Updated March 2022
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Buying guide for Best scar removal creams

It’s normal to feel self-conscious about scars. Whether you have one that’s the result of a cut, a scrape, or an acne breakout, getting rid of a scar as quickly as possible is always the goal. A scar sometimes needs a little help to fade or smooth itself out. The right scar removal cream can help.

Scars occur when collagen fibers regrow after the skin experiences some type of injury. This regrowth can cause pigmentation and texture changes that usually soften naturally on their own, but the healing process can take significant time. A scar removal cream typically features ingredients that help limit collagen fiber regrowth, so the skin can heal faster. It also hydrates the skin to help with texture issues and uses lightening ingredients to fade hyperpigmentation.

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Children are more likely to scar than adults, so it’s a good idea to keep a gentle scar removal cream on hand for your kids.

Scar types

Before purchasing a scar removal cream, it’s important to understand that not all scars will respond to this type of product. Severe scars require professional treatment from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. However, some scars can see significant improvement with the use of a scar removal cream.

The types of scars that you can expect a scar removal cream to work well for include the following.

Hypertrophic scars

These scars, which have a red, raised appearance that’s contained to the area where the injury occurred, are often the result of a cut, minor burn, piercing, or acne breakout.

Keloid scars

These scars are raised and extend beyond the area where the injury occurred. They’re usually smooth but feel hard to the touch and can result from severe acne, piercings, and accidents.

Scar contractures

These marks occur when a scar thickens and tightens as part of the healing process. It typically happens when the skin is scarred as the result of a burn.

Keep in mind that scar removal creams usually don’t work for stretch mark scars or atrophic scars, which are sunken areas of the skin often known as icepick scars. Stretch marks typically require a cream specifically for them, while atrophic scars may require treatment from a doctor.

Silicone vs. water-based formulas

Scar removal creams are usually silicone-based or water-based. Silicone-based cream tends to be more effective, as silicone helps limit the collagen overgrowth that causes skin texture issues. It does so by sitting on top of the skin and forming a protective barrier that doesn’t allow moisture to leave the skin. Since new, healing skin has difficulty retaining moisture on its own, the body produces more collagen in the area, causing the overgrowth that leads to lumpy, raised scar tissue. By trapping moisture, silicone prevents this process from happening, so your skin can heal more efficiently.

Water-based scar removal creams don’t seal in moisture as effectively as silicone-based creams, which can mean a longer healing period. Water-based creams are also more likely to cause irritation, so a silicone-based scar removal cream is best for children and individuals with sensitive skin.

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Expert Tip
You can wear makeup over a scar removal cream. Just wait for the cream to dry fully before applying your foundation or concealer.



As previously mentioned, silicone can be very effective. The higher up it is on the ingredients list, the better. But the ingredients list usually won’t say “silicone.” Look for medical-grade silicones like dimethicone, polymerized siloxanes, cyclopentasiloxane, or dimethicone or vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is often recommended for wound healing and scar removal because it is a potent antioxidant that helps guard against free radical damage.  It is particularly helpful for fresh or newly formed scars.


Glycerin is a humectant; it increases hydration by drawing water to the skin. It can also help form a protective barrier over the skin to prevent moisture loss and encourage healing.


Allantoin is a moisturizing ingredient known to be non-irritating. Suitable for sensitive skin, it helps smooth and fade scars by preventing moisture loss.

Vitamin C

Like vitamin E, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight free radical damage. It’s particularly helpful in fading the hyperpigmentation associated with scars. Vitamin C works best for scars that are older because it can irritate new skin that forms after an injury.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes cell turnover, which can help scars fade more quickly. Like vitamin C, it works best on older scars.

Keep in mind that there are certain ingredients to avoid in scar removal creams. Alcohol, glycolic and salicylic acid, and synthetic dyes can irritate the skin.

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Did you know?
Exposure to the sun can darken scars further. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 over your scar removal cream.

Other features


A cream's consistency is an important feature to consider when you’re looking for an effective formula. If a cream is too thin or watery, it won’t adhere to the skin well enough to create a protective barrier. If it’s too thick and rich, it may prevent the skin from breathing. A lightweight cream or gel formula is your best bet to help remove scars.

Drying time

Water-based scar removal creams tend to dry more quickly and can set in as little as one minute. Silicone-based formulas require a little more time, but nearly all can dry in three or five minutes. Some creams include alcohol to help the formula dry more quickly, but as previously noted, alcohol can irritate the skin, so the shorter drying time is usually not worth the risk.


As with many skin care products, fragrance is often added to scar removal cream to give it a pleasing scent. However, artificial fragrances can be very irritating to the skin, so they’re best avoided. Opt for an unscented cream or a formula that includes only natural fragrances, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

Scar removal cream prices


The most affordable scar removal creams usually contain just one targeted ingredient for scar removal. These creams generally cost between $10 and $20 and work best for newer scars.


If you want a formula with two or three targeted ingredients, expect to pay a little more: between $20 and $35.


The priciest scar removal creams usually contain three or more targeted ingredients and cost between $33 and $47. These creams work well on both older and newer scars.


  • Before applying a scar removal cream, wash the skin where the scar is located. Allow the area to dry completely before spreading the cream over your scar.
  • For the best results, apply a thin layer of scar removal cream. You don’t need to rub the cream fully into the skin; it should form a protective barrier without being fully absorbed.
  • Allow the cream to dry completely before applying cosmetics or sunscreen over it.
  • Scar removal cream should be applied daily. The key to seeing results is consistent use.
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Expert Tip
While scar removal creams can be very effective on a fresh scar, you should never apply the product to an open wound. Wait until the wound is fully closed before beginning treatment.
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Scars are generally considered new if they’re less than two years old.


Q. How long does it take to see results from a scar removal cream?
When you’re treating a scar, patience is key. Newer scars typically respond more quickly than older scars, but you should expect to wait six to eight weeks to see results.

Q. On what parts of the body can I use scar removal cream?
Scar creams are generally safe to use on most parts of the body, including the arms, chest, stomach, back, legs, and in some cases, the face. However, you should read the product instructions thoroughly to see if there are any areas of the body where you shouldn't use the cream and take care not to get it too close to your eyes.

Q. Will the cream make my scar disappear completely?
It’s important to have realistic expectations about what the cream can do. No scar removal cream can completely eradicate a scar because scars are permanent changes to the skin’s texture and/or pigmentation. However, an effective scar removal cream can help the area heal more efficiently so the scar fades and softens until it is barely visible.

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