Scars. We all have them. We are all kids once and got our fair share of scrapes, scratches, and cuts. We have grown up with those scars, calling them battle wounds that remind us of the adventures we all once had.
However, some scars are not so memorable and remind us of bad experiences or are the result of traumatic circumstances. These are the scars we would like to not have. They are daily reminders of scary or unfortunate events of the past. These are the type of scars that leave not only a physical scar, but also a mental scar, and some are deeper than others.
Do you have scars on your skin that are tired of looking at or have bad memories associated with them? Do you have scars somewhere on your body that aren’t easily covered up? Wouldn’t it be great if they would just go away and you would never have to see them again?
Luckily, there are measures you can take to remove or at least lighten the physical scars on your skin. A scar lightening cream can reduce the appearance and feel of a scar by changing the darker pigmentation of the scar to resemble the normal skin color around the scar. A silicone based scar treatment program goes one step further in the reduction of the appearance and size of scars.
- Types of Scars
- How Scars Are Formed
- Scar Lightening Cream
- Scar Lightening Cream Recommendations
- Silicone Based Scar Treatments
Scar lightening creams are great and there are many options available. They are easy to apply, don’t require a prescription, and are affordable. What they are not, however, is a miracle cream. They will not miraculously make a scar disappear from the surface of your skin. They are more of a concealer, making the scar less apparent.
Another scar lightening treatment option is to use microdermabrasion to theoretically ‘remove’ the scar from the surface of your skin. This is a slow process that can take many treatments to get results, but can be very effective. If you are interested in learning more about microdermabrasion, read the article I wrote on at home microdermabrasion.
Please note, even with microdermabrasion, no scar can be completely removed, that just isn’t possible, even with advances in skin care. But they can be diminished to a point that they are hardly noticeable. Keep in mind, patience and time are required part of treatment. It won’t happen overnight.
Types of Scars
In this article I am going to talk about scar lightening using specialized scar lightening creams, and scar lightening kits, that are formulated to reduce the appearance of scars. The types of scars that these products are designed for are keloid, hypertrophic, and atrophic scars.
Although acne scars fall under the category of atrophic scars, there is another article I wrote specifically on acne scar cream. So if you are looking for information on acne scars, go check out that article.
Stretch marks are another type of scarring that occurs from the rapid stretching of the skin, very common in pregnancy, weight gain, or even muscle development. Similar to acne scars, there are specialized creams formulates specifically for stretch marks. Check out my article on stretch mark creams for more information.
How Scars Are Formed
Before we get into lightening scars, I want to quickly discuss how scars are formed and why they are discolored.
When the skin is damaged, the body produces specialized skin cells to make the repairs to the damaged skin. These skin cells are quite different from the normal skin cells that our bodies naturally produce and shed on a daily basis.
Because scar skin cells are different, they act different in the way they form skin. The differences can be in darker pigmentation (as the result of less resistance to UV light), the amount of collagen, the elasticity of the tissue, and the omission of hair follicles and sweat glands.
Collagen, the protein found in skin, is different in scar tissue than in normal skin and is the main factor in how the scar is formed. How much collagen is produced during the scarring process will determine what type of scar is formed. For a more in depth, technological discussion on scarring, check out this article on Wikipedia.
Scar Lightening Cream
So, when it comes to scar lightening creams, there are a number of different products available on the market. These creams reduce the appearance of scars by reducing the melanin production that causes the scar tissue to be darker than the surrounding skin. This is very similar to specialized creams used to treat other types of skin discoloration like dark spots, age spots, and melasma.
Reducing melanin production is done through the use of a variety of active ingredients in the creams. Different cream makers use different active ingredients and this is what you need to be aware of when choosing a cream to use.
Why? Because some active ingredients have been found to be more harmful than others. Reducing the appearance of scars is a long-term commitment, not a one-time deal. You will be applying the creams on a daily basis, over the course of many months. And even then, once the scar’s appearance is diminished, you need to continue to apply the creams to maintain the effects, though on a reduced scale.
So the ingredients found in scar lightening creams is very important, as you will be putting them on your skin or a long time. You are going to want to make sure that the ingredients are non-toxic and safe for long-term use.
One of the main active ingredients to avoid is Hydroquinone. This substance is very effective in reducing melanin and is a very popular active ingredient; in fact it is considered the best. However, there are concerns about potential toxic properties of Hydroquinone. Many studies have been conducted on the substance with differing results. The substance is banned in Europe, but it is still approved for use in the USA.
There is a lot more to this issue, but I don’t want to get side tracked. What it boils down to, for me, is that there are other options out there, so why take a risk. If you can avoid using Hydroquinone, I recommend it.
A far bigger issue is the use of mercury in scar lightening products, and other skin care products for that matter. Though the substance has been banned in the US and Europe for many years (they don’t even put it in thermometers anymore) there are still many countries that allow its use.
