How castor oil healed my scar (with before and after photos!)

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I’ve been writing about castor oil a lot, mainly because I’ve had some wonderful results from it personally. Among other things, castor oil has aided in my recovery from PCOS and dissolved a painful calcium deposit on my heel. That it could do those things were amazing to me — it still is.

Sometimes though, I find myself reluctant to write about my own positive experiences because the extent of my successful healing can sound like I’m making it all up. I think part of it is because the “accepted” way of getting treatment for most of the modern Western world is to go to a doctor, take lots of pills (ALL of which are liver-toxic, by the way) or go for painful surgery (which may or may not make things worse). If you do these things, no one will question your sanity or your prudence.

This is despite the fact that most modern, accepted treatments = expensive, with possibly harmful side effects, may/may not even work, usually become ineffective when discontinued (which means you are chained for life), only seeks to treat the surface symptoms, abandons even the pretense of healing as its aim (this last one makes me want to alternately cry and tear my hair out because it is sheer madness… unethical, even).

Meanwhile, the method of treatment I’m proposing (castor oil) is so simple, cheap and effective that many will write it off without even giving it a chance. After all, how can it work when it’s not expensive, painful and harmful to us, right? I know some might mock me or think me as simple-minded, or even worse, a scam artist…

The other day, someone asked me in the comments if I was writing about castor oil because I make money by selling it. I do not produce or sell castor oil on this site or anywhere else. I never have. All the ads on my article pages are contextual ads, not direct product ads. My first instinct when reading this commenter’s question was to feel somewhat hurt/indignant. But after a while, I ended up feeling quite grateful to the commenter as it gave me a chance to clarify an issue that I didn’t even know might cross some readers’ minds.

I seem to have rambled on a bit here… My point is, in the end, it really doesn’t matter what some choose to believe or disbelieve about castor oil. It only matters what I believe/experience/do/ultimately share with the world. I know my messages will go out to those who really need it. That to me is everything. And that is partly why I’ve decided to write this article. Hopefully, it will convince some people to open up their minds a little. Well, I can hope!

This article is quite different from my other ones. I’ve realised that while it’s one thing for me to TELL people about my experience with using castor oil, it’s quite something else when I can SHOW them. That’s right, I’m putting aside any self-consciousness I have and showing everyone my own before-and-after photos. Yeah!!! And here we go…

The story of how I healed my scar using castor oil

THE SHORT VERSION: I successfully healed a three-year old deep burn scar on my leg by using castor oil. Scroll down for photos galore. The end.

THE LONG VERSION: In 2007, I accidentally burned my leg on a hot motorcycle exhaust pipe. Yes, I lead a very exciting life. :) The burn was on the inner calf of my right leg. My initial injury can be classified as a deep second-degree burn.

After the wound scabbed and peeled over a couple of weeks, the scarred skin that emerged was:

  • almost completely hairless
  • much less sensitive to touch than the normal, healthy skin around it. These mean the burn was deep and severe enough to have “killed” most of the hair follicles as well as some nerve endings.
  • had a complete and “permanent” change in color. This was mostly hyper-pigmentation (darkening) mixed with a bit of hypo-pigmentation (loss of color), which is common in deep burns. The pigment change was dermal (reached the lower dermis layer of the skin, as opposed to  the upper epidermis only), and deep enough that conventional lightening treatments such as hydroquinone could do nothing to change it.
  • there was also a slight crescent-shaped depression close to the centre of the scar. I could feel the dip in my skin by touch alone.

In October 2009, I started using castor oil on my leg.
By June 2010 (9 months later), the scar was almost gone.

Amazingly, after this nine-month period:

  • there was normal hair growth (I know the photos below don’t show the hair, but that’s only because I’ve shaved my legs. )
  • my touch sensitivity returned — nerves I previously thought were dead and gone were revived back to life
  • skin color/pigmentation returned to normal, blending in almost flawlessly with my surrounding skin. This was not something I expected at all since I have olive skin or Type IV skin
  • the small depression had mostly filled in with healthy new tissue

In the most recent photo below (March 2011), you can still see a shadow of the scar on my calf. However, this was deliberate on my part — in August 2010, I decided to stop using castor oil on my leg. As strange as this may sound, I wanted a little bit of my scar to remain with me, because in my eyes, it had turned from a flaw into a reminder of my mind-opening journey.

