Today’s question, submitted via the FutureDerm.com Facebook page:
I was wondering if applying vitamin E to a scar really helps it heal or not.
I’m glad that you asked.
For years, doctors have been recommending vitamin E, a known blood thinner, to patients to prevent scarring. Unfortunately, research from the journal Dermatologic Surgery shows vitamin E may actually be detrimental to the cosmetic appearance of a scar. The study notes that 90% of patients’ scars were not improved and some actually worsened with use of topical vitamin E oil.
Why the worsening in some patients? This is mostly due to an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis in some patients, which may exacerbate scarring.
Otherwise, for non-scarred skin, I still love vitamin E, because it has been shown to have higher antioxidant activity than ubiquinone, vitamin C, or lipoic acid. Vitamin E also aids in sun protection when used under a sunscreen: according to a 2001 study in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, “topical vitamin E prevents oxidative stress and [...] immunosuppression elicited by UV [rays].” Amazing!
Save your vitamin E creams, oils, and capsules for non-injured regions! Use silicone gel sheeting with other ointments for your scars: according to a 2007 review in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, silicone gel sheeting is the only form of treatment effective against raised scars.
Other Articles You May Enjoy
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- Dr. Hanan Taha, M.D.: Is Cold Cream Good for Your Face?
- Dr. Hanan Taha, M.D.: Dark Knuckles – Causes and Fixes!
- Does Ambi Fade Cream Really Work?
- 5 Little Known Facts about Hydroquinone Everyone Needs to Know Immediately
- 58We already know that keeping the skin moisturized ensures young, soft skin. Moisturizing is also important when it comes to improving the appearance of scars and stretch marks. An article in the December 2012 issue of the International Journal of Cosmetic Science reviews this very topic. How are skin cells in a scar different from…
- 49Topical vitamin C is one of the few ingredients that have been shown in many peer-reviewed, independent scientific studies to make a big difference in sunspots, uneven skin texture, and skin dullness. But finding the right vitamin C for your skin can be difficult. This is mainly due to the fact that many companies don't…
- 43As longtime readers of the FutureDerm blog know, we love vitamin C here. Loooove it. But we’re particularly excited today because our Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum is almost here, and for the next week (until March 31) you can pre-order yours! Vitamin C is known for doing all kinds of wonderful things for your skin…