With the advent of the global marketplace, products that are available online can come from anywhere. There are many scar lightening creams that are manufactured overseas and can be easily purchased online in the United States. Some over seas manufacturers even imitate products made in the USA, but use cheaper ingredients that can be harmful.
I highly recommend buying only skin care products, like scar lightening cream, from US, Canadian, or European manufacturers, who are subject to far more strict regulations than manufacturers from less regulated countries. And avoid the possibility of purchasing imitations by buying directly from the official websites of those manufacturers.
Other ingredients to avoid are steroids, which have been shown to have no effect on scars, and to a lesser extent fragrances, which can cause irritation and allergic reactions. If this isn’t typically a problem for you, fragrances are more of a personal choice. Some people, like me, just don’t like creams that contain heavy, synthetic fragrances.
Our Top Recommended Scar Creams
So what scar lightening creams do I recommend? There are a couple of manufacturers that are leading the way in topical scar lightening creams. I have done some research to find the creams that are manufactured in the United States, Canada, or Europe and are made with ingredients that are considered safe for long-term use.
The following scar lightening creams are available directly from the manufacturer’s websites.
Amaira (My #1 Recommendation) – Amaira Natural Skin Care is a US based company that specializes in a variety of natural topical applications including their Advanced Scar Vanishing Cream, which is formulated to reduce the appearance of scars.
One of the primary ingredients is Bentonite, or more specifically Bentonite Vibrio Alginolyticus Ferment Filtrate, which reduces inflammation and fights bacteria. It helps rebuild damaged skin by allowing the body’s natural healing process to do its work.
Another primary ingredient is Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3, which has been scientifically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, increase collagen production and laminin proteins that are critical for holding cellular skin tissue together.
Additional key ingredients include Avocado Seed Extract, a powerful moisturizer, Allantoin to promote cell proliferation and wound healing, and Shea Butter, a natural moisturizer that promotes skin cell repair.
The product comes in an “airless” bottle and is manufactured in the United States in an FDA registered facility in Newport Beach, California.
Amaira Advanced Scar Vanishing Cream is currently advertised for sale at a sales price of $25.98 per bottle. They advertise that it is regularly priced at $56.99, so there is currently significant savings available. You can also order two bottles for $45.99, saving 59%, or three bottles for $65.99, a 60% savings. These are great prices for a premium product.
And even better, Amaira now offers FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING on all made from their website. So take advantage of these prices while you can.
It is recommended to take advantage of the multi-bottle discount, especially since you essentially get a free bottle if you order the 3 bottle deal. If this product works for you, which is more than likely, you will be purchasing more than one bottle. Might as well save a bit of money.
The price and product is backed by a 60 day refund policy. This duration is plenty of time to test the product for effectiveness on your skin type.
Skinception Dermefface FX7 is strictly a scar fading cream and is backed by a 90 day no risk guarantee. Skinception has a full line of skin care products and their Illuminatural 6i is one of my favorite skin lightening creams.
I recommend you purchase Dermefface FX7 directly from the company website as you will get the best deal and are assured of the 90 day guarantee. Like the two products before, I will be working on a more detailed look at this product and will post it when ready.
Silicone Based Scar Treatments
If you are looking to take your scar treatment to another level, if you are thinking that scar lightening cream just isn’t enough for your needs, there are other options out there, besides surgery, lasers, or injections.
The next step up from scar lightening creams is products that utilize silicone gel in the treatment of scars. These can either be silicone gel added to a cream or silicone gel sheeting (SGS).
The turnoff here for me is the use of silicone. I don’t have anything particularly against the substance; I just prefer to avoid using it on or in my body. I don’t even like to cook with it. And I am wary of its over use in modern society.
There are many studies that have shown that silicone is safe for human use on the skin, there is a concern about the bio-accumulation and it effect on the environment. Even though silicone is a natural substance, being the second most abundant substance on the planet, in order to use it in cosmetics, it must undergo very extensive processing, which essentially renders it synthetic.
The extensive use of silicone could have an impact on the environment, as it does not break down when it is discarded, either in the trash or down the drain.
That being said, the use of silicone in scar treatment products is very effective and if this is an avenue that you feel is more what you need for your particular situation, I would recommend that you check out the following product:
The Scarology product line utilizes silicone gel sheeting along with scar cream to reduce scars. They have two different systems, one for average sized scars and one for larger scars, like those resulting from C-sections.
Scarology 3- Step Scar Treatment System – Dr. Recommended, Clinically Proven, Easy to Use
This is a 3 step system that includes exfoliation, scar cream, and silicone application. According to their website, changes in appearance have been reported in as little as 3 days, which is pretty amazing. Check out their official website for more information and the best deals.
Scar lightening creams and silicone based scar treatments are a great option when wanting to lessen the appearance of scars. There are other, more expensive solutions, but if you are looking for an easy, affordable, and convenient solution, these products are hard to pass up. Good luck in your search and remember to check out my more detailed looks at the products I listed above. See ya there!