Need help choosing a scar cream that actually works for your issue? Then we’ve got your back!
Whether your scar is from when you fell off your bike in the third grade or when you stepped on your curling iron in high school (yep, I did that!), it can stir up deep emotions for you.
Some people love their scars and wear them like badges of honor. These marks make them who they are today and they feel empowered by remembering the stories of how they got them.
Others feel embarrassed and ashamed of these reminders of past traumas, accidents, or injuries. Scars can conjure up all sorts of nasty feelings like depression, anxiety, self-consciousness, and in some cases, PTSD.
If your scars negatively affect you, or you just want them gone, read on to understand what can help and what can hinder their final appearance.
What is a Scar?
noun: a mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed.
A scar is our body’s response to injury and the way it looks depends on the extent and location of the injury among other factors. “Part of what determines how the scar looks is how the collagen is arranged and how thick or disorganized it is during the wound healing stages.” says dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD.
Because of this, all scars are unique. Hypertrophic and keloid scars are two types of raised, abnormal scars. Others can look indented, pitted, or sunken in. Some are darker, some lighter.
So what can we do about these unsightly marks?
How to Treat Scars?
If you were to ask your dermatologist how to minimize your scars, you might hear these suggestions:
- PDL lasers
- Resurfacing treatments
- Light therapy
- Micro needling
- Cortisone injections
The problem is some of these solutions are painful, and most are very expensive. But there is a great deal you can do to accelerate your healing process and minimize the appearance of scars on your own! This is where scar creams come in.
“A scar cream will help minimize the appearance of a scar by helping reduce scar tissue. Reducing irritation and redness usually associated with scars,” according to Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist, Assistant Professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and author of the book, Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.
“Scar creams are meant to target dark marks and minor textural changes. They help to promote cellular turnover and fade hyperpigmentation or discoloration,” according to Dr. Dendy Engelman, a cosmetic dermatologist, and surgeon at Shafer Clinic in New York City.
Dr. Engelman’s biggest piece of advice when using scar creams is to start using them as soon as a scar forms, because “it’s easier to treat scars when they are fresh.” Dr. Jaliman agreed, adding, “It all depends on the severity and depth of the scar. But taking proper care of your trauma initially is crucial because it will ultimately dictate how it heals.”
A scar is mature after 2 years so you will have more dramatic results if you act quickly.
Here are the best tips that we uncovered from our experts:
- Use a scar cream early in the process. If you required medical attention, wait for the bandages to come off and your doctor’s clearance before starting scar treatment.
- Keep the wound moist (by applying the cream 2-3 times per day). This prevents the skin from drying out and tearing – causing more tissue damage.
- Keep the wound covered to keep out bacteria and debris that can cause infection and inflammation.
- Avoid the sun – ultimately you should keep the wound covered and out of the sun for a full year. If that is not practical, use a good sunscreen. Sun exposure can darken scars permanently, making them more noticeable.
- Scars occur following injury to the skin, whether it be a cut, a burn, or a skin condition such as acne. When the skin breaks, this causes an inflammatory response. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and may help counteract this response.
Treating your scars is not an overnight process. “A scar generally will show if it will heal well within six months,” says Dr. Allenby, a Florida-based dermatologist. “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.”
Most Effective Scar Creams?
We researched tons of scar creams and scoured through reviews so you don’t have to. Here are some of the best (in no particular order).
$ = under $20 per ounce
$$ = under $50 per ounce
$$$ = over $ 50 per ounce
Best Scar Cream for Stretch Marks
Bio-Oil: Improves the appearance of acne scars and stretch marks – Clinically proven to help repair skin damage and scars from pregnancy, surgery, injury, acne, C-section, aging, and more. Bio-Oil is non-comedogenic and a great acne scar treatment for the face. This is an affordable option, but may not be the most effective on scars. $
Best Scar Cream for Surgical Scars
TheraBalm: This Rose Balm CBD cream speeds up the body’s healing process with powerful botanicals like Rosehip, Chamomile, Calendula, Vitamin E, and others proven to reduce inflammation, ward off infection, lighten skin tone and minimize scars. CBD and CBG make it very effective on topical pain. Used for pain, scars, burns, cuts, dry skin, and even chapped lips, this cream is versatile. It’s cruelty-free, all-natural, and uses organic ingredients. $$
Best Scar Cream for Burns
MD Performance Ultimate Scar Formula is an advanced silicone scar gel. Designed for the face and body. It is also used on multiple scars like acne, surgical scars, and injuries. Many amazon users claim it has the most efficacy on burn marks. It’s dermatologist formulated and if used twice daily you may see results in 12-14 weeks. $$$
Best Scar Cream for Face
XScar Silicone Facial Scar Cream with Vitamin E: This non-greasy formula is great for your face since its light breathable formula won’t weigh you down or clog your pores. Contains Vitamin E and antioxidants. Can also be used on surgical scars, stretch marks, and burns. $$
Best Scar Cream For Acne
The Ordinary Deciem Azelaic Acid Suspension is specially formulated to even out your skin tone and texture and fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation at the same time. It can be used on all skin types. It is cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free. Hundreds of Sephora customers are touting its benefits and ability to lighten their acne scars. Its low price point won’t hurt your pocketbook either. $
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with embracing your scars, there is also no shame in doing everything you can to minimize them.
One major key to your success is to start treatment on your scar early.
We hope we have taken some of the guesswork out and you can get to work on some really effective solutions.
Every Scar Has a Story…What’s Yours?
Share it with us in our Heal With Us FaceBook Group