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The Best Proven Ways to Heal Scars Naturally (Evidence Based)

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The Best Proven Ways to Heal Scars Naturally
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Home remedies to help heal scars naturally can help prevent unsightly marks on your skin. Scars form when wounds caused by burns, cuts, acne, or surgery heal and new tissue forms. You could prevent scars or help them heal faster by applying healing remedies to your skin that allow wounds to heal properly. In some cases, essential oils for scars help to reduce the appearance of existing old scars, although getting rid of an old scar can often be challenging.

To help heal scars naturally, you can apply healing oils that moisturize the skin and help skin tissue repair itself. Some of the best ways to heal scars quickly include rosehip oil, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, and vitamin C. You can also add essential oils to the scar-healing remedies to boost their effectiveness.

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In this article, you will learn how to heal scars naturally so that wounds heal properly and cause a minimum of scarring. You will also find out if there is any scientific backing for claims that natural remedies heal scars quickly.

Why Do Scars Form?

Scars form as new skin tissue develops in the wound where the thick layer of skin has been damaged. Scars are formed after damage to the skin caused by pimples, burns, deep cuts, or skin conditions.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, scar tissue is made up as new collagen fibers form over the wound. Scars can develop in different shapes and sizes. Some scars appear flat and pale whereas others are raised and red. For example, if too much collagen develops too quickly, raised scars may form. (1)

Although scar tissue is from the same type of tissue as your skin, the scar will have a different texture and appearance. Scars left over after surgical operations or acne usually don’t have any hair follicles, sebaceous glands, or sweat glands. (1)

In many cases, (especially if the wound was especially deep) it may not be possible to completely get rid of a scar. In some cases, helping scars to heal naturally results in improving the appearance of the scar so it is less noticeable. This may be desirable if you need to heal scars on your face.

The possibility of making scars heal faster depends on your age, skin color, skin type, and extent of the injury. Also, trying to get rid of an old scar can be especially challenging, even for doctors. (2)

To help prevent scars from forming, it is important to treat wounds properly so they heal with the minimum of tissue damage. That is why many of the home remedies to heal scars fast are designed to promote healthy wound healing.

Types of Scars

Knowing the best methods for healing scars naturally requires identifying the type of scar you have. Types of scars depend on the reason for scaring and where on your body you have the scar.

Acne scars. Scars formed by pimples or pustules can leave the skin looking dimpled or pitted. These types of scars form due to a loss of fat under the skin’s surface. These scars are also called icepick scars, rolling scars, or boxcar scars. (3)

Fine line scars. These types of scars are usually the result of surgery or a knife wound. The scars may leave a thin white line and may almost disappear over time. Doctors say you can help these scars heal naturally by using pressure therapy. (4)

Stretch marks after pregnancy. Stretch marks can appear as red markings under the skin without any raised skin tissue. They are sometimes called widespread scars. (5)

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Scar contractures. Burns tends to leave scar contractures that appear red and form over joints or skin creases.

Hypertrophic scars. These raised scars form by an excess of collagen developing as the wound heals. Hypertrophic scars tend to be red and itchy and may even cause pain.

Keloid scars. Keloids can quickly appear after skin piercing, burns, surgery, acne, or an insect bite. Keloid scars are an overgrowth of skin tissue and are raised, flat bumps that may itch or become inflamed. They are similar to hypertrophic scars but are less common and can be bigger and expand beyond the boundaries of the initial injury. Keloids are extremely difficult to remove naturally and require consultation with a dermatologist. (6)

Factors affecting scar formation

For scars to heal naturally with a minimum of cosmetic damage, it is important to recognize factors that affect how scars form.

For example, researchers say that it is important to protect healing wounds from infection and foreign bodies. Also, proper oxygen levels in the wound are necessary to help prevent scarring. (7) That is why hydrogen peroxide isn’t recommended to help make scars heal faster as it increases oxygen levels in the wound (hyperoxia) and may cause additional tissue damage.

