Does Vitamin E Heal Scars?

vitamin e scars

Got a scar? Use Vitamin E.

That’s what we’re told to do anyway. But if you’ve tried it, you’ve probably been disappointed by the results. Or lack of them.

Vitamin E doesn’t heal scars (but can make them worse)

That’s because Vitamin E doesn’t work. A 1999 study in the Dermatologic Surgery journal confirmed the bad news. Scientists gave to 15 patients who had undergone skin cancer removal surgery two ointments, labeled A or B. A was Aquaphor (a common emollient), while B was Aquaphor mixed with vitamin E. The scars were also divided, randomly, in parts A and B so that patients could apply both ointments (twice a day for a month) at the same time.

The results? “In 90% of the cases in this study,”, concluded the scientists, “topical vitamin E either had no effect on, or actually worsened, the cosmetic appearance of scars. Of the patients studied, 33% developed a contact dermatitis to the vitamin E. Therefore we conclude that use of topical vitamin E on surgical wounds should be discouraged.”

The Bottom Line

Vitamin E is a wonderful antioxidant that can help prevent the signs of aging, but it doesn’t do anything for scars. Instead, use topical silicone gels and sheeting. I know that a lot of people dislike silicones, but it’s the only topical treatment that works for raised scars.

Have you ever used Vitamin E on a scar? If so, were you disappointed by the results?

8 Comment

  1. Very helpful! I was trying to fade a surgical scar a couple of years ago, and I used shea butter and Mederma. Not sure what the ingredients are in Mederma, but good chance there’s silicone in there. Frankly, nothing helped all that much except for time. Now the scar has faded, and fortunately it isn’t very raised/the raised part has flattened so I guess I’m happy about it.
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    • Makeup Morsels, it’s a shame that such an ineffective treatment is very popular, while the one that really works is known only to a few, isn’t it? But at least Vitamin E didn’t make things worse for you.

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