The Best Scar Creams of 2022 For Healthy Skin Recovery

The TEREZ & HONOR Advanced Silicone Scar Gel fades old and new scars

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Verywell Health / Leigh Weingus

Your skin is one of your toughest, most resilient organs, tasked with protecting you against environmental exposures, infections, and injuries. It’s kind of like your own personal bodyguard! That said, your skin can get pretty roughed up in the process of protecting you—and most of us have the scars to show for it.

Reviewed & Approved

The TEREZ & HONOR. Advanced Scar Gel is formulated with medical-grade silicone to fade surgery scars and marks. Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil is budget-friendly and delivers quick results.

Some scars are small and inconspicuous, tiny enough to go unnoticed, but others may be larger, darker, rougher, or in a highly visible location. For these more noticeable scars, you might have considered using an OTC scar cream. But is it worth it?

“After any type of damage to your skin where there is some amount of bleeding, you should consider treatment to get the best healing,” says Dr. Brian Brazzo, an ophthalmic and facial plastic surgeon in New York City.

This can include everything from small scrapes and mild burns to lacerations and wounds that require sutures. Even surgical procedures should prioritize scar-minimizing healing, as much as possible.

“After any of these situations, skin must begin to heal,” Dr. Brazzo says. “There are ways that people can optimize that healing to try to limit a noticeable scar [including] use of an over-the-counter scar remedy.”

A good OTC scar treatment will not only speed the healing process, but also moisturize the skin, further promoting health and re-growth. But there are things to keep in mind about all scar treatments, like their ingredients, the part of the body they’re designed to be used on, and how you’ll protect your vulnerable skin from the sun’s rays while your scar heals.

We asked dermatologists to tell us exactly what to look for and avoid when choosing an OTC scar cream; here are the best treatments on the market today.

What to Look for in a Scar Cream

Ingredients

In general, you should look for a scar cream with silicone or allantoin (or both) for maximum scar healing power.

“Probably the most common ingredient in OTC scar preparation is silicone,” says Dr. Brazzo. “There are many types of silicone that can be rubbed onto the skin; some of these are quick drying but many of them are thick and pasty and annoying for people to use.”

When possible, choose a smoother, thinner silicone-based product to make application easier. Or, opt for a product with allantoin, which Dr. Brazzo says can hydrate the skin, soften keratin, and promote healing. You might also see hyaluronic acid in some scar treatments for the same reason: Dr. Brazzo says allantoin and hyaluronic acid “stimulate collagen production, which restores the natural architecture to the skin [and] leads to smoother skin with normal elasticity and color.”

Lastly, you might find an unusual ingredient in many scar creams—onion extract, which has been shown to be an effective complementary treatment to many more common scar-healing ingredients like allantoin and petroleum-based ointments.

Targeted Anatomy

The best scar treatment on the market won’t do much for you if it’s not compatible with the part of the body you want to use it on. While silicone patches or strips can be effective treatments, Dr. Brazzo says they typically don’t work well for your face or jointed parts of the body that are always moving (like your knee or elbow, for example).

“[These products] help to keep the wound moist and also add surface pressure to attempt to keep the scar flat,” he explains. “They also reduce tension on the wound, which may contribute to less scar tissue developing, [but] they need to be worn full-time for weeks or months.”

If the scar you’re treating is on your face or one of these highly-mobile areas, Dr. Brazzo says you would be better off with a topical product you can apply a few times per day.

Form

Creams, oils, patches…what type of scar treatment do you actually need, and how do you choose one? Before you stress out too much, know this: your scar won’t heal based on OTC products alone, so it’s not a make-it-or-break-it decision.

“Topical scar creams are only a small portion of successful scar healing,” says Melanie Palm, MD, dermatologist at Art of Skin MD. “Limiting activity during recovery takes tension off the wound, [and you also need to] photoprotect skin with physical sunscreen agents and help enhance normal collagen production with growth factors and peptides.”

In other words, you still have to take care of your skin. Plus, depending on the severity of your scar, you may need to step up your treatment game; Dr. Palm says that early scar intervention with light and laser treatments greatly improves the appearance of scars.

Dr. Brazzo agrees, noting that the actual form of the treatment you choose (except to choose the right product for the right body part) just isn’t that important. It’s more a matter of personal preference: some people find oils messy, some people like the easy absorption of creams, and others like thicker ointments to keep the wound moist. Consider what type of product you’ll be happy to actually turn to, multiple times per day, more than anything else. 

Potential Interactions

Depending on the type of product you choose, you may need to look out for allergic reactions. 

“Open skin makes sensitization to a potential allergen more likely,” says Dr. Palm, who notes that while silicone-based products are unlikely to cause a reaction, some OTC treatments contain other ingredients that increase the likelihood of a reaction. 

Some common scar cream irritants include:

  • Sunscreen. Dr. Palm says that physical sunscreen ingredients, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, cannot cause an allergic reaction but chemical sunscreens (such as oxybenzone or avobenzone) can. If possible, choose an SPF product with physical sunscreen ingredients, especially if you know you have sensitivities to many sunscreens. 
  • Preservatives and fragrances. If you’re typically sensitive to added ingredients in beauty and cosmetic products, you should take care to avoid them in your scar treatments as well. Fragrance-free, odorless products are less likely to irritate.
  • Fruit acids and retinols. Dr. Brazzo says some products include these ingredients as a way to further reduce hyperpigmentation, but that they tend to cause more irritation on the skin (delaying the healing process). 