Other factors that can influence how quickly scars heal naturally include your age, gender, stress levels, hormonal balance, nutrition and body weight. (7)

Best Home Remedies to Heal Scars Naturally

Let’s look at some of the best ways to make scars heal faster. While these home remedies won’t get rid of scars overnight, they should help in time to reduce the appearance of some types of scarring.

Treating the scar while it’s relatively new is the best option to achieve the best results. Old scars are difficult to remove completely and often require a medical approach such as surgical scar revision or laser treatments.

Keep in mind that improving scars will take some time, we’re talking about weeks here, so don’t give up after just a few days. Daily treatment and patience is a key.

Rosehip Oil to Treat Scars Naturally

To help heal scars on your face naturally, you can apply rosehip oil regularly to help deal with scars or prevent potential scarring.

A 2018 study into the healing properties of rosehip oil found that it promotes fast wound healing. Rosehips are packed full of vitamin C and other antioxidants that help prevent cellular damage. The research found that rosehip oil helps wounds help better and improve the appearance of scars. (8)

Apply rosehip to your skin where wounds have started to heal. Put a few drops on your fingertips and gently massage into your skin to help improve skin texture and gradually reduce the appearance of scars.

You can also use rosehip oil as one of the best oils for scars after stitches and it may even help some old scars to fade.

Why not try using rosehip oil to massage your abdomen for stretch marks or on your face to reduce the appearance of acne scars?

Learn more about the benefits of rosehip oil for your skin and how to use rosehip oil for acne.

Coconut Oil for Scars

You can apply virgin coconut oil to help prevent scarring to your skin caused by skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.

One trial found that applying coconut oil to wounds helped them heal quicker. Virgin coconut oil helped collagen to form in healing wounds and prevent secondary infections. Wounds treated with coconut oil also had lower levels of peroxides which can hinder wound healing. (9)

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Other studies have shown that coconut oil helps provide a protective barrier on the skin, reduces inflammation, and helps skin heal faster. (10)

Use coconut oil for scars by putting some coconut oil on the tips of your fingers and applying to your acne scars, stretch marks, or wounds as they heal. Apply 2-3 times a day for as long as is necessary to help heal a scar faster or become less noticeable.

For your skincare regime, apply a small amount of coconut oil to your face in the morning and at night to keep your skin moisturized and in good condition.

If you want to use coconut oil for scars, the best type to use is organic virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil also contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A little coconut oil mixed with a drop or two of tea tree oil can help treat acne pimples and prevent scarring due to acne.

Honey Can Help Scar Heal Naturally

You can help to prevent scarring caused by burns or sunburn by applying raw honey to the wound to speed up the healing process.

Researchers have found that burns cause oxidative stress which can result in permanent scarring. Applying honey to burns can help to kill off free radicals and prevent scar contractures or superficial scars. The healing power of honey also protects wounds from infection which is another way it helps heal scars faster. (11)

Some studies have shown that applying Manuka honey may help to reduce pain in scars as they heal naturally. (12)

You can apply raw honey directly to the wound to help wounds heal faster and treat scars. Cover the honey-treated wound with a dressing and change the dressing as necessary.

You can learn more about how to care for wounds to speed up healing and why using honey is good for your skin.

Vitamin E Oil May Be Good for Scars

Vitamin E oil contains antioxidants and may help to reduce surgical scars naturally and promote healthy healing.

One study showed that using vitamin E for scars twice a day can help wounds heal with minimal scarring. Applying vitamin E oil after surgery was a natural way to help scars heal and improve cosmetic results. (13)

Although some studies have shown that you can use vitamin E to heal a scar faster, other studies have not been as conclusive. (14)

A review on the benefits of using vitamin E oil to treat scars found that much could depend on the type and location of the scar involved. (15)

Find out how to use vitamin E to improve your skin’s appearance and how taking vitamin E supplements can help your skin from the inside.

You can also use vitamin E oil for scars on legs by mixing a capsule of vitamin E oil with sweet almond oil. Apply twice a day by thoroughly massaging the remedy to your legs to help scars fade away. You could also add a few drops of rosehip oil for treating scars on legs.

