Nobody can go unscarred for long. Everyone at some point in their life will be victim to an accident, surgery, or acne that will create visible scars on the body. Over the years, many solutions including common home remedies have been added to the discussion on how to improve scars. Do these at-home solutions have any validity? Our Mythbusters go to work.
At Home Remedies
There are a few steps one can take to help prevent new scars as well as reduce old ones. The most important thing is to keep the wound moisturized prior to becoming a scar.
Gel is often suggested as a good way to keep scars moisturized and healthy for better repair. The anti-inflammatory properties do help prevent skin irritations as well as smooth the wounded area of dead skin. However, aloe vera should not take the place of a physician recommended product. Silicone-based products are commonly recommended in medical offices for the prevention and treatment of scars.
One scar prevention urban legend is the used of onion extract. Does this really work?
Onion Extract may help reduce inflammation in the skin which can prevent redness as well as possibly decrease scar sizes. There are some over-the-counter scar creams that contain onion extract for this reason. However before you go squeezing onions and rubbing them on your face, it’s important to note that this ingredient is only effective when properly formulated. Again, these should not take the place of a physician recommended product. Physician recommended products are formulated specifically to work on the skin to produce more effective results, which is why treating the skin with home remedies is not necessarily a viable substitute. In fact, there are no real scientific studies confirming the safety of the use of onion extract on the surface of the skin. Onions are acidic and could possibly even cause damage.
Another commonly discussed home remedy is lemon juice. The origins of this myth likely return to the alpha hydroxy acids it contains. Alpha hydroxy helps remove dull skin cells and generate new skin cells. However, direct lemon juice is probably not the best source of alpha hydroxy. To get the best results with a safe and proven tactic, ask your medical provider or licensed esthetician for their recommendation in skin care products containing alpha hydroxy.
At The Doctor’s Office
Although these home remedies may help, their results on the damaged skin will be only minimal. For a much more effective removal of scars, one should look in Laser Scar Removal or Reduction. Some methods include a CO2 or Er:YAG laser to smooth the uneven skin away. This method is more common for acne scarring. The YAG is typically not as severe as the CO2 but both will result in downtime from the patient for efficient healing. A second method to use is typically for larger hypertrophic and keloid scars. Intense Pulsed Light may also be recommended to improve the appearance of scars.As both methods must be performed by a licensed medical professional, it is wise to schedule a consultation to discuss all of your options. As well, make sure to take proper precautions after the treatment to insure that the procedure will be successful and you will attain the results you desire.