – has a number of very potent medicinal and healing benefits for the skin and can reduce acne, scars, broken capillaries, facial redness and other skin problems. (I like this brand)
Green Tea – soak a cloth in a cooled batch of strong green tea and apply to the healed or scarred tissues three times daily.
Honey – has wonderful antiseptic and healing properties and is great at preventing scarring. (I like this brand)
Ice – this is a no-brainer…it just feels good!
Lavender Oil – has skin cell rejuvenating properties and helps with all forms of scarring. Apply it to the scar or several times a day. (I like this brand)
Lemon Juice – is considered one of the most effective home scar remedies, probably because of the vitamin C content.
Massage can help to soften scars. Roll stiff scars several times daily to break down scar tissue and soften the scars.
Mederma – a topical gel containing a proprietary botanical extract made from onion and allantoin, can be applied to a scar three or four times a day. An improvement in the color, texture, appearance, and flexibility of the scar should be noted sometime between eight weeks and six months of treatment. This product is available over the counter. It works best on newer scars. (I like this brand)
Mint Tea – soak a cloth in a cooled batch of strong mint tea and apply to the healed or scarred tissues three times daily.
Mustard Seed – an ointment containing 10 percent mustard-seed oil, applied to a scar three times a day for several weeks, is said to aid in improving the appearance of the scar.
Olive oil – it has high amounts of Vitamin E and K which work in tandem to virtually eliminate scars. Rub on the affected area as often as you would like daily. (I like this brand)
Onion extract – Onion, or Allium cepa, is an ingredient in one of the most popular scar gels found in drugstores. Onion extract has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and regulate the formation of collagen. (I like this brand)
Potato Peels – provide moisture and they also have anti-bacterial properties that help in healing. Doctors have found that potato peel bandages work better for minor burns than conventional dressings. Using a potato peel can reduce the chance of scarring.
Rose Hip Oil – mix 1 ounce each of rose hip seed oil and essential oils of rose and everlasting and apply daily to the scar after bathing. This should help to improve the appearance of the scar. Store the mixture in a dark glass bottle. (I like this brand)
Rosewater – stimulates blood vessels and circulation, both of which are needed to repair scars. Rosewater is a great addition to any scar treatment listed here. (I like this brand)
Sandalwood – apply to the affected scar area overnight until you see a diminished appearance. (I like this brand)
Sea Buckthorn Oil – the rate of healing of the scar is accelerated and the redness fades dramatically when you apply this oil daily. (I like this brand)
Tamanu Oil – just recently being discovered and has been used in Tahiti for centuries to heal wounds and skin damage. It is affordable and has a nice nutty smell! (I like this brand)
Tea Tree Oil – kills invading infection and is best used to prevent scarring. It does not aid in abolishing existing scars. (I like this brand)
Thiosinaminum 12c – applied externally to a scar twice a day, reduces the swelling of a lumpy, bumpy scar. However, it must be used within three months of the scar's formation to have any effect. (I like this brand)
Tomato – mash up a tomato and cover the affected area twice daily to promote healing. This helps lighten scars already in place!
Vinegar (raw apple cider) – Cover the burn area with a cloth soaked in diluted vinegar. Refresh the vinegar compress as often as needed, especially if the pain becomes stronger again. (I like this brand)
Vitamin C – there is a lot of research that suggests that vitamin C, applied to the skin can provide many benefits. (I like this brand)
Vitamin E – as a cream or oil applied to the area twice a day, it is helpful in softening scars. (I like this brand)
Wild Rose Oil – contains a potent mixture of essential oils which work together to heal skin damage and scarring. It is very concentrated so you need very little to get a good result! (I like this brand)
What are some of your tried and true remedies for preventing or reducing the appearance of scars?