Aloe Vera Gel for Scars

One of the best natural remedies for treating irritated and inflamed skin is aloe vera. There is also some evidence that applying aloe vera to your skin may reduce the appearance of scars naturally.

The journal Annals of Plastic Surgery reported that compounds in aloe vera have natural scar healing properties. Applying aloe vera gel helped improve the appearance of scar tissue and decrease scar tissue size. (16)

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Other studies have shown that aloe vera has a positive effect on collagen production that helps wounds heal with the least amount of scarring as possible. (17)

To help increase the effectiveness of aloe vera, you can use aloe vera and vitamin E for scars. Mix 1 tablespoon of aloe vera with 2 or 3 capsules of vitamin E oil. Apply the home remedy to your scars 2-3 times a day until the scar has decreased in size.

Learn more about the amazing effect that aloe vera can have on your skin. You may also be interested in how to use aloe vera and coconut oil to maintain healthy-looking skin.

Shea Butter for Natural Scar Treatment

You can help get rid of stretch marks and other widespread scars by regularly applying shea butter to your damaged skin.

Research into the scar-healing potential of shea butter has found that it may be good for scars such as stretch marks. Applying skin preparations containing shea butter helped to increase skin elasticity and visibly reduce the appearance of existing scars. (18)

Some shea butter remedies contain a combination of shea butter, cocoa butter, and olive oil to help reduce the appearance of widespread scars. (18)

For more information on helping to make scars heal faster, please read this article on the skin benefits of shea butter.

Silicone Gel to Help Get Rid of Scars

One way to improve the appearance of surgical scars naturally is to apply silicone gel or silicone sheets. While silicone gel is not a natural product, it can help your scar heal naturally without a surgery.

The International Journal of Cosmetic Science reported that silicone can be used to create a scar healing cream. Using silicone gel in pressure dressings can help prevent hypertrophic scars after surgery from forming. Other results were experienced using silicone sheets for scar prevention. (19)

While it may be very difficult to get rid of keloids naturally, some studies have shown that silicone sheets may help prevent keloids and other types of raised post-surgical scars. For the silicone remedy to heal scars naturally, it’s important to use them daily for up to 6 months. (20)

Vitamin C to Heal Scars Naturally

If you need to get rid of acne scars or help heal other types of scars, then applying vitamin C can make you have better-looking skin.

One study found that a vitamin C cream for scars can help prevent raised scars from forming after stitches. For example, a silicon gel and vitamin C cream applied daily for 6 months was shown to reduce surgical scars naturally. The researchers noted that this cream can help heal scars on the face. (21)

There is evidence to suggest that taking vitamin C supplements is also an important way to heal scars. Scientists say that vitamin C is essential in all stages of wound healing to prevent scars from forming. Low levels of vitamin C could hinder wound healing and prevent healthy collagen synthesis. (22)

Onion Extracts as a Home Remedy for Scars

Some people ask the question if onion can remove scars. You may be surprised to find out that onion remedies can be effective to make scars heal faster.

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Research has revealed that compounds in onions promote wound healing and can heal surgical scars naturally. After 10 weeks, the onion gel had helped reduce redness, improved scar tissue texture, and soften the scar. Overall, the onion remedy was shown effective in treating scar development. (23)

Onion extracts or tinctures can be bought in health stores or online and may cause mild stinging when applied, but the stinging should resolve quickly.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Heal Scars?

Although no research has been carried out on its effectiveness, using apple cider vinegar may help wounds heal with a minimum of scaring.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic that helps prevent infections from developing in wounds. There is actually some evidence that acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps to treat burns and promote healing. (24)

So, you could use apple cider vinegar to help heal scars by mixing some with raw honey to create an antibacterial dressing. First of all, dilute 1-part apple cider vinegar with 2-parts water (never apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to the skin). Mix a little of the mixture with some raw honey and apply to your wound for 10 minutes. Apply the remedy twice a day until the wound heals.

