For some, a scar is a reminder of a meaningful memory, but for others it is an unwanted blemish. People typically obtain scars from freak accidents, medical conditions or surgery making them one of the most common skin concerns.
Why do scars form?
So why do scars form in some cases but not others? Well, a scar is created when the dermal layer of the skin is damaged. The skin has several layers, and the dermal is the deepest; it is where most of the skin’s nutrients are formed and plays a huge role in cell reproduction. Lesions have to be pretty deep to leave a scar; the dermis is very thick. Scars aren’t that bad, in fact, they are a sign that your body can heal itself. Once the skin begins to grow back it comes forward in a different pattern making the wound visible; this is a sign that your wound has fully healed.
There are several types of scars:
- Keloids– This wound is raised and often protrudes outside of the injured area. Keloids are a result of the skin “over-healing” which is why you end up with a lump of skin.
- Contracture- When you are burned the skin often tightens as it heals. In some cases, the wound is so severe that you can’t comfortably move your limbs.
- Hypertrophic- These scars are red, raised, and look like keloids.
- Acne- Once acne is healed you have to worry about them leaving a mark. Remember acne is sort of like a wound, and if the skin is damaged from popping or picking at it, you could develop a scar.
- Stretch marks– Losing or gaining weight is the reason people develop stretch marks. This wound is from stretching the skin which is why many pregnant women get them.
You may be genetically doomed
Unfortunately, some people are prone to scarring. People of color have skin with a high cell turnover rate, making them more susceptible to keloids and other scars. Hyperpigmentation is also seen more often in dark skin, so acne scarring is common. Just because your skin is more likely to scar, doesn’t mean it will, especially if you take care of it.
Banish unwanted scar tissue yourself
Before you go and see a professional, try a few methods to get rid of scar tissue at home.
Exfoliation is Key
All people, but especially people of color should add exfoliation into their skin care rituals. Since their cell turnover rate is so high, they can get rid of extra cells by scrubbing them away. Not even the toughest skin should be exfoliated daily, in fact, that could lead to more scarring. Exfoliation should be performed two times per week at the most.
Scar tissue can also be exfoliated, but you should be very cautious in doing so. Using a chemical exfoliant may be ideal for scars because you don’t have to manually scrub and risk injuring your skin. If the skin is too sensitive to stand the power of alpha hydroxy acids try using fruit enzymes, they dissolve dead and damaged skin just as well.
Food isn’t Just for Eating
Your groceries don’t have to be constrained to your kitchen; they could also join the items in your medicine cabinet. Fruits and veggies have been used for decades to naturally heal the body. Let’s keep the tradition alive by using these highly effective foods on your unwanted scar tissue.
Coconut Oil- Oh what oily goodness! This God sent ingredient is one of the best to heal the skin, it is also anti-bacterial and antifungal. If the skin is dry coconut oil also contains tons of hydration and fatty acids to protect against aging and environmental damage.
- Lemon- Citrus fruits have the power to get rid of scars because of their ability to exfoliate. Citric acid is commonly used in skincare products you’d find in popular beauty retailers. If you are dry or sensitive, you may want to use an essential oil or honey as a buffer, so the skin doesn’t become irritated.
- Rose oil- If you have an acne scar or a wound that is flat your biggest dilemma is color. Using rose oil will help to lighten discolored skin and provides tons of moisture.
- Vitamin E- This ingredient is commonly used for burns because of it can soothe the skin. Vitamin E is also known for its intense moisture properties, so it is perfect to eliminate dryness. You are welcome to use this ingredient on stretch marks and acne scars as well.
No matter which item you choose to begin your treatment, you must start with clean skin. These components should be applied on the skin three times per day until your concern has improved. If you choose to use lemon juice as your medium, only use it twice per week to prevent injury. Wearing sunscreen is not an option when trying to get rid of scar tissue, it is a must. The sun can make scars darker and reverse all of your hard work.
If you need a little help, visit a dermatologist
For those with severe scarring, you may want to visit a medical professional. The treatment options you are likely to discuss include:
- Creams and lotions- There are many creams that claim to get rid of scarring. If you want to save a little money, try an over the counter cream before going to the doctor. Ask your local pharmacist for a recommendation if you are unsure which one to choose.
- Injections- Steroids or fillers are injected into the skin to start the healing process. If your scar is sunken, fillers will help plump the skin making it appear normal.
- Lasers- Powerful lights zap away dark scars, this treatment has also been used on stretch marks.
- Dermabrasion- A powerful tool is used to exfoliate extra scar tissue. This treatment is great for raised scars.
I think scars are cool, depending on where they are they can become a part of your individuality. On the other hand, I am a strong advocate for getting rid of scars that negatively alter your appearance. Getting rid of scar tissue isn’t as simple as obtaining it but with a little time you’ll see improvement!