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Best creams for scars: What to consider

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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 vary based 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.

How do scar creams work?

A woman applies the best scar cream for her acne scars.
Scar creams can reduce the appearance of scars from surgery, burns, and acne.

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. This is why scars differ in appearance to healthy skin.

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

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

Other ingredients work to hydrate the cells themselves to give them a fuller look, which may reduce the appearance of scars.

Scar creams themselves are only one part of the scar caring process. People looking to reduce the appearance of scars should also take other precautions, such as avoiding direct sunlight on the scarred area, or wearing sunscreen whenever possible.

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

7 of the best scar creams

Please note that the author of this article has not tried these products, and the reviews are based purely on research.

1. Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

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

The Mederma website state that the cream is effective for both new and old scars from issues such as acne, surgeries, as well as burns and cuts.

The main active ingredient in Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is allantoin, which helps to 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 begin to see effects after about 8 weeks. For older scars, a person may need to apply the gel regularly for up to 6 months before they see any results.

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

It is available for purchase here.

2. ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets

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.

The ScarAway company state that the sheets prevent or treat abnormal scarring due to injuries, keloid scars, and scars from surgeries, such as c-sections and tummy tucks.

The sheets are flexible and breathable, making them easy to wear throughout the day for many people. Some may not enjoy the feeling of the adhesive, and a small percentage of people may feel irritation from the adhesive.

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.

It is available for purchase here.

3. Derma E Scar Gel

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 panthenol, which is a vitamin that may help smooth skin.

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

The Derma E company use natural, cruelty-free ingredients in their products, which may be important for some.

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

It is available for purchase here.

4. MD Performance Ultimate Scar Formula

MD Performance Ultimate Scar Formula is a blend of medical-grade silicone gels. Silicone acts as a barrier for the skin cells, mimicking the effects of the skin’s natural barrier.

Applying the product to any type of small, healing scars that are still pink, may show improvements in as little as 2 weeks.

The MD Performance company recommend continuing to use the product even after the initial improvement until all signs of scarring are gone.

It is available for purchase here.

5. Honeydew Scar Cream

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 helpful 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.

It is available for purchase here.

6. Differin Adapalene Gel

Differin Adapalene gel is a common antioxidant treatment for acne vulgaris. While it is effective for many people with this condition, it may benefit acne scarring as well.

A study posted to Dermatology and TherapyTrusted Source 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.

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

It is available for purchase here.

7. Rosehip seed oil

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

Oils such as 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 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.

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Other considerations

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 a 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 they find 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.

Summary

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 are not quick treatments, but using them regularly may help reduce scar tissue appearance and improve the cells themselves.

Anyone worried about how to treat visible scars should see a dermatologist to discuss all treatment options.

Skin Care for Scars

CREDIT: COURTESY

Best Overall: Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

SHOP NOW: $28; AMAZON.COM

In addition to being Amazon’s best-selling scar reducing treatment, this Mederma cream has also racked up more than 7,500 five-star ratings from customers raving about how quickly and effectively it lessened the appearance of their scars. According to the brand, it has been clinically proven to “improve the overall appearance, color, and texture” of both old and new scars. Plus, shoppers love that it only needs to be applied once a day, as it saves them time and money. “Going into six months using Mederma on my scars from open heart surgery, and it is an AMAZING improvement,” wrote one reviewer. “I noticed a change in the first few weeks, but after two months, the color of the scars was considerably lighter and the skin texture was smoother. Now, one scar you can’t see anymore, and my major scar has improved so much even my doctors are amazed. It did wonders for my self esteem.”

Derma E Scar Gel

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Best Dermatologist Pick: Derma E Scar Gel

SHOP NOW: $20; ULTA.COM

This Derma E scar gel is Dr. Jaliman’s top pick because “it’s a really nice product at a great price point that can help lighten scars.” Its main ingredients are acetyl glycyl beta-alanine and allicin, which work together with other moisturizing ingredients to lighten the pigment of a scar and help reduce its appearance over time. While the brand says it works on all types of scarring including sunburns, chemical burns, industrial burns, old scars, and stretchmarks, Dr. Jaliman says it will work best on superficial scars. Over 800 Ulta customers are also fans of the skincare product and have given it an impressive 4.5-star rating. 

Skin Care for Scars

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Best for Acne Scars: The Ordinary Deciem Azelaic Acid Suspension

SHOP NOW: $8; SEPHORA.COM

If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of acne scars, hundreds of Sephora customers recommend this cream from The Ordinary. It is specially formulated to even out your skin tone and texture, and fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation at the same time. The popular product can be used on all skin types, and it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. One shopper said it was “incredible for acne scars,” before adding, “This is the only Ordinary product that I have restocked on now three times. “It’s almost a “scar eraser” and does a really good job at brightening the whole area. This is one of my holy grail products that will always be in my skincare routine.”

