Skin Care Ideas

How To Get Rid Of Old Scars – Home Remedies And Prevention Tips

Medically reviewed by Dr. Aanand Geria, MD
by Atulya Satishkumar

Scars can be a result of injuries, burns, acne, blemishes, insect bites, chickenpox, and surgeries. They can tarnish your skin and leave permanent marks on your face and/or body. Although some parts of the body are not visible, having these scars on areas like the face can be embarrassing and difficult to handle.

While these scars do not totally disappear, they become lighter with time on their own. In this article, we have listed natural remedies that can help speed up scar lightening and make them less noticeable. Take a look.

Types Of Scars

There are different ways by which you can sustain scars. The different types of scars are:

  • Atrophic Scars: Examples of this kind of scars are stretch marks and pitted acne scars. They create sunken or indentation marks on the body (1).
  • Keloidal Scars: These are large, dark, elevated, and benign tumors that appear behind the ears, back and chest. These scars can also go beyond and grow outside the affected area. These are difficult to correct/revise by surgical methods (2).
  • Hypertrophic Scars: These are the most common type of scars. They are raised firm growths that do not go beyond the borders of the original injury and are characterized by modular structures (3).

Scars come in all sizes and shapes, and they are something you would rarely want to show off. Here are some natural methods that can help lighten scars to a great extent.

How To Get Rid Of Old Scars With Natural Remedies

1. Lemon

Lemons are rich in bioactive compounds that exhibit antioxidant properties (4). These can help reduce the scars that appear due to acne, pimples, or zits and repair your skin.

You Will Need
  • 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Cleanse the skin around the scarred area.
  2. Dip the cotton ball in lemon juice and dab it on the affected area.
  3. Keep it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off.
  4. After washing off the lemon juice, apply a sunscreen if you plan to step out in the sun.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2-3 times daily.

Note: Lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation on your skin, so you must use this remedy only if you are not allergic to it.

2. Honey

Raw honey is an age-old therapy to fade scars. It contains bioactive compounds that stimulate tissue regeneration and can aid in treating wounds (5). Baking soda acts as an exfoliant and helps in lightening the scar.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • A small towel
  • Hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the raw honey and baking soda.
  2. Massage the mixture on the scar for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Place a hot towel over the area. When the towel cools down, wipe the area clean.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice a day.

3. Onion

Onions have anti-inflammatory properties and also inhibit the production of collagen (6), which in turn helps in fading scars (7).

You Will Need

Onion juice

What You Have To Do
  1. Grate an onion and squeeze out some fresh onion juice.
  2. Apply this directly to the scar and let it dry naturally.
  3. Rinse after 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 3-4 times a day.

Note: Do not forget to keep your skin moisturized between the onion juice applications.

4. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties (8). This may help reduce skin irritation and scars and encourage the regeneration of new skin cells.

You Will Need

Aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Use either freshly extracted aloe vera gel or an organic store-bought one on the scars. Massage it in thoroughly.
  2. Do not rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Reapply 2-3 times daily.

5. Gooseberry

Gooseberry (amla) is rich in vitamin C that may help reduce the formation of scars. It can reduce the appearance of scars due to its tyrosinase inhibitory effect (9). Hence, it may lighten old scars and also prevent the formation of new ones

You Will Need
  • Gooseberry powder
  • Olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix enough gooseberry powder with olive oil to form a smooth paste that will cover the affected area.
  2. Apply this as a face pack and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Rinse with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can use this face pack every alternate day.

 6. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil contains phytochemicals that may help reduce surgical and acne scars gradually (10). It improves blood circulation to the affected area and also protects it from infections.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon water or olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Dilute the tea tree essential oil in either olive oil or water.
  2. Massage the scarred area with this oil.
  3. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every night before going to bed.

Note: Do a patch test before trying out this remedy as tea tree oil may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

7. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains phenolic compounds, antioxidants, and vitamins that can promote the growth of skin cells and tissues (11). This may help eliminate old scars, and its antimicrobial properties can prevent further breakouts.

You Will Need

1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Warm the coconut oil by rubbing it between your palms
  2. Dab it on the scars and leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this every night before going to bed.

8. Vitamin Supplements

Vitamin supplements can help a great deal in minimizing facial scars. Vitamin E exhibits wound-healing properties (12). These properties may help reverse the effects of acne scars and blemishes on your skin and leave it looking clearer over time.

You can take a doctor’s prescribed dose of vitamin E supplements. You can also consume foods rich in vitamins like green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, fish, carrots, and avocados.

9. Potato Juice

Potato juice is rich in phytochemicals that can cleanse your skin and lighten pigmentation or spots caused by acne and pimples. This makes your skin look replenished and clearer (13).

You Will Need

2- tablespoons potato juice

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract potato juice by crushing a raw potato.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in this juice and apply it to the affected areas.
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can apply this juice 2-3 times a week.

10. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil possesses antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties (14). This may help fight any inflammatory response to infections on your skin and heal the affected area and eliminate scars over time.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two to three drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of sweet almond oil.
  2. Dab a cotton ball with the mixture and apply it to the affected areas.
  3. Rinse your face thoroughly after 10 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times daily.

11. Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is composed of bioactive compounds that exhibit wound-healing properties (15). It is observed that it can speed up the transition of macrophages phenotypes that can help improve scars over time.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops rosehip oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two to three drops of rosehip oil with a teaspoon of sweet almond oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to the affected areas. Leave it on overnight.
  3. Wash it off in the morning.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2-3 times daily.

Apart from these home remedies, there are various treatment options available to get rid of scars. In the next section, we will explore medical treatment options for scars.

Medical Treatments Options For Old Scars

Here are some of the commonly used methods you can opt for:

  • Over The Counter Drugs

There are several OTC drugs or creams that can be used to fade old scars, but use them only under the guidance of the doctor or a pharmacist. Mederma is one such OTC ointment that can be used to fade scars. It is a chemical formulation containing aqueous extracts of onion and is widely used in eliminating post-surgical scars (16). Consulting a certified dermatologist is recommended so that you are prescribed the correct type of cream to remove your old scars.

  • Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are known to lighten old scars by using chemical exfoliants. This procedure also removes the dullness from the skin and can improve overall skin texture (17). Many cosmetic clinics offer various types of chemical peels depending on the nature of the scar you want to get rid of. This method works best for superficial scars.

  • Laser Treatments

This method is used on persistent and stubborn scars. Laser therapy employs the use of photothermal energy to stimulate the remodeling of collagen and elastin in the scar tissue and skin (18). Different lasers are used for different types of scars.

Prevention Tips

Here are a few tips you can bear in mind to prevent scarring:

  • If you have sustained a cut/scrape, ensure that you keep the wound covered and clean until it is healed.
  • You could apply OTC ointments or petroleum jelly to the wounded area to minimize scarring (19).
  • Always keep the wound dressing clean and hygienic.
  • If you had to get stitches for your wound, consult your doctor regarding care for the affected site after it is healed to reduce scarring.

These remedies tips can help ensure that the old scar looks less prominent and reduce the risk of scarring after sustaining a wound or an injury. Consult your doctor to understand which remedy might be suitable for you.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Does Mederma really work on scars?

Mederma is an over-the-counter skin cream that is widely used to treat scars. But studies have shown that it is not as effective as petroleum jelly is in fading away scars (19).

19 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Atulya Satishkumar