The Best Scar Creams That Promote Healthy Skin Recovery

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

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Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

Whether you got a scar from surgery or from picking a scab, it does not have to be with you forever. “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,” says Jordan Fabrikant, DO, FAAD, FAOCD, New York-based dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon. 

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.

There is a myriad of ingredients that work for scars, and according to Dr. Fabrikant, silicone is proven to treat and heal scars over time. He also recommends talking with your doctor to find the right treatment for the type of scar you have. While all treatment is different, the key is to keep the affected area hydrated to promote cell growth.

We researched dozens of scar treatments—and even tested a few—and evaluated them for active ingredients, dosage, scent, formula type, usage, and price. Each of the scar treatments chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

What to Look for in a Scar Cream

Ingredients

Silicone is a common ingredient in scar creams, and it works by keeping the affected area hydrated. Keeping skin hydrated helps promote cell growth and turnover. “Research has shown it to be the most effective ingredient for scar improvement,” says Latanya Benjamin, MD, a Florida-based pediatric dermatologist. Silicone has been proven to reduce the thickness of scars and helps diminish any pain or itchiness you may feel at the site of the scar.

Many products for scars also contain vitamin E. Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is a fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E oil may help eliminate the appearance of scars in the same way medical-grade silicone works: by keeping the area hydrated. However, there are no studies that prove vitamin E is effective for minimizing the appearance of scars the way there’s proven research about silicone’s effect on scars, therefore Florida-based dermatologist Janet Allenby, MD, notes that “vitamin E is not considered an appropriate treatment” for scars.

Dr. Allenby recommends products that contain centelline and says that particular ingredient “promotes healthy skin recovery, and can smooth and decrease the appearance of scars.” She recommends silicone gel sheeting as a second-place option. 

Potential Allergic Reactions/ Drug Interactions

Luckily, Dr. Benjamin notes that most people do not have allergic reactions to silicone, making it a great option for people with all skin types. “Silicones may cause skin irritation or hypersensitivity, but rarely cause true allergic reactions,” she says. Check the labels carefully and make sure you’re not allergic to any of the listed ingredients. 

But how will you know if the treatment is actually working if you prove to have no allergic reaction to the product? “A scar generally will show if it will heal well within six months,” says Dr. Allenby. “If the treatment is working, I'd advise to keep using it until the person is satisfied or they need to seek more aggressive medical treatment.” 

Targeted Anatomy

Dr. Benjamin notes that most scar creams are designed to work for your face and body. If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may want to look for a scar cream that specifically lists that it’s made to be used on the face. Otherwise, it’s mainly about preference. There is not one part of the body that absolutely will never heal from scars, so scar creams can make a real difference wherever your scar is.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does scar cream work?

    “The skin has an amazing ability to heal,” says Jordan Fabrikant DO, FAAD, FAOCD, dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon. “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.” 

    With the right wound care and scar therapy, the skin just knows what to do to make scars blend in and fade away. 

    While all treatment is different, the key is to keep the affected area hydrated to promote cell growth. “There are many topical treatments for scars and there are many studies in the medical literature that indicate silicone works well for scars,” says Dr. Fabrikant.

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

    According to Dr. Allenby, you should wait for your doctor’s clearance and all bandages to be removed to begin scar treatment. But it may take a while to see results, she adds.

    “A scar generally will show if it will heal well within six months," says Dr. Allenby. "If the treatment is working, I'd advise to keep using it until the person is satisfied or they need to seek more aggressive medical treatment.”

Here are the best scar creams on the market.

Best Overall: TEREZ & HONOR Advanced Silicone Scar Gel

4.9
Scar Gel

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Fades both old and new scars

  • Suitable for all ages

  • No additives

Cons
  • Requires regular SPF application

This heavy duty, 100% medical-grade silicone gel works to fade stretch marks, surgery scars, and even facial scars, which is why we chose it as the top pick. Parents love this for themselves and their kids, as the product label says it’s suitable for all ages. If your scar is old or new, the silicone formula will help hydrate the scar and fade it over time. It’s also made with peppermint oil, which is a natural antiseptic.

