Scar Treatment

How to Remove Old Scars?

5 min read

It is nearly impossible to get through life without getting a few skin injuries along the way. While they weren’t bothering you until now, maybe are you tired of seeing a particular scar on your body and perhaps you may be thinking about trying to get rid of it. Keep reading if you want to learn more about old scars and how Mederma® can help.

  • Scars can form from injuries, surgery, acne and burns.
  • There are four main types of scar which form differently and require different treatments.
  • Old scars are harder to treat, but their appearance can be reduced over time.

In this article:

  • What causes a scar?
  • What are the different types of scars and how do you prevent them?
  • What if I have older scars?

What causes a scar?

When your skin is injured, whether it is the result of a cut, surgery, burn or acne, a scar will form as a natural consequence of the skin healing process. Scars form due to excessive collagen produced at the site of injury[1].

What are the different types of scars and how do you prevent them?

There are different types of scars: hypertrophic, keloid, atrophic and contracture scars. The first two types are typical cut or surgery scars, whereas atrophic and contracture scars are usually the result of acne and burns respectively [2–4]. Factors influencing the type of scars an individual can get, include family history, skin type and genetics [5].

The best remedy for scars is prevention so taking good care of your injured skin is the best way to prevent scars from becoming too visible. A fine scar resulting from a well healed wound is likely to fade away by itself whereas a wide scar resulting from a wound that has not healed properly will take more time to fade. Keeping your wound clean, moist and protected from the sun will minimize scar formation in most cases [6].

What if I have older scars?

Of course, the younger the scar, the easier it is to treat, but even a young scar may not fully disappear, although it can definitely become barely visible. Hypertrophic scars (thickened, wide, often raised) usually appear several weeks after wounding and may fade on their own to some extent but keloid scars (smooth, hard and outside the boundaries of the wound) appear later on and might grow indefinitely [7]. These two types of scars are the results of an abnormal response during healing [8]. Contracture scars also develop over time especially when the injury, typically a burn, occurred on or close to a joint [4].

The same treatments are used for young and old scars but it is likely that the longer you wait before treating your scar, the more effort and time will be needed in order to obtain visible results, as already described in one instance [9].

Some of the available solutions are invasive, and only accessible to you through a dermatologist or even a plastic surgeon, however there are many easily available over-the-counter products that can help. These include, but are not limited to aloe vera, green tea or onion extract such as Mederma® scar treatments.

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  • Renews cells and aid formation of collagen
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Treating an old scar does not differ much from treating a new scar. The notable difference will be the duration of treatment. The recommended treatment period with any of the Mederma® scar treatment products can be up to 6 months, or 8 weeks for new scars. During application, don’t hesitate to massage your scar as you would do for a new one. Older scars may feel stiffer, so massaging them can relieve some of the tension and help them restore suppleness [7].

The expected duration of treatment is definitely something you should keep in mind and it is therefore very important that you choose the one that suits your lifestyle best so that the treatment does not feel too burdensome. Scar treatment in general can be a long process, even more so for older scars. Patience and perseverance are key, but it is likely that the look and feel of your scars will improve along the way.

Longer you wait before treating your scar, the more effort and time will be needed in order to obtain visible results


Scar treatment and care can still make an impact on old scars. And while they can be harder to treat and take longer for results to appear, the sooner you start the faster you might start to notice the results.


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