You may read this article and imagine that the journey was a completely smooth, confident and happy one for me, but that isn’t the case at all. I had many ups and downs. During the first few months, I had many “downs”. There were days when I lost faith and thought about giving up. But as I discovered, all things change with time.

So yes, I want to keep a little bit of my scar with me. It’s a reminder of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve healed. Even now, everytime I look at it, I’d feel so very grateful for my healing and in awe of my body’s amazing transformation.

It truly makes me wonder what else is possible!

My method of using castor oil

How I used castor oil was easy — I kept it on my scar as much as I can. There were many days when I kept castor oil on my scar for almost 24 hours a day (excluding the breaks for showers).

During the day, I would massage castor oil into my scar. Sometimes I did this a few times a day. I learnt to carry a tiny travel bottle of castor oil with me to do this in the restroom at public places or at work.

At night, I would put a castor oil pack on my scar before going to bed. A castor oil pack is just a way to keep castor oil on the skin by wrapping it up. For my castor oil pack, I would slather the oil on my scar, cover it with cotton gauze, put more castor oil over that, and then wrap my calf up in cling film (plastic wrap) to keep it from staining my sheets. I then put on a long sock to make sure everything stayed on while I slept.  I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I got it done very quickly, usually in less than a few minutes.

What I used

  • I used only “microwave safe” cling film that’s toxin-free, which seems to be fairly safe. It’s important to use toxin-free plastic if you’re putting on a castor oil pack. Castor oil is a very good solvent and can displace the chemicals and dyes in some plastics. Once displaced, these chemicals may be readily absorbed by the skin, leading to irritation (thanks to dollfaceluna for pointing this out to me!).
  • I used cotton gauze because it was cheap and disposable, but when I first started out, I was using cut cloth (basic unbleached cotton). Both are fine, but because castor oil will go rancid eventually, I’d need to wash/dry the cloth every few nights to keep it fresh. Eventually, I switched to cotton gauze that I bought at the pharmacy. Gauze was cheap, plentiful and disposable, so I didn’t need to wash it. It came in long strips so I cut them up into small squares for my use. If you decide to use cloth instead, here’s a tip: wash it out with baking soda. Baking soda gets castor oil out very well.
  • The brands of castor oil I used were Home Health and Heritage. However, this shouldn’t matter. Any brand that’s hexane-free and cold-pressed will do (the oil should ideally be cold-pressed because it retains more nutrients this way — the cold-pressed oil extraction method is much gentler than conventional methods; for example, it uses no heat). Anyway, I couldn’t tell any difference in the quality between the two brands I used. So don’t worry about brands so much, I made my own purchasing choices based on how large a bottle I could get for as low a price as possible, just because I go through a LOT of castor oil. :)

I used castor oil this way daily, but I also took breaks from it once in a while to let my skin rest. I found that my heavy usage of castor oil would sometimes “loosen” the skin on my scar, making it look a bit wrinkly. Kind of like the way skin would “prune up” when we stay in a bath too long. I wasn’t worried the first time I noticed this “loosening effect” because I somehow knew it was temporary. This probably happens because castor oil is a very good humectant and will put moisture into the skin. The breaks I took gave my skin a rest and then everything would tighten up again. This would be anywhere between a week to two weeks. I took as much time as my skin needed to tighten back up.

Just to be clear, this temporary loosening only happened because I was using castor oil very intensively on my scar (almost 24 hours/day and over many consecutive days). I’ve never gotten any such effect through normal usage of castor oil on other parts of my body or my face.