You can also use the diluted apple cider vinegar remedy for scars by dipping a cotton ball in the mixture. Use to clean the wound daily to help speed up healing and prevent scars forming due to wound infections.

Learn more about using apple cider vinegar to treat acne naturally and how it can prevent acne scars from forming.

The Best Essential Oils for Scars

You can also treat scars naturally by applying essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, or frankincense oil. Many of the best essential oils for scars help collagen synthesize properly in dermal healing and prevent infection.

In general, due to the high concentration of compounds, essential oils are good for healing scars when combined with a carrier oil.

For example, because vitamin E oil is good for scars, a drop or 2 of essential oils in a tablespoon of vitamin E oil can help to heal scars. Same with coconut oil.

At the end of the article, you will find out how to use essential oils to heal scars faster and naturally.

Tea Tree Oil for Scars

Tea tree oil is one of the best essential oils for scars because it helps wounds heal faster with fewer complications.

One study found that specially prepared capsules containing tea tree oil helped to reduce inflammation in wounds and promote speedy healing. (25)

Other scientific studies have shown that tea tree oil has wide use in treating dermatological conditions. Tea tree oil can help treat acne and eczema and speeds up the wound healing process. (26)

While tea tree oil may not get rid of already-existing scars, applying tea tree oil can prevent scars from forming while a wound is healing.

Lavender Oil for Scars

Lavender is another of the essential oils for wound healing that can also help prevent scarring.

Research published in 2016 found that you can use lavender oil for scars because it helps wounds heal. Lavender oil increases collagen synthesis as wounds are healing and increase wound contraction. The reason why lavender essential oil is good for scar prevention is that it prevents too much collagen from forming too fast. (27)

This means that wounds heal faster especially when a lavender oil blend is applied to fresh wounds. (27)

Frankincense Essential Oil for Scar Treatment

Some of the best scar cream natural remedies should include frankincense essential oil as it helps prevent scars as wounds are healing.

Research has found that frankincense helps to heal scars faster because it prevents the type of collagen that forms scar tissue from developing. Frankincense essential oil also helps speed up the wound healing process. (28)

Other Essential Oils to Heal Scars Naturally

There are a few other essential oils that you can add to scar healing cream to help avoid fine line scars and other types of scars.

Helichrysum Essential Oil as a Scar Remedy

A review of essential oils that are good for promoting healthy wound healing found that helichrysum essential oil is good for preventing scar tissue from forming. (29)

Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Carrot seed oil could help wound heal faster because of its antibacterial properties. Research has found that carrot oil helps to kill off various strains of bacteria that may hinder healthy wound healing. (30)

How to Use Essential Oils for Scar Healing

You can create your own healing ointment for scars by combining essential oils with a carrier oil.

The best carrier oils to use for wound healing are coconut oil, rosehip oil, or sweet almond oil. You can also add some vitamin E oil because that is also good for scars.

Here is how to make your anti-scar healing cream:

  • Mix 2 drops each of tea tree oil and lavender oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil.
  • Add 1 capsule of vitamin E oil and mix well.
  • Apply the healing scar oil to wounds as they are healing to help prevent scars.

You can also use the essential oil blend for old scars by massaging a little of the oil twice a day to the scar tissue.

Is Scar Massage Effective for Scar Reduction?

Does a gentle scar massage help scars heal faster due to improving blood circulation to the scar area? The journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare published a review on 2015 about treating scars through complementary and alternative medicine.

The review found that some evidence supports massage therapy for treating scars. Some studies have reported that scar massage is effective in pain reduction and itching. However the evidence is not consistent, and some studies didn’t find it to be effective. (31)

If you decide to try this method, there are few important things to remember:

  • If your scar is due to a surgery, wait until the stitches have been removed and the scab has fallen off by itself.
  • Use the tips of your fingers and massage gently the scar and the surrounding skin in circular motions. Start with light pressure and continue with a firmer motions that you can tolerate. Do it twice or 3 times a day for a few minutes each time for several weeks.
  • During this time avoid sun exposure that may cause hyper-pigmentation of the skin.
  • Stop scar massaging and contact your doctor if you experience bleeding, redness or if you have unusual pain.

