Scars are marks left behind on the skin after it has healed from a wound, trauma, or injury. While they fade with time, they do not disappear entirely, which can be a cosmetic concern for some.
Concealing scars is possible when they are present on an inconspicuous body part. However, if they are on your legs, it might not always be possible to hide them with clothing – especially when you are out on a beach holiday or want to wear short skirts and dresses. So, if you are looking for ways to get rid of scars on your legs, you have come to the right place! This article discusses multiple ways, remedies, and treatments to manage all types of scars on your legs. Scroll down.
In This Article
Causes And Types Of Scars On The Legs
Burns, injury, weight loss, cuts, and bruises – multiple factors can leave behind scars on your legs. Some of the common types of scars include:
Contractures occur when the skin contracts upon healing. This type of scar pulls the skin edges, causing skin tightening. It is the characteristic scar caused by burns and can restrict movement, especially when it affects the nerves, tendons, joints, and muscles.
2. Atrophic Scars
Atrophic or depressed scars result from skin inflammation caused by conditions like chickenpox and acne. They appear as small, rounded pits or indentations. They can become prominent with age.
3. Flat Scars (Cicatrix)
Such scars may initially appear pinkish and slightly raised. They eventually level out as they heal. Flat scars often become pale or darker than the surrounding skin and are caused by injuries.
Keloids are scar tissues that appear shiny and hairless and rise above skin surfaces. They grow larger than the actual wound and are caused due to a variety of reasons, ranging from skin conditions like eczema to surgical procedures. Depending on their location, keloids may affect movement.
5. Hypertrophic Scars
Hypertrophic scars rise above the skin surface, and they do not spread out like keloids. They are caused by mild cutaneous injuries like insect bites, vaccination, and skin piercing. Although, they get smaller with time, they do not flatten entirely.
6. Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are the most common forms of scars resulting from rapid skin expansion or contraction, which damage the connective tissues. You may develop such scars during puberty, pregnancy, or weight fluctuations.
It is possible to develop any of these scars on your legs. In the next section, we have discussed the ways to fade and treat them.
Natural And OTC Treatments For Scars On The Legs
Treating Burn Scars On The Legs
Contracture scars result from excess collagen production to repair the damage. However, they may also develop into hypertrophic and keloid scars. To manage such scars:
- Apply self-drying silicone gel to get rid of hypertrophic and keloid scars caused by second and third-degree burns.
- Shield the scars from UV exposure and apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 or above.
Treating Acne Scars On The Legs
Acne on the legs is rare. However, you may develop folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles), caused by Staphylococcus aureus. It is often mistaken as acne and results from improper shaving (razor bumps) or ingrown hair removal. Scratching the bumps may leave behind scars. To minimize them, you can talk to the doctor. They may prescribe:
- Topical antibiotic creams, gels, and lotions
- Hydrocortisone creams to reduce itching and irritation
- Antifungal pills and creams (if it is caused by fungus)
- Wet wraps to prevent inflammation and scarring
- Laser treatment or chemical peeling (for severe scarring)
Treating Bug Bite Scars On The Legs
While bug bites are generally harmless, they can cause hyperpigmentation and scarring due to scratching and inflammation. To treat them:
- Apply aloe vera gel to soothe the inflammation.
- Massage the area to promote blood flow to your legs. This may boost collagen production and reduce scar appearance.
- Moisturize and exfoliate the skin on your legs often.
- Minimize the chance of infections by applying antibacterial ointments.
Treating Eczema Scars On The Legs
Eczema does not leave behind scars. However, itching and scratching the eczematic patches can cause scarring. Minimizing the flare-ups is the way to prevent scarring. You may try the following methods:
- Indulge in a 30-minute oatmeal bath occasionally as it can moisturize and exfoliate your skin.
- Massaging the skin with hemp seed oil can strengthen the skin barrier and soothe eczema.
- Use OTC medications, such as oral antihistamines, and steroid creams like hydrocortisone creams to alleviate eczema symptoms.
Treating Injury-Related Scars On The Legs
Injuries lead to scab formation, and picking them can leave behind scars. To fade scab scars on the legs:
- Avoid picking at the scab or removing it forcefully.
- Massage a solution of lavender essential oil and extra virgin olive oil onto the affected region. This can keep the area moisturized and fade scars on your legs.
- Apply the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon on the scar site and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off with cool water.
Treating Stretch Mark Scars On The Legs
You may develop stretch mark scars around your knees, calves, and thighs during puberty (due to growth spurt) and pregnancy (due to weight gain) or sudden weight loss. At first, they appear as red and purple lines (fresh scars), which later turn white (old scars). Treating the scars while they are fresh can fade them. You may try the following methods:
- Exfoliate your skin regularly. You may use a physical scrub or homemade sugar scrub.
- Massaging the area with virgin coconut oil can speed up the wound healing process and collagen production, which may help fade scars.
- Massaging the area with products containing centella asiatica and hyaluronic acid may show promising results and fade stretch marks.
Treating Old And Dark Scars On Legs
Older scars may undergo hyperpigmentation and turn darker than the surrounding skin. While it is tough to get rid of older scars, you may try these methods:
- Applying onion extract gel can help soften scar tissues, improve their texture, reduce redness, and refine their appearance.
- Chemical exfoliators containing glycolic acid can improve the appearance of stubborn atrophic scars.
- Silicone sheets and gels are known to improve even the most severe hypertrophic and keloid scars.
However, if you are unable to fade the scars with the treatments mentioned above and if the scarring is severe, consult a doctor immediately.
When To Consult A Doctor For Scars On The Legs
If the scarring on your legs is severe and affecting mobility, consult a licensed dermatologist to perform medical treatments to reduce scarring and related issues. Some of the techniques that they may employ include:
- Pressure dressing
- Laser therapy
- Steroid injections
- Chemical peeling
- Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion
- Dermal filling
- Botox treatment
- Scar removal surgery
- Subcision and excision
Effective wound management is crucial for scar healing. Here are a few more tips to help you manage scars on the legs.
Tips On How To Prevent Or Get Rid Of Scars On The Legs Fast
- In case of an injury, rinse your legs with cold or lukewarm water and allow the wound to air dry.
- Apply antibacterial cream to prevent infection.
- Keep the scars (or wound) covered and protect them from direct UV exposure. Apply sunscreen whenever you step out.
- Avoid picking at the scab that forms over a wound.
- Begin treating the scar as soon as it appears.
- During the skin healing process, apply moisturizer to soften scar tissues and maintain skin elasticity.
- You may try bleaching creams to address hyperpigmentation.
- Use skin care products enriched with vitamin E, cocoa butter, aloe vera, and essential oils to fade scars.
- Massage your legs frequently to break down any fibrous tissues within the scar.
To Sum Up
Proactive wound care is the first step to managing scars on the legs. Nourish your skin and allow it to heal as it will minimize the occurrence of scars in the first place. For treating older, existing scars on your legs, have patience and be persistent with the treatment methods to get the desired result. If nothing works, you can always consult a dermatologist and try cosmetic procedures to treat them effectively.
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- Keloid and Hypertrophic Scars Are the Result of Chronic Inflammation in the Reticular Dermis
- The Efficacy of Silicone Gel for the Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids
- A review of four common medicinal plants used to treat eczema
- Plants used to treat skin diseases
- Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats
- Striae gravidarum: Risk factors
- The ability of onion extract gel to improve the cosmetic appearance of postsurgical scars
- Biweekly serial glycolic acid peels vs. long-term daily use of topical low-strength glycolic acid in the treatment of atrophic acne scars
- International Clinical Recommendations On Scar Management