In general, stick to the basics: silicone, allantoin, and hyaluronic acid; Dr. Palm says peptides can also be beneficial, especially in early intervention. Less is usually more here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does scar cream work?

    It depends on what ingredients it relies on, but typically, scar creams promote the re-growth of skin cells so the scar can be filled back in with normal, undamaged skin. However, different creams work differently based on their ingredients.

    “Silicone creates a negative pressure environment on an evolving, new scar that does not allow collagen to overdevelop, which can lead to hypertrophic scars and keloids,” says Dr. Palm. “Some scar creams also contain sunscreen to protect newly healing skin from sun damage, which can cause pigmentation or poorly healed scars.”

    Plant-based ingredients like allantoin and onion extract, meanwhile, work by rehydrating and moisturizing the skin, softening the skin bonds and allowing for re-growth.

  • How soon can I use scar cream after a surgery?

    You should follow your physician’s directions, says Dr. Palm, but most scar creams can and should be used shortly after your sutures are removed. However, you may need to use a treatment for several months to see the best results.

    Dr. Brazzo, who has developed his own post-surgical scar gel, says his patients typically start the treatment regimen immediately after surgery and use it four times a day for one week after surgery, then decrease it to just bedtime for one or two months.

Here are the best scar creams on the market.

Best Overall: TEREZ & HONOR Advanced Silicone Scar Gel

4.9
Scar Gel

Amazon

Pros
  • Good for old and new scars

  • Adults and kids can use it

  • Odorless and colorless

Cons
  • No SPF

  • Slow results

What do buyers say? 80% of 3,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

If this is your first attempt at minimizing the appearance of a scar, we recommend trying a product that contains silicone and can be used for a wide variety of purposes. The scar removal gel by TEREZ & HONOR delivers 100% medical grade silicone to your skin, working its magic on both old and new scars. This product can be used on C-section scars, stretch marks, acne scars, and surgical scars.

We also love that the gel can be applied to all types of skin, is suitable for all ages, and is odorless and colorless. That means you can use it to heal scars virtually anywhere, including on the face, with total discretion. It might take a while for this gel to improve the appearance of your scar, but in the meantime, it will be working to enhance the overall health of your skin.

Active Ingredients: 100% medical grade silicone and peppermint oil | Dose: Multiple, apply two or three times per day | Usage: Fade old and new scars

What the Experts Say

“The right scar treatment provides the necessary occlusion over the wound which allows skin cells to 'crawl' over one another and fill in the wound or incision line. There are many studies in the medical literature that indicate silicone works well for scars." — Jordan Fabrikant, DO, FAAD, FAOCD, dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon

Best Budget: Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil

4.8
Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil

Ulta

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Not just for scars

  • Not greasy; absorbs quickly

Cons
  • May clog pores

  • Unpleasant odor

Sometimes it’s not just a scar that needs healing; sometimes the skin around a scar suffers, too, thanks to wound dressings, suture removal, and increased vulnerability to the sun. What we like about the Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil—in addition to its wallet-friendly price point—is that it works almost like a skin conditioner, infusing the application area with a much-needed boost of vitamins.

Non-greasy and fast-absorbing, Bio-Oil can be quickly massaged into the skin, scars included, several times per day; vitamins A and E work to renew skin, improve hydration, and promote elasticity, while plant-based oils like lavender oil and calendula oil soothe skin and relieve inflammation.

Active Ingredients: Vitamin E and chamomile | Dose: Multiple, apply twice daily | Usage: Fades acne scars, stretch marks, and hand scars

What Our Editors Say

"This oil is light and rubs in well, so you aren't left with a greasy residue on your skin. I love how moisturizing it feels and I've definitely noticed my stretch marks begin to fade after just a few months of daily use." Christina Oehler, Verywell Health editor

Best for Kids: Mederma for Kids Scar Cream

Mederma for Kids Scar Cream

Amazon

Pros
  • Kid-friendly color and scent

  • Safe for delicate skin

Cons
  • Liquidy, hard to apply consistency

Getting kids to put any kind of product on their skin is always a battle, but the makers of Mederma for Kids seem to know this: they’ve made a scar cream that comes out looking purple and smelling yummy, so kids won’t be afraid of what their parents are talking them into when it's time for scar treatment.

The ingredients in Mederma for Kids are the same as many other Mederma products; allantoin and onion extract soothe and heal scars, but at safer, kid-friendly levels. The product goes on purple but turns clear once it’s fully absorbed, which helps both kids and parents know it’s been applied correctly. Like any other OTC treatment, you’ll need to be persistent to see results.

