We look at the different options for treating scars and consider what the best natural scar treatment might be.
What are scars?
Scars are formed as the body heals itself after a trauma to the deepest layers of skin. It mends an injury as quickly and efficiently as possible with a particular type of tissue to minimise the risk of infection and damage. If you think of the skin as an outer barrier that protects your internal organs from viruses, bacteria and other microbes, you can see that getting a breach sealed up as soon as possible is the body’s top priority.
Unfortunately, the quickest and toughest way to mend deep damage means building up a web of collagen that isn’t the same as normal tissue. This new tissue isn’t as flexible, and doesn’t contain pigment at first so it will look and feel different to surrounding skin.
Although healing wounds do usually fade, soften and flatten, the whole process can take over a year and a scar is unlikely to completely disappear.
How do you treat a scar?
The process of helping a wound to heal as well as possible can really start once the initial regrowth has happened, and the wound is healed over.
- Use an intensive oil-based emollient ointment around the wound to keep skin soft and flexible as the scar begins to tighten.
- Once the wound has healed over, use an oil or ointment to keep the scar as soft and nourished as possible. Apply twice a day for three months.
- Protect scars from the sun, as the lack of pigment and sensitivity of new tissue can mean the skin can burn very easily; hypo or hyperpigmented scars can get damaged by sun exposure so use high factor sunscreen and/or cover up with clothes in sunlight.
What’s the best natural scar treatment?
If you want to treat your scar naturally, pick an unscented oil and/or balm that isn’t going to cause extra irritation to newly grown, extra sensitive skin.
Many people recommend using plant oils that are rich in natural nutrients, to help support skin cell regeneration. Particularly good at helping support skin growth are ingredients rich in essential fatty acids (such as borage, rose hip, sea buckthorn, and hemp seed), natural anti-inflammatories to help reduce swelling, as well as antioxidants and vitamins.
Rosehip oil is particularly renowned for being rich in natural vitamin E & A, plus high linoleic content; it’s even been the subject of research into wound healing, with very encouraging outcomes!
Oil, cream or balm?
You can use a nutritious oil, a soft cream or an intensively moisturising balm as you want; whatever suits your skin and your scar. It might depend on where on your body the injury has happened, or how dry your skin is. We suggest rosehip oil as being one of nature’s best ingredients for supporting skin regrowth, but any natural emollient used regularly can help keep skin supple and soft.
If a scar is not healing well, is causing you pain or discomfort, or looks unsightly, you can ask your doctor about options for medical treatment. These might include:
- Topical oils creams or gels
- Steroid injections
- Silicone gel sheets to flatten a healing scar
- Surgery (dermabrasion, lasers or grafts)
In conclusion, treat your healing scar with great care! Feed your skin with the good stuff, and keep it meticulously protected from the sun.
Balmonds Intensive Hand Cream
with shea butter and sea buckthorn oil
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
For customers from the USA and Canada
Order directly from our US website www.balmonds.com
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.