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Scar creams contain ingredients designed to target scar tissue and help restore the skin’s natural look and feel.

The best scar cream for each person will depend on several factors, such as the type of scars they have, how their skin reacts, and the ingredients in the cream.

Keep reading to learn more.

A scar is a part of the skin’s natural repair cycle after a wound. The body works quickly to cover a wound with skin cells and protect it from the outside elements.

As a result, it sometimes creates imperfect cells that contain more collagen than healthy skin cells. Collagen is a protein in your body that helps provide structure to the skin. This is why scars differ in appearance from undamaged skin.

The look of a scar will typically fade with time, though some changes may last longer or be permanent.

Scar creams work in different ways to heal the tissue and reduce the appearance of scars. Some skin creams contain mild exfoliants that rub away the top layer of skin cells and any dead skin in the area.

Other ingredients hydrate the cells, giving them a fuller look, which may reduce the appearance of scars.

Scar creams are only one part of treating a scar. People looking to reduce the appearance of scars should also take other precautions, such as keeping the damaged area out of direct sunlight or wearing sunscreen whenever possible.

Below are some of the top options for scar creams available for purchase.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that fit the following criteria where possible:

  • Use: Products that are suitable for a range of scarring.
  • Price: Products that are available in a range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: Products that contain a range of ingredients, such as silicone, allantoin, and shea butter.
  • Type of product: Products that are available in gel, cream, sheet, and oil forms.

Best for old and new scars: Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

  • Active ingredient: Allantoin.
  • Dosage: Once a day.
  • Size: 0.70 ounces (oz).
  • Pro: Suitable for acne, surgical scars, burns, and cuts.
  • Con: May cause itchiness and skin dryness.
  • Price: $26.99

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is one of the most popular and effective all-around treatments for various scars.

The Mederma website state that the cream is effective for both new and old scars due to acne, surgeries, burns, and cuts.

The main active ingredient in Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is allantoin, which helps moisturize and hydrate the skin cells to reduce the appearance of scars.

The cream also contains other exfoliants and ingredients, such as onion bulb extract, to support the skin and prevent dryness.

When a person uses it on a new scar, they may see effects after about 8 weeks. For older scars, a person may need to regularly apply the gel for up to 6 months before seeing any results.

Some people may experience itchiness and skin dryness. This may be due to using too much of the gel.

Best for surgical scars: ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets

  • Active ingredient: Silicone
  • Dosage: Place one sheet on the scar.
  • Size: 12 sheets per pack.
  • Pro: This product is comfortable to use throughout the day.
  • Con: Some people may experience irritation from the adhesive.
  • Price: Around $40

ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets are simple fabric-backed sheets containing silicone. This silicone layer acts as a natural barrier, mimicking the barrier from healthy skin. This may help reduce scar formation or cause scar tissue to fade.

ScarAway state that the sheets prevent or treat abnormal scarring due to injuries, keloid scars, and scars from surgeries, such as cesarean deliveries and tummy tucks.

The flexible, breathable sheets make them easy to wear throughout the day for many people. Some may find the adhesive irritating.

The healing time can vary based on several factors. For fresh scars, a person may notice results in a few weeks. Older scars may take longer to heal.

Best for cruelty-free scar treatment: Derma E Scar Gel

  • Active ingredients: Allicin, allantoin, and panthenol.
  • Dosage: Apply the gel 2-3 times daily.
  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Pro: May help smooth skin and reduce the appearance of scars.
  • Con: Some people may find the gel too thick.
  • Price: $20.95

Derma E Scar gel is a natural choice for scar reduction. The gel contains onion bulb extract allicin, which is an antioxidant. Allantoin works to hydrate the skin. It also contains the vitamin panthenol, which may help smooth skin.

Together, these ingredients work to reduce the appearance of scars and improve the skin’s health.

The Derma E company uses natural, cruelty-free ingredients, which may be important for some.

The website recommends applying the gel 2–3 times daily. Improvements may take 8 weeks to show up in fresh scars. Older scars may take as long as 6 months for noticeable improvements.

Best for long-term skin health: Honeydew Concealing Cream

  • Active ingredients: Shea butter, rosehip oil, and jojoba oil.
  • Dosage: Apply the cream daily.
  • Size: 4 oz.
  • Pro: May provide extra moisture to healing skin.
  • Con: Results may vary between individuals.
  • Price: $11.95.

Honeydew Scar Cream contains many ingredients and oils to enrich and enliven the skin. It may be best as a long-term option for skin health and fading scars naturally.

