How to clear tribal marks – 5 best methods for Nigerians

Tribal marks are common for Nigeria and many people have hard rime getting rid of them. Learn the options you have now.

Marks have always been a part of Nigerian culture. Many people still have them and even proud of them. However, there are lots of those, who want to know how to clear tribal marks, because they don’t find them attractive or such scars don’t let them to get a good job. There might be various reasons and they completely depend on a certain person.
How to clear tribal marks

Let’s find out what such mark means. First, you need to know it is a Yoruba thing. Various scars usually identify which group you belong to. It may denote that you are Nupe, Ilaje, Egba, or a person of any other Yoruba origin (in other words, it defines a family or a tribe). Sometimes they are also used for a purpose of beautification. There exist even celebrities, who have such marks. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of people, who want to know how to remove scars.

History and Styles
clear tribal marks

Many researchers claim that these marks have appeared in Nigeria during the colonial era. Lots slaves were captured and then sold. That’s why many people started to give special sings to the members of their family in order to recognize them in the future.

Various tribes and families have their special marks. Some of them could be similar, while the others completely different. READ ALSO: List of major tribes in Nigeria - 20 top ones. 

There have been body and facial marks in the history of Yoruba culture. All of them might be of the following styles:

These are scars, which take place on both cheeks. This style contains straight and curved lines. Their length is about half of an inch. It is quite widespread in the State of Oyo (among the indigenes of Ogbomosho city).

It usually consists of 12 lines (6 on each of the cheek). This is an identification of Oyo city indigenes.

 tribal marksPele.
According to this style, there should be 4 horizontal lines in both cheeks. Their length is about quarter of an inch. There are also several variations – vertical and horizontal. The first one is further divided into three groups:

  • Pele Ijesa (typical for Ijesha in the State of Osun),
  • Pele Akoko (has both horizontal and vertical versions, the latest of which characterizes people of Ondo,
  • Pele Ekiti (identifies Ekiti people, as you may guess from the title).

These are the most widespread types. There also exist several others, such as Mande, Jamgbadi, Ture, and so on.

The pattern, selected for an ethnic group, is usually based on particular symbols. It might be connected with religion, certain ritual, etc.

Reasons for tribal mark removal

Although scarring is a unique sign and considered beautiful by some people, the others are still eager to find out how to clear tribal marks. Let’s observe the most common reasons of it:
tribal mark removal

Visual look.
For a young girl or boy it may be awful to have scars, especially on the face. They might feel uncertain and unattractive.

Sometimes people cannot get a job they would like to, because their “signs” make them look unpleasant or inapplicable.

Making you unique, marks separate you from the others at the same time. You feel like a stranger among the people (especially when you are abroad).

There might be other reasons for asking how to clear scars. They depend on a person and on a particular situation.

How to get rid of the mark

Nowadays it is possible to remove the scar without any damage and consequences. The most common methods include the following:

  1. Scar removal cream.
    clear tribal marks 2

    It can successfully work if the mark isn’t very deep and big. It is thought to be the best treatment, because it is absolutely painless and doesn’t demand surgery. Besides, it isn’t very expensive. So, even if your “sign” seems large enough, you can at least make it smaller with the help of the cream.
  2. Laser.
    The majority of specialists claim it’s the best solution to get rid of any depressed scars. However, you need to know that this method is the most modern and the most expensive one. Nevertheless, it influences very carefully and gently rubs even old marks. There exist two types of lasers for this procedure – carbon dioxide and erbium (for darker skin like Nigerian’s one). No hospitalization is required, besides the recovery period is very short – just two weeks. Special lotions might be prescribed to make your skin regeneration faster.
  3. Microdermabrasion.
    get rid of the mark

    This technology is even better than the laser. It’s the most gently and painless. The specialists use crystals, which are sprayed out on your skin surface. They eliminate its outer layer. Unfortunately, it’s effective only for not very deep injuries. Thus, if your mark is drastic – it will be useless. Consult the doctor in order not to waste your money.
  4. Surgical excision.
    It is helpful for any type of the marks, never mind how deep they are. But there are several significant disadvantages of the method – it’s quite painful and, moreover, the most harmful one of all the existing. People usually resort to it when there is no other way left to remove a mark. It’s a kind of operation, that’s why anesthesia is necessary. During the procedure, the doctor cut off the growth with the help of the razor. Your epidermis will be provoked to regenerate and the tribal mark will disappear.
  5. Chemical peels
    How to clear tribal marks 2
    Such method can successfully improve the skin’s appearance. That’s why it can be used even after removing an injury. It isn’t very painful, so you’ll just feel a kind of burning for about ten minutes. However, the recovery period may take some time. If you’ve decided to try it, get ready to wait.

