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What are the Best Tips for Healing a Scar?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee

Healing a scar is a process that typically begins with caring properly for the wound. Wounds that are allowed to become infected are typically more likely to form thick, asymmetrical, or discolored scars that may even protrude from the skin. Scar tissue is generally considered different from normal skin tissue, as it usually lacks sweat glands, blood vessels, melanin, or hair follicles. Scars generally become smoother and more supple with time, but the full process of healing a scar can take up to two years. The appearance of most scars can be minimized with good hygiene, massage, UV protection, proper nutrition, and, if necessary, the application of topical remedies that can help lighten, soften and thin the scar.

Scar tissue generally begins to form as soon as the body sets to work repairing a wound. These tissues are made mostly of collagen. Scars are often initially quite pronounced, thick, and discolored, but, as the scar healing process continues, most scars become thinner, suppler, and paler in appearance. Abnormal scarring, which can cause permanently raised, thickened, or discolored scars, can occur due to a number of factors, including age, genetics, skin type, and location of the scar on the body.

Scar tissue.
Scar tissue.

Some of the factors involved in abnormal scarring may be impossible to change. Wound hygiene, diet, sun exposure, and tobacco use can, however, be adjusted to influence the healing of a scar. Infection of a wound often raises the chances of abnormal scarring. Nutrition can play an important role in healing a scar, such that a diet high in vitamins and minerals is typically recommended.

Aloe vera gel may help with scars.
Aloe vera gel may help with scars.

Scars are often more likely to become discolored if they are exposed to UV rays, so applying sunblock or covering the scar with clothing can help minimize its appearance. Tobacco use can disrupt the scar healing process because it often hinders blood circulation. Tobacco use can lower blood supply to the area, leading to a more pronounced scar.

Massaging scar tissue has been said to minimize its appearance. Scars may need to be massaged multiple times per day. Some common topical remedies, like vitamin E, have not yet been proven effective at minimizing the appearance of scar tissue. Researchers believe, however, that the topical application of vitamin C, aloe vera gel, or licorice extract can help with healing a scar. Medicated topical ointments containing dimethicone silicone may be very effective at softening and flattening a thickened, pronounced scar.

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Discussion Comments

burcinc

A healthy diet, a good moisturizer and staying out of the sun is usually enough for my scars to heal. My sister is different though, her scars take forever to heal. She uses vitamin K cream for this reason. She says that the cream makes scars fade much more quickly. She mostly uses it for acne scars but I know it works for other types of scars as well. As far as I know, vitamin K cream is fairly affordable too, so it's a good option.

literally45

@bluedolphin-- Yes, I use vitamin E oil for scars all the time. How long you need to use it for depends on how bad the scar is and how old it is. The older and more serious the scar, the longer you need to use vitamin E oil.

My cat is fond of scratching me during play time and I usually use vitamin E oil to prevent and heal scars caused by her. The trick is waiting for a cut or scrape to be completely closed off before using vitamin E oil. Do not use vitamin E oil if skin is still open because it might worsen it.

After the cut is closed up, apply a dab of vitamin E oil on it every day, at least once a day for as long as it takes for the scar to go away. For new scars, it usually takes only a week for them to disappear for me. I once had a very deep cut on my face and in that situation, it took one month for the scar to disappear with vitamin E oil. So consistent application and patience are key.

bluedolphin

Has anyone here used vitamin E oil for scars? Does it work? How long do I need to use vitamin E oil for scars to disappear?

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    • Scar tissue.
      Scar tissue.
    • Aloe vera gel may help with scars.
      By: sassyphotos
      Aloe vera gel may help with scars.
    • Tobacco use may slow the healing process of a scar.
      By: Klaus Eppele
      Tobacco use may slow the healing process of a scar.
    • Scars from surgery and injury typically fade over time.
      By: Artem Furman
      Scars from surgery and injury typically fade over time.
    • Frequent acne breakouts may lead to scarring.
      By: Ocskay Bence
      Frequent acne breakouts may lead to scarring.