What’s The Best Scar Treatment For Dark Scars

There are several scar treatment options that will help to get rid of dark scars. These include:

1) Hydroquinone
2) Kojic acid
3) Vitamin C
4) Natural scar treatments like Licorice extract

Hydroquinone can be very effective in helping to lighten dark scars. However, it is no longer sold in some countries because of its long-term use dangers. Though rare, hydroquinone can lead to a condition called ochronosis, even at its over-the-counter strength of 2%. Ochronosis is permanent hyper-pigmentation with sooty darkening of the skin. Ochronosis may also cause loss of skin elasticity and impaired wound healing. Other side effects of hydroquinone include contact dermatitis (rash, redness, itching and flaking) and nail discoloration. Some researchers have questioned whether hydroquinone and related compounds may even cause cancer. As a result of these fears, hydroquinone is only available by prescription in Europe and it is highly regulated in Asia. The skin-lightening effects of hydroquinone decrease with prolonged use and with sun exposure. Hydroquinone does not improve any other aspect of the scar other than the dark pigment.

Kojic acid – like hydroquinone, kojic acid is effective in lightening dark scars, brown spots and even melasma. Unfotunately, some studies suggest that skin exposed to kojic acid on a regular basis becomes more sensitive. Skin sensitization is bad because it can lead to allergic contact dermatitis. Like hydroquinone, koijic acid does not improve any other aspect of the scar other than the dark pigment.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a very effective and safe pigment lightening agent when used in concentrations of 10% (or more). It also encourages production of normal, healthy collagen so it is also a very good scar treatment in general. The problem with vitamin c is stability. Most forms of vitamin C used in skin care products are unstable and turn brown after the container is opened. This is a sign that the vitamin C has become oxidized and therefore no longer works. Products that are brown to begin with should best be avoided as many manufacturers color the cream brown so that users cannot tell when the cream becomes oxidized. Choose a product which specifically address this vitamin C stability issue (usually by combining ascorbic acid with a second form of vitamin C) and is not brown to begin with).

Licorice extract – like vitamin C, licorice also makes an excellent scar treatment: it has strong anti-inflammatory properties and accelerates skin renewal. Both vitamin C and licorice inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme that causes pigmentation in response to sun exposure and skin injury. Interestingly, licorice boosts the scar lightening effects of vitamin C so the 2 should be combined for best results. As a bonus, licorice also has anti-acne effects (both prevention and treatment).

Regardless of the treatment you choose, be patient. It takes time to get rid of dark scars. Improvement does not happen overnight. Also keep applying sun block (over the scar treatment) as prolonged sun exposure will only make dark scars even darker.