Active Ingredients: Allantoin 1.0% | Dose: Multiple, apply three times daily for eight weeks | Usage: Soften, smooth, and reduce appearance of old and new scars

Best for Body: Derma E Scar Gel

4
Derma E Scar Gel

Ulta

Pros
  • Smooth, easy to apply gel

  • Moisturizes with vitamin E

  • Lasts a long time

Cons
  • May cause breakouts/irritation if used on face

The skin on your face is delicate and requires ultra-hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic products when it comes to scar treatments. The skin on other parts of your body, however, can handle a bit more strength—like the scar gel by DERMA E, which packs a lot of punch into a small tub. 

This heavier-weight gel is made with allantoin, onion extract, and vitamin B, moisturizing and soothing skin as it works to improve the appearance of scars. If you have larger scars on your body (post-surgery, for example), it would be difficult to effectively and efficiently use a scar cream that’s thin or runny; the DERMA E gel, by contrast, is thicker and provides more scar coverage on the body. Just avoid using it on your face, as it may clog pores.

Active Ingredients: Allicin, vitamin B5, and allantoin | Dose: Apply 2-3 times daily for eight weeks, for old scars apply twice a day for 3-6 months | Usage: Soften, smooth, and diminish appearance of scars that are lumpy or discolored.

Best for Face: Mederma Scar Cream Plus SPF 30

Mederma Scar Cream Plus SPF 30

Amazon

Pros
  • Reduces need for sunscreen

  • Easily blendable cream

  • Works quickly

Cons
  • No active ingredients for scar treatment

The skin comprising a scar is weaker and more vulnerable than the rest of your skin. When a scar is on your face, you should take care to always apply SPF protection to avoid causing any further damage to that weakened skin. When you’re applying an OTC scar treatment, this often means an additional step in your daily regime: scar cream and sunscreen.

Not so when you’re using Mederma Scar Cream SPF 30. In addition to allantoin and onion extract, this cream includes sunscreen to protect you from sun exposure while helping to heal your scar. Keep in mind that if you spend hours outside every day or are exposed to intense sun, you may need an extra layer of traditional sunscreen, but since you can apply this Mederma cream three times per day, you’ll get a good amount of SPF protection even using it alone. If you’re sensitive to sunscreen products, however, you may have to skip this one—it contains chemical sunscreen ingredients, not physical ones.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Octocrylene 10.0%, Oxybenzone 6.0% | Dose: Apply 3 times daily for 8 weeks for new scars and for 3-6 months for old scars | Usage: Reduces appearance of scars, prevent sunburn

Best for Burns: MD Performance Professional Skin Care Ultimate Scar Formula

MD Performance Professional Skin Care Ultimate Scar Formula

Amazon

Pros
  • For many kinds of scars, including burns

  • 100% medical grade silicone for maximum results

  • Can be used by all ages

Cons
  • Expensive for a small amount

  • Needs a long duration of treatment

In general, burn scars tend to be drier and itchier than other types of scars, so it’s even more important to find a non-irritating scar cream. That’s why we chose the ultimate scar formula by MD Performance; it contains medical grade silicone for optimal healing of your scar, but only a few other ingredients. It’s a highly non-allergenic formula, free of unnecessary ingredients, that simply works well to heal all kinds of scars, including those from burns, without interfering with the natural barriers of the rest of your skin.

Active Ingredients: 100% medical grade silicone | Dose: Multiple, use twice per day for eight weeks | Usage: To fade and clear burn scars

Final Verdict

No matter how old or new your scar, TEREZ & HONOR Advanced Silicone Scar Gel has the power to reduce its appearance thanks to the inclusion of 100% medical grade silicone, a dermatologist-favorite ingredient for healing scars. It gets our Best Overall pick for being safe to use on nearly any type of scar, and with people of all ages, including kids.

For a budget-friendly treatment, we suggest trying Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil, which can be used anywhere on the body and can improve the appearance of stretch marks and aging skin.

How We Rated Scar Creams

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best scar creams we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These scar creams are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great scar creams, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These scar creams are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend scar creams with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Selected the Scar Creams

To find the best scar creams, we asked dermatologists to tell us what to look for and what to skip when choosing a product (so you don’t risk any additional irritation or inflammation). They suggested products with silicone, allantoin, and antioxidant or vitamin blends to improve the color, size, and texture of scars while also promoting the overall health of your skin.

Armed with that info, we searched the internet for well-rated OTC treatments that provide results with easy application; it can take a long time to heal scars, old and new, so you need something convenient! We also looked for products formulated to address scars on different body parts, since some types of products are better suited for your face than your body (and vice versa).

Why Trust Verywell Health

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Conti V, Corbi G, Iannaccone T, Corrado B, et al. Effectiveness and tolerability of a patch containing onion extract and allantoin for Cesarean section scars. Front Pharmacol. 2020(11). doi:10.3389/fphar.2020.569514

  2. Zhang Y, Liu Y, Cai B, et al. Improvement of surgical scars by early intervention with carbon dioxide fractional laser. Lasers Surg Med. 2020;52(2):137-148. doi:10.1002/lsm.23129

  3. Sidgwick GP, McGeorge D, Bayat A. A comprehensive evidence-based review on the role of topicals and dressings in the management of skin scarring. Arch Dermatol Res. 2015;307(6):461-477. doi:10.1007/s00403-015-1572-0