In the beginning, I worried that taking these breaks from my regimen would delay my healing. But when I saw that my scar was continuing to heal and progress regardless, I started to change my mind. I now believe these breaks were beneficial and possibly even crucial in healing my scar. I believe my skin was rebuilding itself more efficiently during the rest periods, while breaking down the scar tissue more actively during the “on” periods. But that’s just my personal opinion, I don’t exactly know how castor oil was able to do what it did for me, I only have my theories. (If you’re interested in finding out more on your own, google Edgar Cayce and castor oil. Edgar Cayce was a pioneer and advocate of castor oil use. )

Like I told a commenter (Matt), it’s a fairly intensive daily regimen, which was sometimes hard to keep up with. But then I started to see results… Slowly but surely, I saw my scar changing with my own eyes after a few months. This was the proof that kept me going when I would have otherwise given up.

How my scar changed

Everyone’s scars and skin injuries are different so it would make sense for us to heal differently. This was how my scar changed.

      • The appearance of tiny light dots

After a few months, I started seeing many tiny, light-ish dots in my hyperpigmented scar. They were so tiny at first that I could only see them by looking closely under the bright light of a torch. Then the tiny dots grew large enough that I could see them in normal lighting.

These dots continued to expand and eventually started to join up with each other. I got very excited at that. Eventually, I had small patches of healed, unblemished skin within my scar, which I spent many minutes staring at and touching…. I was simply amazed at them.

      • Hair growth (important for regeneration!)

At the same time, I started seeing short and very fine, light-colored hairs appear on my scar. At first, these hairs were almost colourless and looked “golden” under a light. Over time, they grew longer, thicker and darker, until they looked no different from the hair on the rest of my legs. I noticed that my scar started to show faster improvement after normal hair growth returned.

This is probably because hair growth and follicles are important in cell regeneration. You may be surprised by this, but stem cells — which turn into our skin cells and nerve cells and everything else — originate from our hair follicles (these stem cells also aid skin regeneration after an injury—read ‘Hair follicle stem cells – the hairy truth‘). Knowing that my follicles were important in healing my scar, I made sure not to harm them by waxing since this would pull them from the root. And yes, I admit that I even avoided shaving my scar most of the time just to be safe. Although in theory, shaving should not do much harm, and what harm it causes is temporary at the most.

Basically, the changes in my scar came slowly and started out very small, but these little changes added up to a big one over nine months.

In fact, here’s another tip: if you’re trying to heal a scar with castor oil, take a good, clear photo of it now if you can. It would be useful for you to look at it and make comparisons after a few months just because it’s sometimes hard for us to see the changes in something that we look at everyday.

About the photos

It was awkward for me to take photos of my calf with my phone. The easiest way for me to take a good shot was to rest my right calf over my left thigh. I actually have tons of photos, these are only a few. What can I say… I’m a big geek and something of an amateur documenter. I’ve been journaling for many years now for my own nerdy pleasure. I never thought I would share these photos with anyone else, let alone publish them online for the whole world to see!

If you’re reading this and have a deep scar you wish to treat, I hope my photos and story give you some hope. :)

Date Photos (click to enlarge) Details
May 2008 Taken with Sony Ericsson K770i Cybershot. Flash was OFF. You can clearly see the crescent-shaped depression in the middle.
May 2008 Taken with Sony Ericsson K770i Cybershot. Flash was ON. Compare with the photo above taken on the same occasion. The camera flash makes a big difference.
June 2010 Taken with Sony Ericsson Hazel (no timestamp feature available). Flash was OFF.
March 2011 Taken with Sony Ericsson Hazel (no timestamp feature available). Flash was OFF.
March 2011 Taken with Sony Ericsson Hazel (no timestamp feature available). Flash was ON.
March 2011 Another angle to give you some context. Taken with Sony Ericsson Hazel (no timestamp feature available). Flash was ON.

