Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral disease and causes blisters on the skin. Scratching them can lead to scarring and skin damage. Chickenpox scars can be bothersome if they are on the face. Keep reading to learn the natural remedies and other treatment options to fade them and improve their appearance.
In This Article
What Causes Chickenpox Scars?
Chickenpox scars are caused by scratching the blisters. This viral disease causes inflammation and fluid-filled blisters on the skin. These blisters heal on their own and flake off as the infection subsides.
However, you may experience extreme itchiness during this period, and most of the patients scratch the blisters to relieve the itching. This can cause a deeper wound at the area, and as the skin heals, you may develop depressed scar tissue. The next section discusses the common types of chickenpox scars.
Types Of Chickenpox Scars
Chickenpox scars are generally atrophic scars. Their common traits are:
- They appear indented and depressed.
- They are round (5-10mm diameter)
Hypertrophic (raised) scars and keloids are uncommon after chickenpox. Atrophic scars are caused when the skin cannot produce enough collagen to cover the wound. As a result, the skin looks pitted and rough. Here is what you can do to improve its appearance and fade chickenpox scars.
How To Get Rid Of Chickenpox Scars: Natural Remedies And Treatments
Home Remedies For Chickenpox Scars
These remedies may not fade old scars. However, if you are recovering from chickenpox, they may help in proper wound care and prevent scarring.
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera can reduce inflammation, promote proper wound healing, and reduce scar tissue size (1). It can also soothe the skin and relieve itching. You can massage the affected area with fresh aloe vera gel and leave it on overnight.
2. Shea Butter
Shea butter is a popular remedy to reduce keloid scars after a surgical procedure (2). It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and moisturizes the skin. Massaging the affected area with shea butter can keep the area hydrated, maintain its elasticity, reduce itching, and prevent scarring.
3. Rosehip Seed Oil
The antioxidants and the phytochemicals present in rosehip seed oil make it an excellent choice for scar management ( 3). It can reduce skin dryness and help improve the appearance of scars. You can massage the affected area with rosehip seed oil regularly to achieve the desired results.
1. Retinoic Acid
This vitamin A derivative boosts collagen production and is widely used to minimize wrinkles and fine lines. When used with glycolic acid, it can effectively reduce scars (4).
2. Chemical Peels
OTC chemical peels containing glycolic acid can help improve skin texture. It sloughs away the dead skin cells, promotes cell regeneration, and fades scars. Doctors may use medium-deep or deep chemical peels, depending on the scar severity (5). However, consult a doctor before using OTC chemical peels and follow the instructions mentioned in the package. Else, they may irritate the skin and cause chemical burns.
3. Scar Removal Creams
These formulations contain an assortment of ingredients that can reduce the appearance of scars and fade them. You can also seek your dermatologist’s advice on what cream to use for chickenpox scars.
4. Silicone Sheets
Silicone sheets are primarily used to treat keloids and hypertrophic scars. They hydrate the skin tissues to shrink and flatten scars to promote healing and subsequent fading (6).
Professional And Medical Treatment
Older scars are tough to fade and may require medical treatment. Here are a few treatments that the dermatologist may suggest:
1. Laser Resurfacing
In this treatment, lasers of specific wavelengths are used to boost collagen production in the affected area and fade the scars. This is performed by a trained professional and is minimally invasive. However, you may have to go for multiple sessions.
Microneedling is a process where the skin is punctured with needles to create micro-injuries. This tricks the skin to produce collagen to heal the injury, which helps minimize the appearance of the scars. This treatment is performed by trained professionals using needles of varying thickness, depending on the scar depth. You can also buy at-home microneedling devices. However, doing it at home can injure your skin and worsen the scars.
Microdermabrasion can help fade chickenpox scars by sanding away the epidermis using a crystal tip device that rotates at high speed. Sloughing away the topmost layer promotes cell regeneration and improves the skin texture.
4. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels exfoliate the skin, promote skin regeneration, and fade the scars. The in-office chemical peeling uses medical-grade solutions that give better results than the at-home OTC peels. The downtime and recovery depend on whether you opt for a light, medium, or deep peel.
5. Dermal Fillers
Fillers can reshape the depressed and sunken scars. Dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid and healthy fats, which are injected under the scar tissues to reduce the indentation. However, this treatment only lasts six months.
6. Punch Excision
This treatment is recommended for deep, severe, pitted, or sunken scars. In this treatment, the dermatologist will numb your skin and use a punching tool to remove the scar surgically and stitch the skin.
Taking care of the blisters during the recovery phase can reduce the risk of scarring. Here is what you have to do to avoid chickenpox scars.
How To Prevent Scars From Chickenpox
- Avoid scratching or picking the dried blisters. Do not remove the flakes forcefully.
- Keep the chickenpox blisters moisturized to alleviate itching.
- Prepare an oatmeal bath and soak in it to soothe your skin.
- Wear sunscreen to prevent UV damage and further collagen degradation.
- Consult the doctor and take oral antihistamines to relieve the itching. However, avoid using topical antihistamines.
- Use moisturizing creams and products that contain natural ingredients like aloe vera, cocoa butter, argan oil, and coconut oil to soothe the skin and prevent scarring.
Chickenpox often leaves behind scars that may take time to fade. Therefore, proper wound healing and management are crucial to preventing chickenpox scars. Avoid picking at the dry blisters. If they itch, use moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera gel and shea butter to soothe the blisters and prevent itching and dryness. This will prevent further wounds and deep scars. However, if you have old scars, you must consult a dermatologist and opt for skin treatments to fade them. While it is impossible to get rid of the scars, these treatments may help fade them and make them less noticeable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can chicken pox scars be removed naturally?
Yes. Chickenpox scars are not permanent and fade away naturally within 6-12 months if one is not severely infected. Natural remedies like lemon juice and aloe vera help accelerate the fading of chicken pox scars.
Can you get chicken pox twice?
Only in rare cases. But most often, you can get it only once in a lifetime (and you develop immunity against it after that).
Which is worse, smallpox or chickenpox?
Smallpox is worse than chickenpox. It causes fever, rashes, and blisters, just like chickenpox, but they are more severe. That said, smallpox has been eradicated.
Can we apply turmeric on chicken pox?
Turmeric paste helps soothe the itching and irritation associated with chickenpox (7). However, more studies are warranted in this regard.
- Chickenpox scars occur when the skin does not produce enough collagen to cover the wound.
- Aloe vera gel, rosehip seed oil, and shea butter are excellent choices for scar management.
- Treatments like chemical peeling, retinoic acids, microneedling, and dermal fillers help fade chickenpox scars.
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- Topical Application of Aloe vera Accelerated Wound Healing Modeling and Remodeling: An Experimental Study
- Inhibitory Activities of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Traditional African Remedies on Keloid Fibroblasts
- Evolution of Post-Surgical Scars Treated with Pure Rosehip Seed Oil
- Retinoic acid and glycolic acid combination in the treatment of acne scars
- Evidence and Considerations in the Application of Chemical Peels in Skin Disorders and Aesthetic Resurfacing
- Topical Silicone Sheet Application in the Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids
- Turmeric, the Golden Spice
- Juvederm: Everything You Need To Know About It
- Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: The Complete Guide
- How To Remove Facial Scars Naturally
- Types Of Acne Scars And How To Treat Them Naturally