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, labelled 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?