Skin Care for Scars

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Best for Face: Honeydew Scar Cream

SHOP NOW: $10; AMAZON.COM

Thousands of Amazon shoppers love to use this Honeydew scar cream to diminish the look of scars on their face because its lightweight hydrating formula doesn’t clog their pores. It’s infused with natural ingredients like vitamin E, rosehip, and avocado oil to soften, nourish, and lighten the look of old and new scars. Even better, many customers say that while they started to use the cream to help their scars, they’ve noticed it also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. “I am very pleased that I gave this cream a try after spending money on other scar creams that did absolutely nothing,” wrote one reviewer. “This cream is smooth, soft, smells good, and works. I have been using it for about one year and have seen a tremendous change in the fading and disappearance of my scar. I recently bought another jar. I use it on my neck, chest and face. The cream moisturizing effect keeps my face supple and soft. There is no overpowering smell.”

Skin Care for Scars

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Best for Body: Cicatricure Scar Gel

SHOP NOW: $12 (ORIGINALLY $20); AMAZON.COM

While this Cicatricure scar cream can minimize the look of scars on both your face and body, most customers say they use it on their body. Not only will it reduce a scar’s coloration, but it also works to improve its texture. To see the best results, the brand recommends applying the cream four times a day for eight weeks, and for older scars, you should apply it three times a day for up to six months. “It is amazing,” said one shopper. “I have scars from a liver surgery that just wouldn’t go away. I’ve been using this product since the day I received it. Within the first week, the scars are fading away. I wish I would’ve taken a ‘before’ picture so you could judge for yourself with evidence. I would highly — I mean highly — recommend this product for anyone with scars that have gotten dark.”  

Skin Care for Scars

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Best for After Surgery: ScarAway Medical-Grade Silicone Scar Sheets

SHOP NOW: $18; AMAZON.COM

Unlike the gel and cream options on this list, this innovative product by ScarAway uses silicone sheets to minimize the appearance of scars. The breathable sheets not only help hydrate and soften the scar, but they also protect it from outside elements. The durable pads are self-adhesive, reusable, and can be worn for up to 24 hours at a time. “This product is amazing,” wrote one shopper. “I had gotten surgery on my wrist, and two weeks later started to use the scarway. It was looking like I was going to have a nasty bubbling scar, and just within two weeks, I’ve noticed a difference! The scar now is flat and barely visible. I’m on the patch now. My skin after surgery is very sensitive, and the patch gives it extra protection. So easy to use!

Skin Care for Scars

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Best for Burns: MD Performance Ultimate Scar Formula

SHOP NOW: $27; AMAZON.COM

This scar cream from MD Performance works on multiple types of scars, including scars from surgery, injuries, and acne, but many Amazon shoppers say they used it to reduce the appearance of burn scars. The dermatologist-formulated cream should be applied two times a day, and the brand says you should see results in 12 to 16 weeks. “I had a pretty gnarly scar on my thigh from a bad burn,” said one customer. “I wasn’t expecting much, given the size and depth of the scar, but holy cow, did this wind up fading my scar tremendously! It is pricey and the tube is small, but you don’t need to use much to see results. WELL worth the money.”

Skin Care for Scars

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Best for Old Scars: Cutie Academy Scar Removal Gel Ointment

SHOP NOW: $20 (ORIGINALLY $28); AMAZON.COM

If you’re looking to improve the appearance of older scars, check out this scar cream by Cutie Academy. Amazon shoppers say it worked wonders on their scars, noting that it not only helped lighten them but also smoothed out their texture. The popular cream is full of powerful ingredients like ginseng, glycerin, centella asiatica, and allantoin, and it can be used on even the most sensitive of skin. “I bought this product to work on 10-year-old scars,” said one customer. “I was admittedly skeptical, but desperate. I’ve only been using the product about a month, and in comparison to the initial ‘Day Zero’ pictures I took, it’s definitely working. It will likely take a few more tubes of product to achieve total clearing of the scars, but I am excited with the progress so far.”

Skin Care for Scars

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Best for Kids: Mederma for Kids

SHOP NOW: $16 (ORIGINALLY $20); AMAZON.COM

This kid-friendly scar cream by Mederma minimizes scars by increasing collagen production and cell renewal as well as hydrating and moisturizing the scar. While it dries clear, the cream rubs on purple, so little ones can see exactly where they’re applying the product. Plus, it boasts a kid-friendly scent, so you don’t have to worry about your child complaining about the smell. One shopper called it a “wonder cream” before adding, “This stuff is amazing. It’s unreal how it just makes the scar disappear. My daughter got bit by a dog. It left a huge bite wound and scar. It literally disappeared after about four weeks.”

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