Why Eczema Scars
Eczema sufferers scratch the affected skin and over time the tissue thickens, a process called lichenification. This chronic irritation often results in scaly, leather-like skin that can result in permanent scars.
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition caused, in part, by a hyperactive immune response. Swelling, redness and itching characterize an eczema lesion.
Where Does Eczema Scar?
Eczema can scar in any distribution; the limbs, face, trunk and back can all be subject to scarring. Eczema scarring more noticeably changes the thin skin of the face and décolletage.
Slight changes in coloring or texture can be noticeable and cause much distress to eczema sufferers.
Fortunately there are non-toxic treatments that have medical evidence for helping resolve eczema marks and scar tissue.
A combination of topical treatments, nutritious foods & supplements and physical stimulation will yield quicker and better improvement than any one treatment used alone.
Topical Treatments to Resolve Eczema Scarring
1. Allium Cepa (Onion) Extract
Onion cepae extract mixed with allantoin and aloe is used topically to help heal scars. A Polish study showed repeated use of an onion extract cream lead to lighter, softer and more elastic scars.
Derma E and Mederma are brands of scar gel that utilize onion extract. For best results, use 1 to 4 times daily for a minimum of 10 weeks.
2. Vitamin E
This vitamin used topically decreases the formation of keloids, which is a type of hypertrophic scarring.
Patients using Vit E topically reported better aesthetic resolution of scarring compared to those using petroleum jelly in two recent studies.
Vitamin E is widely available in health food stores and drug stores in a topical preparation. Apply 3 times daily to the affected area.
Although rare, some individuals have a sensitivity to Vitamin E and may develop a rash. Discontinue if rash develops.
3. Almond Oil
The lipid profile of this oil is rich in neutral fatty acids that have been shown to aid in drug penetration through the skin surface. In this way, almond oil acts as delivery vessel for healthy fats and nutrition to scarred skin tissue.
Almond oil is frequently used in conjunction with massage techniques to break up scar tissue and promote healing. Heritage makes an almond oil enriched extra with Vit E for this purpose.
Supplements & Foods for Skin Healing
Bioflavonoids are constituents in fruits and vegetables that are responsible for giving foods their vibrant colors. These compounds improve the integrity and flexibility of tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
Several studies have shown flavonoids can accelerate healing of skin ulcers.
Foods rich in bioflavonoids are berries, garlic, spinach, tea and red peppers and tropical fruit.
Dosing for scar healing is 200mg twice daily.
2. Vitamin C
The body requires vitamin C as a cofactor to form of collagen and connective tissue. It is also essential for proper immune function. Vitamin C is important to support the immune system to decrease the risk for infection.
Eczema sufferers have been shown in published data to have lower Vit C intake than healthy controls.
Take 1000mg three times daily to help with scar healing.
This mineral is essential for wound healing, immune function and tissue repair. Zinc is required for the production of immune cells called neutrophils, natural killer cells, and T lymphocytes.
Studies have shown that even mild zinc deficiency could negatively affect T-cell function, an immune cell that is involved in eczema skin eruptions.
Eat or supplement 15 mg per day to help with scar and skin healing.
Long-term zinc supplementation can cause copper deficiency, so be cautious about supplementing above 15mg for longer than 2 months.
Bromelain is a nutrient found in pineapples that has enzyme properties, breaking up adhesions. It is also strongly anti-inflammatory and helps decrease swelling.
Bromelain’s catabolic properties help to remodel fibrin structures and decrease the formation of scar tissue.
The supplemental dosing of bromelain is 500mg two to three times daily, preferably on an empty stomach so the enzymatic action is not used up with food digestion.
Eczema Scar Treatments
1. Massage Therapy
This physical therapy modality helps resolve scars by breaking up fibrotic adhesions and increasing circulation to the local area.
Massage from a trained professional is best, but some studies of self-massage have also reported benefit.
Average treatment times and frequency are 10 minutes twice daily to 30 minutes twice weekly.
The insertion of needles into and around eczema scars can speed healing, control symptoms and improve aesthetic appearance.
Acupuncture penetration stimulates the release of substance P and opioids from the body, which decreases pain.
It also will increase circulation and recruit molecules called matrix metalloproteinases that are involved in collagen remodeling.
Acupuncture treatments should be performed at least twice weekly for 4-6 weeks to observe noticeable results.
3. Cold Laser
Low level laser therapy, commonly called cold laser, is a form of light energy that has proven medical and therapeutic benefit.
Energy carrying photons stimulate the tissue, increasing circulation and prompting mitochondria (cell structure) to produce more energy in the form of ATP. Use of cold laser is associated with faster wound healing and collagen rejuvenation.
It also decreases pain and irritation of affected tissues. Specially trained chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, some medical doctors and physical therapists use cold lasers.
Homeopathic Remedies To Improve Skin And Scar Healing
Heals eczema scars associated with bruising or swelling. Coloration is typically black or bluish.
2. Calc Phos
Scars that are numb, tingly or pale can improve with calc phos. Skin that is cold is also a symptom of those needing homeopathic Calc Phos.
This remedy is suitable for eczema scars that are painful or reddened.
Scars from eczema that was scaling or oozed yellowish fluid can benefit from homeopathic graphites.
This is a top remedy for scar tissue, especially with accompanying swelling of glands. Scars are initially itchy but then become dry, shrunken and pale.
Use silicea for an eczema scar that is painful, tender or sore. They feel better with warm applications and being covered.
7. Thuja Occidentalis
This remedy is useful in treating in scars that resemble growths, particularly if they have a wart like appearance and are stinging.
Read more about homeopathic medicine for eczema.
The natural treatments discussed above will help your resolve your eczema scarring but don’t address the multiple factors that can contribute to eczema skin conditions.
Diet, environment, genetics and even stress could be contributing to your eczema.
Read our other articles and our comprehensive ebook to learn how to prevent future eczema outbreaks and promote true healing.