Smoothing Rough Edges

Natural treatment for scarring

Do you have some scars in prominent places? You are not alone. These days, it seems everyone has a scar that they would like to “get rid of.”

A scar is an overgrowth of collagen resulting from some sort of trauma to the skin such as acne, chicken pox, an accident, or surgery. Scars are actually a good thing because they are the body’s way of healing itself. In fact, some may find beauty in a scar because it tells a story. However, often­times scars can cause a great deal of emotional stress and negatively affect self-image.

Although scars cannot be completely removed, the good news is that you don’t need to turn to invasive methods such as steroid injections, laser resur­facing, and radiotherapy. Whether your scars are flat and white or lumpy, bumpy, and discolored, treatment products with powerfully effective natural ingredients in combination with the right skin care techniques can help soften and smooth them and improve discoloration, making them less noticeable.

Nature’s three scar-healing ingredients

When searching for an effective natural scar treatment, look for three of nature’s amazing ingredients: allantoin, panthenol, and allicin.

ALLANTOIN: Made from the roots and leaves of the comfrey plant, allantoin is an anti-inflammatory agent and kerato­lytic (skin flake dissolver) in nature, helping to break down scar tissue while also having the opposite and comple­mentary function of encouraging normal cellular growth.

PANTHENOL: Panthenol, or provitamin B5, is a gentle, water-soluble vitamin that has the ability to deeply penetrate skin, delivering essential skin-healing moisture. It has also been shown to help regenerate healthy skin tissue, reduce inflammation, and relieve itchiness, redness, and pain.

ALLICIN: Allicin, a compound found in onion or garlic, is also beneficial for scars. (Don’t worry, that does not mean the product will necessarily smell like garlic or onion.) This natural compound helps fight inflammation and bacteria.

Together, these ingredients can take a lumpy or bumpy scar (and, yes, keloids too) and help them blend into the surrounding tissue, smoothing skin texture, diminishing color, and improving the overall appearance of your scar.

Scar treatment guidelines

I recommend using a natural scar treatment product two to three times a day, massaging gently into the scar and the surrounding tissue. As with most natural remedies, they take time to work. If you have a new, fresh scar it will take about two to three months. For an old scar, estimate about five to six months. At six months, most likely the product has done all it can do.

Microdermabrasion scrub

In addition to a natural scar treatment product, a great approach to diminishing the look of scars is to incorporate a natural microdermabrasion scrub. Once or twice a week, gently scrub scarred areas in a circular motion for up to one minute then apply your natural scar treatment product. Microdermabrasion will help remove the uppermost layer of dead skin cells, helping to smooth and diminish the look of your scars. Plus, it will help improve your skin’s ability to absorb the treatment product, giving you even better results.

I know that more often than not it is difficult to find the beauty in scars, so reach for healthy, natural alternatives to diminish their appearance. You won’t be disappointed.

In celebration of derma e’s 30th anniversary, derma e cofounder and formulator Dr. Linda Miles will be writing this column for one year. The column will address natural skincare solutions, natural skincare ingredients, and skincare issues.