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28 Responses to The Best Proven Ways to Heal Scars Naturally (Evidence Based)

  1. Vivian says:

    please I have a scars on my leg which makes me feel bad when I wear any short dress.please how can I get rid if it not to reduce but to make it vanish.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Vivian, unfortunately in some cases you cannot completely get rid of a scar, and many times it’s more about improving it’s appearance. If the scar is old and large, home remedies will not yield much improvement, if any. It’s more about treating the scar in it’s early stages to achieve better healing.

  2. Karen says:

    I used pau d’arco lotion on a post op wound and it worked beautifully. I healed quickly and can barely see the scar. It was a skin cancer surgery and the incision was 2-3 inches. This was 2 years ago. I would need to point it out for it to be noticeable. Please provide more info on pau d’arco when you can. Thank you!

    • Wanda says:

      I recently had a skin cancer removed on my face and have a 2inch incision. How did you use pauDarco on your face,when and how many times a day. Can one fin it in a health store and how expensive is it? I must let my wound heal first without drying out. I am putting neosporin and vaseline on it now to aid in the healing process. Does it fade out the scar to lend in with the rest of your skin. I do not want to wait and have plastic surgery. I would appreciate your reply. Thank you.

  3. Dee says:

    Do these work on old scars too? I had spinal surgery 30 years ago that left a long, wide scar. I’ve always hates it and would love to be able to shrink it.

    Thanks

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Dee, good wound care helps to minimize skin scarring. I’m afraid it won’t help in your case as it’s been too long time.

    • Cj says:

      You can try using rosehip oil. I have a 6 inch, 25 year old scar on my leg that I got when I fell in a canal when I was a kid. I’ve been using rosehip oil for 7 months (I apply it twice a day) and it significantly improved the appearance of my scar. It’s still there but it looks so much better. Before I was so embarrassed by the scar I rarely wear short clothes. Now, I feel more comfortable wearing shorts and skirts. I plan on using rosehip oil until the scar almost disappears. I also add a few drops of lavender oil because I don’t like the earthy smell of rosehip oil.

      • Brenda says:

        Hi, I’m glad your scar have improved. I’m start to use it in a white scar. Was your scar white? I was wondering if rosehip oil will even out skin color.

  4. Michelle says:

    I have a huge scar on my thigh and every time I go into the bathroom I put vitamin E oil on it. I can’t believe how fast it’s healing! I use it about 15 times a day! I wish I would have known about that years ago. I just started using it on older scars as well, I think I might be able to fade them a bit too.

    • Courtney says:

      Okay so if you scrub the scar everyday with baking soda and vitamin E it will heal it. It’s works as an exfoliating scrub. Also, haven’t seen this on here yet but SHEA BUTTER works. You can purchase it on amazon and it really helps.

  5. emily says:

    Hello everyone i would like to share my experience. I have lots of scars on my legs because whenever i feel itchy i scratch it until it becomes a scar. A LOTS OF SCAR. I cannot wear shorts or dress because of it and was completely lose my confidence.Then i tried some research on how to lessen the appereance of a scar naturally because i tried creams but suddenly it doesnt work at all just a waste of money. I tried the ingredients that i have in home. I mix cucumber, aloe vera plant(get the gel of it), lemon juice,baking soda and honey. AND IT ACTUALLY WORK. it was my 3rd day of use when i see my scars got lighter fades the dark spots. I really recommend it to you guys 🙂

  6. Kathy says:

    Hello, my son just got 4 stitches on his face and my local health store recommended Sovereign Silver as an anticeptic to prevent inflammation and infection, he gets the stitches out tomorrow and the wound looks good, no puss and minimal redness but my question is when should I start the scar treatment? As soon as the stitches get removed? Any advice would be great, thank you in advance.

