Lemon juice has been used as a natural remedy for a number of medicinal purposes, including the treatment of scarring. Lemon juice may lighten scars, but will not totally remove them. Nor will any other home remedy, but if you don't want to opt for more invasion and expensive treatments, such as surgery or microdermabrasion, lemon juice may be somewhat effective.
As stated by The Free Dictionary, scars are marks on your skin that are created during the healing process after damage to the skin or tissues. When the skin or tissues are injured, the body releases the protein collagen to repair the damage. Collagen, which literally keeps us connected, reattaches the damaged skin.
The causes of scarring include cuts, sores, surgery, burns, acne and chicken pox. The healing process is stronger if you are younger, and scars tend to thicken as you age. Your ethnicity, heredity and location of your injury can affect the type of scar that develops. It is important to remember that scars are permanent. They can and often do lessen in appearance over time, but the cannot be completely removed.
Lemons, as with other citrus fruits, contain alpha hydroxy acids, which have healing properties for your skin. The AHA in lemon juice removes dead skin cells, helps new cells grow, and gives skin some of its elasticity back. Lemon juice is often described as a natural bleach, so it is not surprising that it may lighten scars.
To use lemon juice to try to lighten scars, first cleanse the scar area thoroughly. Put 1 tsp. of lemon juice on a cotton ball and apply to the scarred area. Rinse it off after 10 minutes. Lemon juice can make your skin photosensitive, so be sure to use sunscreen when you go outside.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that silicon gel sheeting or ointment can improve the appearance of some scars that are swollen. It also states that there is no other topical remedy that is proven to work. Vitamin E, often used directly on scars, may cause irritation and increase the time it takes for your wound to heal.
If you have scars that really bother you because of how they look, you can opt for scar revision, which is surgery to improve the appearance of scars. But if you want to try a topical treatment that may lighten scars, is quite safe, and costs very little money, lemon juice is worth a try, even if scientific proof of its effectiveness hasn't been established.