Note: Thank you to the girl I saw at lunchtime today. She was walking ahead of me in a skirt and had the same burn scar I did, on the same place on her calf. I really, really wanted to ask her about it (motorcycle exhaust pipe, huh?). I wanted to roll up my pant leg, show her my calf and share with her what I did to heal it. But I didn’t. Eventhough I would have approached her with nothing but love and an enthusiastic desire to share/help, I thought there was a chance she would not have wanted my help in that setting (we were in a crowded place and she was not alone).

Afterwards, I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision in not speaking to her. Sometimes, we fear too much and a golden moment in life might pass us by. I thought about how I could make things right somehow, and I came up with the idea of putting this article + some of my photos together. So this was all really inspired by her. Thank you!

349 thoughts on “How castor oil healed my scar (with before and after photos!)”

  1. tnx for your post. Pls i had a burn on my right tigh 9yrs ago, some parts healed smoothly y, some developed a scar. Pls i want to knw if using castor oil will make it peel off and form a fresh wound. Just scared cos i dnt want to cos any havoc to myself. Cos the scar does not pain me, though some little hairs have started growing on it. And pls since it sticks how can i apply it during the day since one might go out. And do i get a plastic from a pharmaceutical store. Tnx in anticipation of ur reply

    1. Hi calista

      Castor oil won’t peel scars or create a wound. I’m not sure where you got the idea that it could do those things (?). Anyway it’s an oil, not an acid peel.

      You could just use very little, like a drop or two of castor oil and rub this in well so it’s fully absorbed and leaves little/no excess that’ll stick to your clothes. If you’re worried, you can dab off any excess with some tissue paper.

      And if you want to use more and cover it with plastic, cling film works. You can get this at the supermarket. And you could cut up some old pantyhose or tights and use this as a makeshift bandage to hold the plastic in place on your thigh. But that’s just one idea, you might find a better one that works for you.

      Good luck!

      Sam

      1. Hi I was just wondering, will a Castro oil pack work on croup cough. I know a mustered plaster would work but it would be to strong for my three year old twins. Please get back to me when you can. Thanks

        1. Hi Richard

          Yes, you can try a castor oil pack on the neck and chest for a few days and see if there’s any improvement. If your twins expel a lot of mucus, don’t be alarmed as it’s likely a much needed purging before they can get better.

          If you have iodine tincture, you can also try painting some on the back.

          Best of luck and I hope they recover soon.

          Sam

  2. I have the same motorcycle scar. :p Well, I did. I got mine as a pre-teen and growing has lessened the appearance of it quite a bit. BUT I do have a very large surgery-related scar that I am going to try castor oil on, thanks to your post. :) Even if it just helps lessen the tightness of the scar tissue I will be happy. :) Thanks for all your amazing posts on castor oil. I’ve been using it for over a year now for the oil cleansing method, but never knew all the other fun things I could do with it. :)

  3. What do you think I could use instead of plastic wrap and cling film? because I’m mainly using castor oil on marks on my face and I want it to be less annoying as I possibly can. Or is it necessary to use cling film or heat for facial skin issues?

    1. Hi jules, it’s not necessary to use cling film. On the body, the cling film keeps the oil from staining clothes and being rubbed off. You won’t face that issue when using it on your face.

  4. Thank you for your response but I would like to ask another question and I won’t bother you again, does Castor oil heal scars that are upwards of 10 to maybe 15 years old and skin dents? Is it worth a try?

    1. Hi Jules, yes I believe it can.

      In fact, I’ve been using castor oil to heal a very old scar on my elbow that’s more than 20 years old. It’s working the same way as it did for my burn scar (light spots, sensitivity returning, hair appearing etc).

      Hope that helps.

      Sam

      1. Hello Ladies

        I just wanted to chime in here as castor oil has been my saving grace more then once. Recently we went on vacation to Arizona from Washington so it was really warm for us. I was wearing backless sandals daily and my poor heels just had the moisture sacked right out of them. Nothing was helping with the cracking and by the time we were driving home my heels were bleeding. Racked my brain on the drive home to find a quick fix as I had to work the night after we got home.

