Aloe Vera for scars? As a succulent plant known for its healing properties, Aloe Vera has been used for thousands of years. What we know that the ancients could only observe is that Aloe Vera has over 200 active beneficial components in it. The gel is 99% water, filled with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, polysaccharide, and fatty acids. Today, Aloe Vera is cultivated for cosmetic and wellness purposes throughout the globe. The soothing, moisturizing gel offers relief for all types of skin conditions such as burns, wounds, skin infections, and yes, Aloe Vera can benefit the healing process of scar tissue and assists in reducing scars!
What Is a Scar and Why Does it Form?
The largest organ on the entire human body is our skin. It covers the body surface to create a protective barrier against disease, UV light, chemicals, and physical damage that may be found in or caused by the environment. Scars can be formed by anything—injuries, acne, or surgery. Once the surface of skin is broken or damaged by cuts, wounds, infections, or scrapes, it heals itself by forming stronger, fibrous connective tissue that we know as a scar. Once this happens, ridding yourself of a scar can be difficult. Diminishing the appearance of scars can be problematic as there no topical solutions to make scarring completely vanish. However, as a treatment, the application of Aloe Vera gel has shown to help lessen the scar’s appearance.
How Aloe Vera Affects Scars
The time it takes for a scar to heal depends on the damage to the skin. A scar’s shape and size—be it from a surgical wound, injury or acne—along with several other factors such as age, genetics, severity or any preexisting skin conditions are all part of the equation. Applying Aloe Vera gel on a scar right when your skin begins healing after an injury will help strengthen the collagen structure within it. Because the gel contained within the plant contains many nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, it helps the skin repair itself while lessening irritation. The polysaccharides, gibberellins and glycoproteins found in Aloe Vera have properties that promote skin growth and repair, and are known to enhance cell growth, help speed wound healing, and even fight acne scarring.
Aloe Vera and Acne Scars
With regard to acne scarring, the anti-bacterial properties contained within Aloe Vera gel have made it popular for use on acne. Not only has it been found to have a beneficial affect on acne itself, but it can also help the skin heal and reduce the appearance of acne scarring. Acne can leave two types of scars—atrophic and hypertrophic. Indentations in the skin are a result of the former. The dark, thick bumps that appear on the skin are from the latter. Aloe gel acts as a natural astringent. It removes dead cells and excess oil to clear the skin. Those antioxidants in Aloe Vera also work to fight free acne radicals, repair damaged skin, and diminish scar formation. The vitamins and minerals in Aloe Vera work to help lighten scars on the skin.
How to Use Aloe Vera on Scars
First and most importantly, Aloe Vera should not be applied until after a wound or lesion has closed. Using Aloe gel on any open wound will result in irritation and may slow the healing process.
What Type of Aloe to Use
When it comes to topical application (rubbing it on skin), whole leaf gel is acceptable to use. If you own an Aloe Vera plant, simply cut off a section of a leaf and squeeze out the inner gel directly onto the area to be treated. For a more sterile and concentrated option, look for a pure Aloe Vera gel product that will provide an easy, convenient, and sanitary aloe treatment that you can take with you wherever you go.
How to Apply Aloe Gel on Scars
Follow these steps to ensure you maximize your Aloe treatment’s potential:
- Thoroughly wash, clean, and dry the area to be treated
- Apply Aloe gel liberally to the area so that the scar surface is coated in a thin layer of gel
- Let dry before letting clothing or anything else contact the skin to ensure the Aloe is absorbed
- Repeat this application 2-3 times daily
For acne treatment, follow the steps above, but be sure to use a gentle cleanser as skin on the face is more sensitive. Do it in the morning and before going to bed at night (make sure the gel has completely dried before hitting the pillow).
Aloe Vera’s Benefit to Scars
As a topical solution, Aloe Vera’s medicinal and cosmetic applications are often mentioned to ease skin conditions and irritations. One of the more important beneficial properties of Aloe Vera is assisting to reduce the appearance of scars and scar tissue. Aloe Vera does this by:
- Helps repair damaged skin cells
- Protects newer and healthier cells
- Moisturizes and soothes
- Increases the amount of collagen present
To be clear, the use of Aloe Vera will not make a scar vanish, but its many benefits will help hydrate the skin and provide essential vitamins necessary in healing.