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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 will depend on the type of scar, ingredients in the cream, and an individual’s skin health.

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 the body that helps structure 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.

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.

Discover the best sunscreen for every skin type here.

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

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: MNT chooses scar creams containing ingredients proven to treat scars, such as silicone, allantoin, and shea butter.
  • Safety: MNT chooses products that contain ingredients safe for topical use and are clearly labelled.
  • Skin concerns: MNT selects scar creams that target specific skin concerns, such as burn scars, acne, and surgical scars.
  • Type of product: MNT chooses products that are available in gel, cream, sheet, and oil forms
  • Reputable: MNT selects products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.

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

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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.

Best for laser burns: Cimeosil Scar and Laser Gel

Below is a comparison chart of the scar creams in this article:

PriceSizeFormKey ingredientsDosage
Mederma$26.990.70 ozgel• allantoin
• onion bulb extract
• panthenol
once a day
Scaraway$3310 sheetssheet• siliconeone sheet a day
Derma-E$19.952 ozgel• allicin
• allantoin
• panthenol
2-3 times daily
Honeydew$11.994 ozcream• shea butter
• rosehip oil
• jojoba oil
Differin$150.5 ozgel• adapalene
• hydrochloric acid
Mederma$150.7 ozgel• allantoin
• onion bulb extract
Cicatricure$19.991 ozgel• chamomile
• onion bulb extract
• aloe vera
4 times a day
Cimeosil$360.49 ozgel• silicone2 times daily

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products that clearly list all ingredients.
  • Skin concerns: Where appropriate, MNT selects products that target a specific skin concern, such as dryness, oiliness, or aging.
  • Safety: MNT chooses products that contain ingredients safe for topical use.
  • Reputable: MNT selects products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
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There are a few important things to consider when shopping for scar creams:

  • 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.

It is important to consider what works for one person might not suit someone else.

People should speak to a healthcare professional, such as a dermatologist, to determine the best treatment for their scars.

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.

Common ingredients in the scar creams in this article are:


Adapalene is a synthetic acid that comes from retinoids. It is a common ingredient in creams to treat acne scars and inflammation.

Researchers investigated the effect of adapalene as a topical acne treatment on scarring in 67 volunteers over a period of 6 months.

Results showed there was a significant improvement in acne lesions and scarring. Acne scarring had gone in 32.9% of the volunteers. Additionally, acne lesion inflammation had decreased by 86.7% for 19.4% of the volunteers. Skin irritation was common in 6% of the subjects.


Allantoin is a naturally occurring chemical compound from animals, bacteria, and plants. It has skin-softening, protecting, soothing, and wound-healing properties. Some cosmetic manufacturers produce allantoin synthetically.

Studies show that allantoin works as an anti-inflammatory for chronic wounds. This is due to its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and keratolytic properties. It also helps build new skin cells as well as soothing itching and burning sensations.


Allicin is a compound that contains sulfur and originates from garlic. It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used by many cultures to heal wounds and scarring.

Researchers investigated the effect of using a 30% topical garlic ointment on 17 patients with skin surgical wounds. Half of the wounds were treated with the garlic ointment and the other half with Vaseline.

Patients and onsite physicians compared the sites after 2 weeks and reported that the wounds treated with garlic ointment had healed better in 65% of the subjects compared to those treated with the Vaseline.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has moisturizing and wound-healing properties. It contains several anti-inflammatory components such as salicylates, polysaccharides, magnesium lactate, and C-glucosyl chromone. It also contains antibacterial components.

Research shows that aloe vera promotes wound healing by increasing the amount of collagen in wounds. Additionally, as aloe vera consists of 99% water, it can increase skin flexibility and reduce its fragility.


Cosmetic companies use chamomile in creams and lotions for its anti-inflammatory properties, chamazulene, and bisabolol. Chamomile also contains other active antioxidant ingredients such as matricine, apigenin, and luteolin. These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make chamomile a good solution for wound healing.

A study found that a mix of chamomile and pomegranate healed wounds faster than a placebo.

Jojoba oil

Cosmetic formulas widely use jojoba oil in sunscreens and moisturizers. It contains a high content of wax esters which make it good for use as a skin barrier in conditions such as dermatitis and acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a good addition to skin aging and skin infection creams.

Topical applications of plant oils such as jojoba oil have anti-microbial, antioxidative, and wound-healing effects.

Onion bulb extract

Onion bulb extract deactivates most forms of bacteria, thus decreasing inflammation on the skin’s surface due to scarring. Its antibacterial properties also help to heal and prevent acne breakouts on the skin. Additionally, it may improve blood microcirculation and lessen redness as well as act as a skin softener.

A 2022 research study on the health benefits of onion bulb extract supports these claims.


Panthenol, or vitamin B5, is a substance that comes from pantothenic acid. Cosmetic companies use panthenol in skin care products due to its moisturizing, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties also make panthenol good for wound healing and for treating minor skin injuries such as minor burns and sunburn.

A 2020 study concludes that panthenol not only supports skin regeneration and facilitates wound healing but has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing effects on the skin.

Rosehip oil

Rosehip oil has many uses in the cosmetic industry. It may help to protect and hydrate the skin, fight free radical damage, reduce wrinkles, restore elasticity, correct dark spots and reduce the appearance of scars.

A 2019 study on the effects of rosehip oil on wound healing reported that rosehip oil not only promotes wound healing but accelerates the body’s healing process. Additionally, a 2019 study supports the claim of rosehip oil’s anti-inflammatory and skin barrier properties on the skin.

Shea butter

Shea butter originates from the shea tree and is an active ingredient in moisturizing creams and body and face creams due to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to heal scars.

Scientific evidence suggests that shea butter may help to prevent the formation of keloids. However, research is limited and more studies are needed to make this statement conclusive.

There is also clinical evidence that shows that vegetable butter and oils such as shea butter may improve skin conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. However, more research is needed to fully understand how these oils and butter affect the skin after application.


Silicone is a component often found in scar creams, due to its hydrating and healing properties. It not only allows the skin to breathe but also helps scar tissue appear softer and flatter.

A 2018 study on the use of silicone gel to promote skin wound healing following tumor excisions on the scalp supports this claim.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has softening and hydrating properties and thus may help the appearance of scar tissue as well as promote healing.

However, there is little evidence to support the claim that Vitamin E helps with scars. A 2016 review on vitamin E and wound healing concluded that further research is needed into vitamin E’s effectiveness in healing wounds.

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?

Scar creams may effectively heal wounds and scar tissue if they contain research-backed ingredients such as silicone and allantoin. However, these products do not work overnight. It may take weeks or months to see a noticeable difference in skin, especially as wounds and scars differ in size and depth.

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.

What is most effective for scars?

The most effective treatment for scars depends on the person’s scar, where it is located, and its size and depth. Some scars will be more superficial and may be located on the face, other scars may be longer and deeper and be located on parts of the body. Therefore, oils, creams, or gels may work better in some areas, whereas scar sheets may be better suited in others.

Additionally, people may wish to look at the ingredients and see which are better suited to their skin type. A person with sensitive skin may for example wish to avoid harsh chemicals that may irritate their skin.

People may wish to speak with their healthcare professional or doctor if they are in any doubt as to which scar treatment to use.

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.