        Castor oil was the only thing I could think that would hold moisture, reduce inflammation/pain, and ward off infections. So I slathered it on twice daily to both feet and with in a week or so the cracks healed. I also noticed the 17 year old surgical scars I had on the tops of my feet had lessened in thickness and not nearly as sensitive to touch, the more normal skin color has also started to return. The look of the scars never bothered me but I thought it was interesting to see the changes.

        However, I DO recommend giving castor oil a shot for scars and pain. Nothing to lose but a few bucks if it don’t work for you.

        I love castor oil for everything from acne to wrinkles to hair thickening to chronic pain. It is my go to for many things ☺

  5. Hi Samantha
    Thanks so much for this article. You don’t talk much about the hypo-pigmentation. I have extensive white patches over my face and arms, from a skin disease that I had years ago. How does castor oil work for hypo-pigmentation?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Liza, you’re very welcome.

      Castor oil worked for the hypopigmentation (light patches) just as well as it did for the hyperpigmentation (the dark patches) in my burn scar.

      I don’t know how it was able to do this, but it makes sense since the loss of pigment was also the result of damage within the skin layers, though it manifested differently. And as the oil worked to return the damaged cells to health, getting back my regular pigmentation was just a part of this. I might even be inclined to say that it was a “side effect” of the healing, with the important work being quite unseen and beneath the skin’s surface, IMO.

      Sorry I can’t give you a more scientific explanation as I myself don’t know how castor oil works. But the beautiful thing about life is that we don’t always need to know how something works, we just need to see that they do.

      Still, I hope that helps somewhat.

      p.s: I just remembered that castor oil packs can aid healing and the immune system by boosting white blood cells. That may have a big part to do with how it works to heal skin damage.

      Sam

      1. Thank you to Liza for mentioning hypopigmentation. And thank you to Suzanne for your helpful info! I was researching castor oil packs and started looking into other uses for it and randomly stumbled upon your page. I have hypopigmentation from laser hair removal and have been desperate to find a solution as I’m covered with light spots. I’m buying some TODAY to see if it’ll help bring my pigment back! Thank you!!!!!!

  6. Hi I’m a burns patient with a hypertrophic scar on my nose due to plastic surgery. Will castor oil remove or fade my scar?

  7. Hi,

    I have scars on my forehead from when I was a little kid. They are indented scars. Will castor oil help? I don’t know if castor oil can raise my scars so they are move plush with the rest of my skin. Please help.

    1. Hi Romy, I don’t see why not. Please give it a try, it worked for the indented scar in my burn (and is also working slowly on another scar that I got as a child on my elbow. It is >20 years old and raised).

      I hope that gives you some encouragement.

      Sam

  8. Thank you!! Thank so much for sharing this information and inspiring me for not losing hope. I say this as I accidentally burned my whole right foot & left calf with boiling hot water+vicks where i was wearing nylon socks, which damaged the skin my the more. It turned has turned out to deep second degree burns. Its still in the healing stage, but I am way too concerned about the scars. But after reading your results with castor oil, I am hopeful that I too might get scar free in the months to come. Thanks again! :)

  9. My scar is definitely fading and I believe with time and patience that it’ll be gone but what concerns me the most is the shape of it, its fading from the inside out meaning like the inside of my scar is fading but the edges are still trying to get there, do you think the shape will fuse with the rest of my skin?

    1. Hi jules, my scars have healed from the inside out as well (spreading from the centre and outwards). I think that’s just the natural progression of the healing. So don’t worry — you’ll get there, it’s just a matter of time :)

  10. Hello! Thank you for your post on castor oil. I have the same scar, and I was wondering how exactly it healed (in terms of colour). You said that there were dots that joined up…did it happen from the inside of the scar outwards? Or was it an all over effect. I ask this, because I commented a while back, and have used castor oil (semi religiously, shame on me…) However, whilst the centre of the scar is lightening in colour, the outside still forms a brown outline, that makes the scar seem more prominent in colour.

    Thank you for any insight you can give!

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