The 5 Best Scar Creams of 2021

Reduce the appearance of your scars with these products

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Best Scar Creams

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Scars can be frustrating and even overwhelming if you don’t know where to start with treatment. As it turns out, having a scar from an accident or surgery does not have to be with you forever. With the right ingredients and by using the best formula for the specific location of your scar, you can seriously reduce its appearance right from your own home.

“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. 

But what is the right scar treatment? “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. 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.

Here are the best scar creams on the market.

Our Top Picks
Suitable for stretch marks and surgery and facial scars, its silicone formula works to hydrate and fade the mark over time.
The budget-friendly option is easily absorbed into the skin and made with vitamin E, which helps provide a more even skin tone.
Usable for both old and new scars, the formula expedites collagen production and cell renewal to soften the appearance of marks.
Best for Body:
Derma E Scar Gel at Ulta
Cruelty-free and non-greasy, it's ideal for hard-to-reach places and is filled with conditioning allantoin and vitamin B5.
It uses silicone and vitamin E to reduce the appearance of facial scars as well as surgical scars, C-section scars, and burns.

Best Overall: TEREZ & HONOR Advanced Silicone Scar Gel

Scar Gel
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 gets to work on stretch marks, surgery scars, and even facial scars. 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. 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 Skincare Oil

Pros
  • Absorbs quickly into the skin

  • Less expensive option

  • Also good for stretch marks

Cons
  • May not fade older scars

Reviewers routinely give Bio-Oil’s skincare oil five stars, and lovers of this product 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, which helps provide a more even skin tone 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

Best for Kids: Mederma for Kids Scar Cream

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. Countless five-star reviews say this product really works, 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

Derma E
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 ingredients at work here are 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

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.

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?

    You should wait for your doctor’s clearance and all bandages to be removed to begin scar treatment.

  • When can you start putting scar cream on a wound?

    As soon as it is no longer an open wound and dressings are no longer needed. Make sure to consult with your doctor before beginning a treatment.

What the Experts Say

“A scar generally will show if it will heal well within six months. 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.” —Janet Allenby, DO, Florida-based dermatologist

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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  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