Almost everyone has a scar or two that they wish would disappear, and in some cases scarring can impact self-esteem or confidence in public. Common treatments to diminish the appearance of scar tissue include surgery, steroid injections, or the use of silicone sheets, but there are also a number of all-natural treatment alternatives that can shrink and lighten scars while nourishing the skin around them, all without the need for expensive procedures and consultations. Below are some of the most effective natural options for treating even the most stubborn scars.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in beneficial fatty acids and vitamin E, allowing it to penetrate and moisturize the skin around scars and make them less noticeable. Coconut oil also helps to promote collagen production, which speeds up the body’s natural ability to repair and smooth out scar tissue. While coconut oil is most effective for treating new scars, it can also keep older scars from worsening, and can make them less visible by nurturing the surrounding skin.


The alpha hydroxy acids found in the juice of lemons, as well as the oil in lemon rinds, is a gentle, natural bleaching agent that can tone skin, reduce the darkness of scars, and improve skin elasticity while simultaneously promoting new skin cell growth. Lemon is an especially effective treatment for acne scars or raised, dark scars from cuts and other injuries. Many people create a paste from lemon juice and baking soda to apply directly to scars, while others prefer to massage their scars with lemon essential oils.


Onions contain high amounts of sulfur and vitamin C, two of the most major nutrient factors in collagen production. More collagen means the skin is better able to repair itself, and as a result, scar tissue often fades and becomes smoother. Onion extract is sold in cream or gel form, but if you don’t mind the smell or the potential tears, grating fresh onion and placing it directly over the scarred skin is just as effective, and much more economical.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E boasts powerful antioxidants that help repair skin damage, including scar tissue, and prevent and diminish future damage, while also improving skin elasticity. While vitamin E is often included in most daily multivitamins, the most effective way of using it to treat scars is to purchase vitamin E in liquid capsule form. Instead of ingesting them, simply puncture the capsule and massage the liquid directly over your scars to get the most direct healing benefit.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The compounds in apple cider vinegar can help clear away dead skin cells, lighten the pigmentation of scar tissue, and stimulate collagen production to repair cell damage. The vinegar can be applied directly with a cotton swab or by using a soaked cloth compress, and it can also freely be mixed with other scar-healing treatments. If you are prone to acne scars, use a cotton ball to apply apple cider vinegar to any pimples that form, as it can not only diminish the size and swelling, but also prevent them from leaving scars.

Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot seed oil is anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, and provides a natural, mild protection from the sun’s UV rays, all of which can help diminish the appearance of scars while preventing future discoloration or free radical damage. Because carrot seed oil is typically sold as a very concentrated extract, it is a good idea to put a few drops of it in a healing carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, before massaging the mixture into scarred skin.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is well known for its ability to treat stretch marks, but most people don’t realize that can be equally effective on more serious forms of scarring, as well. Shea butter is rich in fatty acids, which soften and moisturize skin while promoting rapid healing. The faster you start using shea butter after a scar has formed, the better the results, but even old scars can soften and fade over time if you use shea butter consistently.


Turmeric contains curcumin, an antioxidant that reduces excess production of the skin pigmentation that makes scars darker and more noticeable, while also evening out skin tone around scars to make them blend in better. Powdered turmeric can be mixed with warmed coconut oil or honey to make application easier, but be careful, as turmeric can create stains on wood, fabric, and plastic that are very hard to get out.

While scars can never be completely erased, it is possible to drastically reduce their size and appearance so that they more easily blend into the surrounding skin and become less noticeable. For those who cannot afford expensive medical procedures, or who would rather use a more holistic, all-natural approach to scar treatment, the options above provide inexpensive, non-invasive, and effective alternatives for shrinking, lightening, and repairing scar tissue.