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What are the Different Types of Scar Ointment?

By C. Sadowska
Updated May 17, 2024
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Scars can be the result of an injury, burn, stretch marks, acne, or surgery. Whatever the cause, most people want to do whatever it takes to get rid of them. While no scar ointment, cream, or gel exists that can completely erase the damage, there are many available that claim to help improve the appearance and texture of the scar. Most topical scar ointments contain onion extract, vitamin E, vitamin C, or cocoa butter.

Allium cepa bulb extract is onion extract and the primary ingredient in Mederma® scar treatments. Mederma® must be applied several times a day and claims to lessen the appearance and smooth the texture of scars. According to Mederma®, 80 percent of women in a clinical study showed noticeable results in 12 weeks. Other studies have shown that onion extract is largely ineffective.

Vitamin E oil can be found in many types of scar ointment. It is an antioxidant and has been shown to be beneficial to the skin’s natural healing process, either alone or in combination with other ingredients. Some people are sensitive to vitamin E and, in one study, skin reactions were reported in 33 percent of users. It can be important to test creams that contain vitamin E before using them on a large area of skin.

There is also scar ointment available that contains vitamin C. This claims to help the injured skin produce collagen and elastin. Vitamin C can help scars appear less prominent and may also help fade scars and reduce discoloration. Face creams containing vitamin C could be helpful in treating acne scars.

Cocoa butter is another common type of scar ointment and is often used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, although it can be used on any sort of scar. It is a natural emollient that protects the scar and moisturizes it to improve the skin’s appearance. Applied consistently to fresh scars, cocoa butter can help to break down scar tissue and repair the damaged skin. It is considered one of the oldest and most reliable treatments. Cocoa butter has the added benefit of being a good moisturizer and typically can be used all over, not just on the area affected by the scar.

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Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On Feb 23, 2014

If Vitamin C helps with skin scars by causing skin to produce more collagen, can we use collagen products for scars then? I know that creams with collagen and hyaluronic acid fight wrinkles. I think they might help with scars as well. Because if skin renews itself, then the scars should fade in the process as well, right?

By ysmina — On Feb 22, 2014

@SarahGen-- I’m not sure. Some people say that scar ointments heal scars when they are fresh. Others say that ointments will still work to eliminate old scars, but they have to be used consistently for a longer period of time. I’m not sure which is true but I know that scars are not easy to get rid of, regardless of how old they are.

Ointments I’ve had the best results with so far are ointments with vitamin E oil and shea butter. Both of these type of ointments made my scars lighter and less noticeable. I had a few, minor scars that disappeared completely. The large ones remain but they are less noticeable than before. If you can find an ointment or product that contains both shea butter and vitamin E, that will be best.

By SarahGen — On Feb 21, 2014

What is the best scar healing ointment for stretch marks due to pregnancy? My stretch marks are from six years ago, will ointments still work?

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