Depending on how deep your scars are, you may be able to smooth them out with natural remedies. If they’re too deep for topical solutions to penetrate, you’re better off visiting a dermatologist for more intensive procedures.
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Treat shallow scars with a homemade papaya mask. Combine ½ cup mashed papaya and 2 tbsp. honey into a small bowl. Let the mask remain on the skin for about 20 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.
Apply a collagen-boosting cream to your scars. Apply three dots of a drugstore or department store creams onto the scar. Smooth the product into the skin until the cream disappears.
Consider having laser resurfacing. A form of dermatologic surgery, laser resurfacing actually vaporizes damaged top layers of skin, allowing healthy, new skin to emerge beneath. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, practitioners use a wand-like laser to target areas of scarred skin, which “literally disappear in a puff of mist.” Initial recovery time lasts a few days and you can wear makeup one to two weeks afterward.
Look into professional dermabrasion, which can be far more effective than at-home microdermabrasion for deep scars. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery describes the process as a two-pronged procedure during which the skin is first cleansed and then “sanded” with a rotary instrument to smooth and improve the contour and texture. Your skin heals in about a week, with any lingering redness fading by three months.
Ask your dermatologist about the possibility of punch graft treatment. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, punch grafts take pieces of unscarred skin and use them to replace pieces of scarred skin, removed by a device they describe as a “tiny circular cookie cutter.” In most cases, they say, new skin comes from behind your ear. The replacement graft heals in about five to seven days. Oftentimes, punch graft treatment is only way to treat deep pitted scars.
Look into punch excisions. Like punch grafts, punch excisions remove the scarred skin with the same cookie-cutter-like device. Instead of grafting in new skin, however, the old skin is simply sewn back together with temporary stitches. Although the procedure leaves a scar, the American Academy of Dermatology writes that the scars are less visible than the originals.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Marie Claire magazine: Homemade Facial Masks
- The DERMAdoctor Skinstruction Manual; Audrey Kunin, M.D. with Bill Gottlieb; 2005
- American Society for Dermatologic Surgery: Laser resurfacing information
- American Society for Dermatologic Surgery: Dermabrasion information
- American Academy of Dermatology: What Is a Scar?
- AcneNet: Depressed Acne Scars