The cream contains some beneficial oils, such as shea butter, rosehip oil, and jojoba oil, which may improve the look of the skin over time. Other ingredients, such as stearic acid, help protect the skin from losing moisture.

Actual results and timing may vary between individuals.

Best for acne scarring: Differin Adapalene Gel

  • Active ingredient: 0.1% adapalene.
  • Dosage: Apply a thin layer to the face once per day after washing.
  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Pro: Can help reduce the appearance of severe acne scarring.
  • Con: The gel may irritate the skin.
  • Price: Around $15.

Differin Adapalene gel is an antioxidant treatment for acne vulgaris. While it is effective for many people with this condition, it may also benefit acne scarring.

A study posted to Dermatology and Therapy notes that after 24 weeks, people with moderate to severe atrophic acne scars who used adapalene gel showed significant improvements in scarring and quality of life.

However, adapalene gel can irritate some people, which may make other skin symptoms worse. Anyone dealing with moderate to severe acne scarring should talk with their doctor or dermatologist.

Best for redness and discoloration: LIFE-FLO Cold Pressed Organic Pure Rosehip Seed Oil

  • Active ingredient: Rosehip seed oil.
  • Dosage: Massage 2-3 drops of oil onto dry, clean skin.
  • Size: 1 oz
  • Pro: Regular use may reduce the appearance of scars.
  • Con: May irritate a person’s skin.
  • Price: Around $9.

An all-natural option, rosehip seed oil contains helpful antioxidants that may improve overall skin health.

Rosehip seed oil may protect the skin cells by acting as a natural barrier. It may also help with hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of certain skin areas.

A study posted to the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications indicates that regularly applying rosehip oil may reduce the appearance of scars. The study focused on scars from surgical wounds.

Researchers found that those who used rosehip oil twice a day showed significant reductions in signs of scarring, such as redness, discoloration, and skin thickness, over 12 weeks.

The following are some tips on how to use scar cream:

  • Follow all instructions: Before using a scar cream, a person should carefully read all the manufacturer’s instructions. Some companies may recommend using the product once or twice a day, whereas others may recommend leaving a product on for several hours.
  • Use on clean, dry skin: Always apply any scar cream on a freshly washed and dried area.
  • Use a combination of products: A healthcare professional may recommend using two or more products in combination. Always follow the healthcare professional’s advice on when and how to apply these products.
  • Remember results take time: People may not see a significant difference for several months when using scar cream.

Several other options that contain similar active ingredients to those listed here are also available. What works for one person might not suit someone else. However, there are a few important things to consider when shopping for scar cream.

Active ingredients

Paying attention to the active ingredients in the cream and their strength can help a person identify what works for their skin type.

Other ingredients

Other ingredients may also affect how well a treatment works. If an ingredient irritates a person’s skin, they will likely stop using the treatment. In some cases, it may even make symptoms worse.

Be aware of bold claims

While many active ingredients may reduce the appearance of scars over time, they are not miracle cures. Stick with reputable companies and be wary of any bold claims.

Patience is key

While a few different active ingredients work to reduce scarring, they do so over time. Many treatments may take weeks before a person sees any visible results, and the effects may wear off if the person stops using the treatment.

One at a time

A person may have to try a few different products before finding one that works. However, it is a good idea to stick to one product at a time, as this can help identify what works and what does not.

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about scar cream.

How does scar cream work?

The way a scar cream works depends on its ingredients.

Some creams may work as an exfoliant, gently scrubbing away dead skin cells on and around the scar, which may help reduce the appearance of scarring.

Other creams may hydrate the skin, reducing the appearance of any scarring.

How well does scar cream really work?

A 2015 review states that studies investigating the effectiveness of plant extracts, such as onion and aloe vera, and vitamins, such as vitamin E, on skin scarring were of low quality. The authors also note that there is insufficient clinical evidence that scar creams are effective.

The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom states that sunscreen can help protect scars from sun damage, which can help reduce the appearance of scarring. Additionally, moisturizers can help keep the skin supple and prevent the skin around the scar from becoming dry.

How long does it take for scar cream to work?

It can take several months of using scar cream before a person notices a significant difference.

If a person is not happy with the results of the scar cream, they may wish to contact a dermatologist or other healthcare professional for further advice and recommendations to reduce the appearance of scarring.

The best scar cream to use will vary between individuals. The ingredients in these scar creams may help bring moisture to the skin or heal scar cells themselves.

Scar creams work slowly, but regular use may help reduce scar tissue appearance and improve the cells themselves.

Talking with a doctor or dermatologist about treating visible scars may help those worried or concerned about the scars.