No one enjoys getting a cut, burn, or other injury to their skin. Most people like scarring even less.
What Is Scar Tissue?
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 Scarring and 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.
How To Prevent Scarring With Coconut Oil
Slather your wound in coconut oil! It’s just one of the 333 uses for it! Are you surprised that you can prevent scarring with coconut oil?
Quick disclaimer – I am required to clearly state that I am not a licensed medical professional nor do I pretend to be one on this site. Take what I write as a launching off point to do your own research. My advice, experience, and suggestions are not to be considered medical advice.
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.
You can learn which brands of coconut oil I use, love, and trust here.
How To Get Rid Of Old Scars
Grab a cup of tea and settle in because the list is loooong! These natural options not only have the potential to prevent new scars when used in conjunction with coconut oil (or in lieu of) but they also are known to get rid of old scars.
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 scar 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 teaspoon 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 teaspoon of comfrey root powder and 1/8 teaspoon of goldenseal root powder, with one capsule of Vitamin E to form a paste. Apply this paste to the scar or burn 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.
Elderflower Oil – 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.
Emu Oil – has a number of 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. (This is my favorite loose leaf green tea)
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. (I have used this mint tea successfully)
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. (I like this brand)
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 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?
Sources for this article include:
I had a bad scar from Poison Ivy and a burn which beside being scarred was very rough
I was infusing some chick weed in oiive oil and saw that some of the oil had spilled out and was in the water bath i was using to keep it warm. of course it had separated as oil and water will do but i noticed that the water was a nice color meaning some of the chickweed was in the water. i had this brainstorm and mixed some of the chichweed water with some coconut oil. the result is an oily lotion which i used on the rough area and on the scar and the scar disappeared and the rough area is totally smooth and that is only after a few days. i have also used it as a face lotion and it incredible.
That is incredible! I have really bad blisters on the soles of my feet from running with new arch supports and I fear the marks will become scars if I do not take care of it properly now. Would you be able to recommend where one might buy chickweed and what portions did you use of chickweed, water, and coconut oil? Your help is greatly appreciated 🙂
You can buy that stuff at StarWest Botanicals
Michelle Looverman says
I had the worst stretch marks after having my kids and nothing worked for me, until my sister-in-law introduced me to SkinAgain’s Vanish cream. It’s 100% natural and a total game changer!! I completely vanished my stretched marks 🙂
I love that you added Tamanu Seed Oil… That is also known as Foraha. I use Foraha in the Blend with Helichrysum Essential Oil on scars and so far it really is making a huge difference. Helichrysum is amazing. It can be used on old scars and helps right away on open wounds as well… Check out “Repair Anew”, https://www.etsy.com/listing/159719923/repair-anew-5-ml-or-15-ml-essential-oil?ref=shop_home_active 🙂
Vanilla is GREAT for burns. Takes the sting out and you won’t leave a scar
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Common Skin Problems says
I recently acquired a cut on my left foot from a tent string (yes, I was that clumsy!) The scar looks pretty bad and I am thinking of using coconut oil to help diminish it. If all else fails, will try your other suggestions. I personally like your blog because as most of these are 100% organic, I am just not familiar with Colloidal Silver. Thanks for these great tips! – Ms. George
Thalia & John says
Basic wound healing is the best prevention. Proper healing requires a slightly moist environment in which the cells can replicate and connect to each other properly. Clean the wound twice a day with soap and water.
Thanks for sharing a lot of natural remedies!
Jill Lynn Sandy says
DermalMD Scar Treatment serum definitely took the full 8 weeks for me, but there was a pretty big improvement. I had a scar on my face from a dog bite and you can barely see it now. Stay out of the sun though!
Peeyush Aggarwal says
coconut oil is very good for burn marks also. thanks. 🙂
Thank you for this information 🙂
Why wasn’t castor oil on the list? And I didn’t see coconut oil..(is coco butter the same )?
Oops sorry i scrolled too fast down, ignore th coconut oil comment bit. Thanks
Please tell me what to do with scars that are 5 years old.they have turned white and less raised but still visible. What should I do with them now? How to make them disappear? It’s on my upper arm
I would just start going down the list of suggestions in this post and find what works best for you! Massage is certainly something I would do along with various oils. Oils are going to be your best bet to start with.
Hi, I discovered your site by accident and came across this entry, which is very interesting. I wanted to ask if you could recommend me something for scars caused by acne. I’ve been suffering from acne my whole life, unable to have a ‘real life’ and I’d like to get rid of them, at least a bit of them, because I know the only way to get rid of them for good is laser surgery but I don’t have the money for that. And I really would like to be able to wear a swimming suit again and go to the beach (I haven’t been to one for over 10 years) or wear an open back shirt and feel confident in my own skin again. Thanks for reading.
Hi Kai! I would definitely use carrot seed oil! http://hybridrastamama.com/secret-world-carrot-seed-essential-oil/
Need help with skin scarring an sores from itching which leave scars. What do I use??