Aloe vera cream.
Aloe vera is a plant whose extract is known for its ability to cool and soothe irritated skin. It is the only topical treatment – a treatment applied directly to the skin – known to reduce the appearance of scarring. Repeated application of aloe vera is effective in treating scars in some circumstances, particularly in the case of acne marks, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Although aloe vera is considered to be a very safe treatment, a patient who experiences unusual side effects while using it should discontinue treatment and consult a medical professional.
Aloe vera can be taken as a supplement in juice form.
Scars are caused when the dermis – the layer of skin below the surface – is damaged. The body produces fibrous tissue called collagen to close the wound and help it heal. Collagen can be left behind after the damage to the dermis is repaired, resulting in a scar.
The size, color, and texture of a scar can continue to change for one to two years after the injury, as the dermis continues to form under the scar tissue. Using aloe vera to treat a scar is most effective during this time as it can reduce the inflammation associated with ongoing healing. In addition to potentially improving the appearance of the skin, aloe vera can reduce the itchiness associated with scarring. Patients should not use this treatment on open wounds or until two weeks after the injury.
Some believe that aloe vera can help reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Although it comes in a variety of creams and lotions, the most effective form of aloe vera for scars is a pure gel with no additives. Frequent application is not known to have any adverse effects and the more frequently applied, the more likely it is to be effective. Aloe vera is not a miracle cure as it sometimes reduces the appearance of scars just a little, even after several months of treatment. The older the scar, the less likely it is to be affected by the treatment.
Surgery can result in scarring.
While more rigorous treatments such as laser therapy or even surgery are available for severe cases, using aloe vera on acne scars or everyday injuries is a much less expensive option. Other topical treatments, such as vitamin E or shea butter cream, have no long-term effect on the appearance of scars, which makes aloe vera one of the only over-the-counter products available for treating scars.