    • Jenny says:

      You can start scar treatment as soon as the stitches get removed. Gently apply a thin layer on the scar twice or three time a day. I would start with aloe vera which is gentle on the skin (you don’t need to wash the gel off, as the skin will absorb it).

  7. STEPHEN says:

    i had an injury at he right side of my chest, and it has turn into a very big scar and i can hardly take my cloths off, what should i do, moreso am that type of which my body is not injury friendly and once i had one it turns into a very big scar.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Stephen, I am not sure if your scar type is keloid scar, where there is a growth of extra scar tissue where the skin has healed after an injury. Keloids can be much larger than the original wound, and are most commonly found on the upper chest and shoulders. If it is keloid scar, there are various treatments for it, but this is something that requires medical attention and cannot be done at home. If this is the case, you need to refer to a dermatologist.

  8. Joe says:

    When ever I had a cut & I was able to reach it & if I wasn’t then I’d use a cup…I was told to “Pee” on it…..yes you read right “Pee” on it & if I wasn’t able to reach then “Pee” in a cup & reach the spot. The “Pee” really works….U should try…..

  9. John says:

    I have personally verified three on the many claims made by John Armstrong regarding the healing properties of your own urine in his book The Water of Life. I have confirmed that urine makes an great wound dressing, that at least some types of wounds ( cut from knife ) do heal without scaring, and that skin treated with urine over a period of days turns very soft, like a newborn babies butt. See my book review on Amazon if you are curious. Whether established scare tissue can be effected is unknown, but you could give it try. Its a matter of keeping something like a cotton warp moist with fresh urine, and sealed and kept in place. For a wound on the end of a finger, I cut the finger off the end of a cotton glove, put it over the wound, moistened it with my fresh urine, and then slipped a finger from a latex exam glove over the finger to keep it from drying out.

  10. Reema says:

    Hi! My 6 yrs. Old daughter burned her arm 8 months back.. Using silicon bandage n applying two creams but two big scars are still there… Can I apply natural alovera gel along with her cream treatments… Or suggest any thing else ?? One thing more these scars swell when bandage is removed in night

    • Jenny says:

      Pure aloe vera get is a good option to try. Another good option is tea tree essential oil diluted in a carrier oil. As for the swelling – swelling is a normal reaction of the body to an injury, however I’m not sure why the swelling is only at night. Best to talk to a doctor if you have any concerns.

  11. neri says:

    Hi i had goiter surgery, i am worried about my keloid scar..what can i do to dissappear it..thanks

    • Jenny says:

      Keloid scars are notoriously difficult to treat, and usually require a medical treatment by a dermatologist. Home remedies will not work on keloid scar.

  12. Jenni says:

    I’m only 16 and I heal horribly every time I fall hurt my self what ever, I get a cut or anything it always leaves a scar I got at least 30 scars on my body, but the olive oil works miracles. I have a 6 year old scar, give or take but it faded nicely. It’s not completely gone but it don’t stand out either

  13. Carol says:

    Hi Jenny 10 days ago I had laser on my legs to get rid of dark freckles I had a reaction to the laser my legs became inflamed and really itchy I tried not to scratch but I did and now I have red marks and some open small wounds on my legs I am scared they will scar its both my legs from knee down. I have been to dr twice today he had to put me on steroids to stop me scratching. What should I put on them to stop scarring

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Carrol, try pure aloe vera gel or tea tree oil mixed with carrier oil. They are really good for skin problems and have antiseptic properties. You can actually mix the two of them together: take a few of drops of tea tree oil and mix with 2–3 teaspoons of aloe vera gel. Mix it well and apply this directly on the affected area. Leave it for few hours or overnight. Wash it off with water and repeat doing the same process regularly until symptoms improve.

  14. Nicole says:

    Can you combine treatments? I have been using fresh aloe vera from the plant itself. But I also have tea tree oil and raw honey straight from a local bee farm. Is there benefits combining them all or better to use individually?

    • Jenny says:

      You can combine treatments. It can give you more chances of improving the situation. You can for example add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of honey or aloe vera or vitamin E oil.

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