Three best scar removal creams
A scar can make anyone feel self-conscious, and waiting for it to fade on its own can take a long time. With a scar removal cream, you can help the process along so you're back to feeling confident about your appearance. Scar removal creams work by limiting the collagen regrowth that causes changes in skin texture and pigment and results in scars.
Not all scar removal creams are created equal, so if you're not sure what to look for, our helpful buying guide can help you find the perfect formula for your scars. Our top choice -- PuriDerma Scar Removal -- is an extremely intensive cream that can fade scars from cuts, acne, stretch marks, and surgeries and offers a pleasant scent.
Considerations when choosing scar removal creams
Not every scar necessarily responds to a scar removal cream. That's why it's important to understand what types of scars you can expect will fade with a topical cream.
Scar removal creams are usually effective for the following.
Hypertrophic scars: These are caused by cuts, burns, piercings, or acne. They are usually red, raised marks that occur at the injury site.
Keloid scars: These result from piercings, severe acne breakouts, and accidents. They are smooth, raised marks that feel hard and extend past the injury site.
Scar contractures: These scars have a thick, tight appearance and result from the healing process. They usually occur with burn scars.
Silicone-based vs. water-based
When it comes to scar removal creams, most formulas are either silicone- or water-based.
Silicone is extremely helpful for preventing the collagen overgrowth that results in textured scars. It works by creating a barrier over the skin to limit moisture loss that can cause collagen overgrowth.
Water-based formulas don't work as well to prevent moisture loss, which usually means they take longer to heal a scar. They can also be more irritating, so they're a poor option for children or anyone with sensitive skin.
In addition to silicone and/or water, be sure that any scar removal cream you're considering contains ingredients that heal and strengthen the skin. Some ingredients to look for include the following.
Vitamin A: This vitamin stimulates cell turnover to fade and smooth scars.
Vitamin C: This vitamin is effective at fading discoloration from scars.
Vitamin E: This vitamin helps prevent free radical damage to help heal fresher scars
Glycerin: This compound helps seal moisture into the skin so scars heal more efficiently.
Allantoin: Like glycerin, this compound also helps lock moisture into the skin for efficient healing.
The thickness of a scar cream's formula can play a role in how effective it is. Thin creams usually aren't able to form a barrier over the skin to help promote healing. However, if you choose a cream that's too thick, it may not allow the skin to breathe. Opt for a light cream or gel that spreads easily across the skin without being too heavy.
Ideally, a scar removal cream should dry quickly so you can apply it and get dressed soon afterward. Water-based creams can dry in as little as a minute, but silicone-based formulas may require three to five minutes to set. Avoid any creams that use alcohol to help them dry faster -- it can irritate the skin easily.
Scar removal creams usually range from $10 to $50. Formulas that only include one effective scar removal ingredient usually range from $10 to $20, while those with two or three active ingredients typically cost between $20 to $35. The most expensive scar removal creams provide three or more active ingredients and range from $35 to $50.
Q. Will a scar removal cream make my scar disappear completely?
A. Scar removal creams can significantly lighten and smooth the appearance of many scars to the point where they're hardly noticeable. However, the creams usually aren't able to completely remove all signs of a scar. If you want to remove a scar fully, you'll likely need to see a plastic surgeon.
Q. How often should I apply a scar removal cream?
A. Always consult the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging to determine proper usage. That said, most creams can be applied up to two times a day for the fastest scar healing possible.
Scar removal creams we recommend
Best of the best: PuriDerma Scar Removal
Our take: A highly intensive cream that shows effective results with long-term use and has a pleasant scent.
What we like: An extremely hard-working formula that usually shows results within a few weeks. Gives skin a smooth, moisturized feeling after it's washed off. Contains herbal extracts that naturally soften and soothe the skin. Works for all skin types.
What we dislike: Some people aren't fans of the scent. Application can be messy and makeup may not layer well over it.
Best bang for your buck: Honeydew Scar & Stretch Mark Remover
Our take: A budget-friendly formula that removes scars on all skin tones with all-natural botanicals.
What we like: All-natural formula is ideal for anyone who prefers chemical-free skincare products. Doesn't have an unpleasant smell. Can work well for both light and dark skin tones. Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.
What we dislike: Formula isn't as strong as other options, but it can still irritate sensitive skin.
Choice 3: Mederma Advanced Scar Gel
Our take: Simple, easy-to-use formula from one of the best-known brands in the game.
What we like: Comes in a clear gel formula that won't stain clothing or other fabrics. Tube container is easy to use so you always squeeze out the right amount. Doesn't have any unpleasant odor. Only needs to be applied once a day to see results.
What we dislike: Doesn't fade scars as quickly as other formulas. Can irritate sensitive skin.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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