The choice of a concrete method will depend on various factors. For example, whether you have raised or depressed scars. Their depth, size, and age are also of great importance.

Before making a decision, think everything over and make sure you really need to get rid of your injury, because any treatment may have particular complications, like pigmentary changes, etc. Sometimes it’s necessary just to reduce it a bit, and you will look good enough. Remember that plenty of celebrities still have marks and they are considered attractive.

Home remedies

There are cases when tribal scars are not that obvious. Thus, many domestic means may be used to make them smaller or even get rid of them. And you should know that our body has a natural way of fading out such signs. Probably, no treatment will be necessary after some time. The following methods might be used to eliminate a mark or at least to make your skin to look better:

Lemon juice.
It helps in building new cells. That’s why you can apply it, for instance, after surgical excision or laser procedures. Vitamin C will fasten the regeneration process. How to use:
tribal marks 9

  • take a cotton ball,
  • soak it in lemon juice,
  • put it on the damaged skin for about 7 minutes,
  • let your skin dry.

Olive oil.
It’s thought to be a miracle remedy. It’s useful for getting rid of discoloration. As we’ve mentioned the treatment and scars themselves may lead to various types of pigmentation. Beside, with the help of this oil you can soften the scar. Application:
clear tribal marks 7

  • take a tablespoon of oil,
  • massage your marked skin with it,
  • put hot towel on the skin (it softens the skin and opens the pores),
  • when it cools down – wipe the oil off.

Baking soda.
Scrubs with soda are very effective not only against scars, but also in improving your skin appearance in general. It is also applicable for discolored skin. The biggest advantage is that it’s completely natural and harmless remedy. How to use:

  • mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of water,
  • rub the paste you’ve got with the circular motions on the damaged skin (for about one minute),
  • wash it with warm water.

Wax or bee venom.
It can be a wonderful remedy in the complex with the royal jelly. Their composition works as a regeneration activator. Besides, apitoxin softens the mark and makes it much less noticeable. There are many lotions based on it and medical procedures of inputting natural honeybee venom under the skin.

Mixture of nutmeg, milk, and honey. Mix one part of nutmeg with four parts of milk and honey. This paste should be put on the cicatrice, rubbed into it, and then washed away. Repeat this procedure three or four times a week until you see the result. It usually depends on the individual abilities of the organism to regenerate. Make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction to any component before using.

tribal marks 3All these means might be used in complex. Apply them for one or two weeks (however, don’t be extreme, otherwise some negative effects can appear). Remember that it’s very effective to use cosmetic gels and creams along with the home remedies. But it’s better to consult the doctor beforehand. It’s important to find treatment, which will suit for your type of skin and your kind of mark. Never start doing something (except for some domestic methods, if you aren’t allergic to the components) without proper thinking and consultation with a specialist, because you can make even more harm. It’s also essential to make sure you are ready for any cosmetic procedure to get rid of your injury. Think it over properly before making a final decision.

Tribal marks have always been a part of Nigerian history and culture. Despite of the fact that some people are proud of them, as it symbolizes their belonging to a certain family, there are those who hate them. Such people are looking for any ways of eliminating their scars. The reasons might be different – job, their appearance, or relations with the others.READ ALSO: Scar Removal – 5 best methods in Nigeria

Nowadays there is a great number of methods to remove a scar. Some of them are very effective and harmless. However, there exist those, which are able to lead to pigmentation and other damages. The choice of a particular method will always depend on skin and mark types. A consultation with a doctor is obligatory in such cases. Don’t forget, if your injuries are not that noticeable, you can always try to use creams and home remedies.


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