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Remedies for Scars

Will my scars ever go away?

Question

I have white pigmentation marks on my face, mainly due to acne scarring. I also have some keloid (raised) scars on my body after an accident. They are causing me deep distress, but my GP says that there isn't a solution. I am taking 18g MSM, 1g vitamin C, vitamin B complex and 1.5g evening primrose oil. Is there anything else you can suggest, and do you think these scars are permanent?

Answer

Sometimes, after a skin lesion from acne, shingles, chickenpox, eczema or psoriasis is healed, you get problems of pigmentation, where the skin goes either lighter (hypo pigmentation) or darker (hyper pigmentation). Usually, after acne spots have cleared, you are left with darkened skin where the spots have been.

The colour of the skin is determined by cells called melanocytes, which occur in the dermis, the main part of the skin. This is living tissue with blood vessels and nerve endings and all active processes take place here. It is in complete contrast to the outer layer (epidermis) – the bit you see - which consists of dead cells and is virtually transparent. If the dermis gets inflamed for any reason, causing heat, swelling and redness, it looks as if it’s on the surface, but in fact you're seeing it through the ransparent epidermis.

The sebum or oil produced with acne is very nutritious for bacteria which have a merry time feeding and multiplying- and of course spreading infection, which causes inflammation touching or squeezing acne- even with surgically clean hands - is almost the worst thing you can do, because it ruptures the skin, creating open pores for the bacteria, which are all round us, to enter the dermis. The spots get larger and more painful as the infection sets in and the dermis gets inflamed. Incidentally, this is why long-term courses of powerful antibiotics are prescribed for acne, sometimes for as long as a year.

They keep the skin sterile so that the bacteria cannot thrive. However, apart from the side effects (always read the manufacturer's information that comes with any drug product), this is not a good idea because it doesn't help the underlying problem, which is excess production of male hormones (androgens) leading to over activity of the sebaceous glands.

The white patches occur because the inflammation in the dermis destroys the melanocytes that produce the pigment or sometimes the inflammation interferes with the transfer of melanin from the melanocytes to the epidermis.

Keloids are formed when the scarring process becomes excessive. Normally when a cut or wound heals, there is a small scar caused by the fibrous tissue that stitches the two sides together. But sometimes the body produces excess fibres and the scar tissue grows in thickness and bulges over the skin. These scars are difficult to treat. Steroids are now being injected to try to reduce them, but this is painful, Laser surgery is also used to remove keloids in some cases, so talk to your doctor about this option.

I suggest the following treatment for your acne scars; they may also help soften the Iceloids:

  • Every morning, apply pure aloe vera gel (available from health food stores) - or take an aloe vera plant and crush the leaves, then apply the gel that oozes out using a cotton bud. In the evening, apply my own Skin Oil Biotique.
  • Take two aloe vera capsules twice daily for three to four months.
  • You could try Vitamin E oil; for potency and freshness use pure vitamin E capsules. Prick with a pin and rub contents on scar. Rosehip oil may also help.
  • Regarding your supplements, I suggest you continue taking the same amounts of vitamin B and evening primrose oil, but reduce vitamin C to 500mg and MSM to 4g.
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