Make sure to apply the gel two to three times per day and wear SPF over the area if you’re going out into the sun. Bonus: It doesn't contain additives or unnecessary chemicals. 

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
Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil

Courtesy of Ulta

Pros
  • Absorbs quickly into the skin

  • Less expensive option

  • Also good for stretch marks

Cons
  • May not fade older scars

Bio-Oil’s skincare oil is an affordable option for anyone looking to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Users say they've seen scar fading from stretch marks, acne scars, and even hand scars. This product contains PurCellin Oil, which helps the product absorb into the skin. It’s also made with vitamin E and natural chamomile, which soothes the skin as the product gets to work. 

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

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easy option for kids

  • Good for old and new scars

Cons
  • Cannot be used on broken skin

Can you think of at least one scar you still have from childhood? Most of us can, but that doesn’t mean we have to continue the tradition for our kids. Now there are helpful scar creams formulated just for kids, like Mederma for Kids Gel for Scars.

This formula helps speed up collagen production and cell renewal. It also goes onto skin in a fun, purple color, but rubs in clear, and doesn’t irritate kids’ skin.

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
Pros
  • Antioxidants reduce the appearance of scars

  • Vitamin B5 adds moisture

  • Also good for sunburns and stretch marks

Cons
  • Slower results than some products

This gel is great for hard-to-reach places—or freak-accident scars that occurred in weird places. Derma E’s gel softens and smoothes scars for healthier, smoother skin.

The active ingredient is allicin, which is found in garlic and onion bulbs and helps reduce the appearance of scars; allantoin, which helps condition the skin to reduce the appearance of scars; and vitamin B5, which works as a moisturizing skin softener. It also deeply conditions to reduce the appearance of scars.

Bonus: this gel is cruelty-free and non-greasy, so it won’t leave annoying stains on your clothes.

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: X-Scar Silicone Facial Scar Cream with Vitamin E

X Scar
Pros
  • Non-greasy formula for face

  • Includes antioxidants and vitamin E

Cons
  • Best for newer scars

When it comes to treating scars on your face, you want the best quality formula to help restore your natural beauty. X-Scar's Facial Scar Cream with Vitamin E uses both silicone and vitamin E to help reduce the appearance of facial scars as well as surgical scars, C-section scars, cuts, and burns. It's perfect for the face because its light, breathable formula lets the skin heal as you go about your day.

Active Ingredients: Silicone gel, antioxidants, and vitamin E | Dose: Use up to 3x per day, after 1 month increase strength of massage | Usage: Increase hydration of the skin, regulates collagen production for softer, and flatter scars

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

MD Performance Professional Skin Care Ultimate Scar Formula

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Improves appearance of scars quickly

  • Blends in easily

Cons
  • Small amount of product

Burns are usually unexpected and call for a quick response, so it helps to have something on-hand to reach for when you need it. Make sure to treat your burn as soon as possible and contact your doctor to be certain you're treating it correctly. However, burn scars don’t have to stay with you forever. This MD Performance formula uses silicone as a main ingredient to tackle the appearance of your burn.

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

Final Verdict

There are ways to fade your scar, even if you’ve had it for longer than a year. Products that contain either medical-grade silicone or centelline are probably your best bet. Over-the-counter scar gels or creams can be a great place to start for someone who wants to start treating a scar immediately. If you’re into all-natural ingredients, brands like Derma E are also a great place to start. Know your scar and exactly the type of healing you want. Buying a scar cream that’s targeted for your problem area may help—especially if you’re looking for a product specifically for facial scars.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one, heavy-duty cream, try Terez & Honor Advanced Silicone Scar Gel (view at Amazon). This gel can be used on all ages and contains 100% medical-grade silicone.

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.

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a health writer with over eight years of experience, Brittany Leitner understands how important access to information is when it comes to making educated health decisions. She has interviewed dozens of medical experts, tested out hundreds of products, and aims to provide quality recommendations that won't break the bank. 

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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. Wang F, Li X, Wang X, Jiang X. Efficacy of topical silicone gel in scar management: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Int Wound J. 2020 Jun;17(3):765-773. doi: 10.1111/iwj.13337