Does scar removal cream work?
Scar removal cream isn’t going to completely remove your scars, I’m sorry to say. But, when the right scar removal cream is used at the right time, it can make a difference to how your skin heals, and therefore the scars that you’re left with.
I will start by saying that whilst the marketing around such products has been as ‘scar removal cream’, there is no cream that will remove your scars. It’s about improve, rather than remove – which is something I talk about a lot when it comes to scar treatment.
I think this is a super important distinction. As someone with multiple scars, including significant scars on my head and knee, I also know the importance of managing expectations, because it can become heartbreaking to believe that your scars will disappear completely, only to discover that they don’t.
What are scar removal creams?
Scar removal creams are typically either a cream, a gel or a silicone patch. They are products that you apply directly onto your skin.
Different scar removal creams will target different scar concerns, such as reducing the redness/pigmentation in the scar, helping to flatten it out, or improving the quality of the skin. Always check to see what the cream is designed for. No creams will remove scars though, it’s literally impossible, so please do not invest a lot of money, time or hopes into these products.
At best, some creams can help with inflammation, such as redness, or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (where the skin around the scar is darker than your natural skin tone). Some of the products will have ingredients that help to reduce the inflammation and lighten the pigmentation. They won’t, however, be doing much to the scar tissue that has been formed. We will talk about that now.
Why do we have scars?
Scars occur as a result of an injury we have sustained. Any injury where the skin has been damaged. The forming of scar tissue is a natural part of our healing process, as our body fights to ‘heal and seal’ us. Your body is very clever and knows exactly what to do when you’ve got an injury!
Scar removal creams and silicone patches can play a role in helping your skin to heal, during these early stages. To learn more about how scars form and the healing stages of scars, please click on the button below and download my Ultimate Scar Guide for Scars Under 1 Year.
Once your scars have been through the natural healing process, there is very little that scar removal creams have to offer, other than addressing pigmentation and redness. But, please don’t be disheartened, there are LOTS of things you can do to impact your scarring, some of which is in my Ultimate Scar Guide, and some of which we will talk about now.
When and how to use scar removal products
There can be a benefit to using scar removal cream (including silicone patches) in the early stages of your scar healing. By ‘early’, I mean for up to 2 years. Most scars take around 12 months to heal fully, but some can take a couple of years, especially if they are significant wounds.
Both keloid scars and hypertrophic scars have been shown to benefit from scar removal cream, as it helps to reduce to inflammation and promote healthy cell regeneration. Keloid scars are scars which are raised, where the scar tissue grows outside of the original wound site, and are usually red in colour. Hypertophic scars are similar in appearance, but do not go outside of the original wound boundary.
Never apply the patches or cream on fresh wounds, that’s very important. Always read the instructions for each product carefully. The two that I have found to be beneficial in the UK are RegimA Forte Scar Cream and Dermatix Scar Gel – Dermatix also have a silicone sheet too. Find out more about scar healing and how to support your scars with healing, by downloading my Ultimate Scar Guide.
How can I improve my scars, if creams don't work
Scar removal cream, in my opinion and experience, has very little value past the initial healing period. It simply won’t break down the scar tissue that has already formed.
By the time most people reach out to me for help with their scars, they have have spent a small fortune. Either on scar removal cream that doesn’t work, silicone patches, ineffective treatments and/or cover up makeup. When you add up the cost of what they have invested their time and money in, it’s significant. I can also tell you that, from personal experience. I was desperate to improve my facial scar, I would try almost anything, but nothing ever worked. So, not only was I wasting time and money, I was pretty disappointed and upset too. More promises, more mis-managed expectations.
But I DID improve my scars (this is one of mine). I didn’t use any creams, no makeup and no camouflage tattooing. This was achieved through targeted treatments that helped to breakdown the scar tissue, and replace it with fresh, healthy skin. These results are permanent, but it did take several months to get these results. Read on to find out more.
Wait, what? How did you improve your scars?
Pretty crazy, I know. And my scars on my knee were around 7 years old when I started treating them. And, my lovely client in the picture below came to me with a 40+ year old burn scar, that had also had skin grafts. She’d tried SO many things, including scar removal cream.
The best way to improve scars isn’t with treatment alone – although having the RIGHT treatment is very important. But the best results come from respecting the magnificent organ that your skin is (the largest one of your body), and maximising your results with lifestyle, nutrition and supplements. IOOI = my ‘Inside out and outside in’ approach! If you’ve downloaded my Ultimate Guides, you’ll have already learnt how to maximise your results, and also improve ALL of your skin, for the long term. For now, lets have a look at treatment options, and my top 5 scar tips.
Treatments : The treatments that are most effective for scarring are collagen induction treatment, which also break down the scar tissue that has been formed. It’s really important that this is done with a minor controlled trauma. We want to break down the scar tissue, and stimulate healthy and fresh skin production, and also, to stimulate the melanocytes – which are the cells that produce melanin and give your skin it’s natural skin tone. By far the most effective treatment I have found, are forms of microneedling. I am NOT talking about the type of microneedling offered in many beauty salons – these treatments simply won’t work deep enough, or be powerful enough to achieve any significant results. You may see some improvement to minor acne scarring, but not to deeper and more significant scars. I find a combined approached of two different forms of medical needling to be the most effective, for most scars.
Fractional laser is also a popular option and one that I used to favour, before the emergence of radiofrequency microneedling. I have found the results wit radiofrequency microneedling to be far more effective, and the downtime much less for my clients. That said, fractional laser is still a very good choice, if your practitioner doesn’t have access to radiofrequency microneedling.
My advice, if you’re looking for scar treatments, is to have a consultation and ask the practitioner which treatment they recommend for you. Ask them why they have recommended that treatment over any others, ask how the treatment works on your scar tissue, and what results you could expect to see (and how many treatments will you need). I’d also ask to see before/after photos of their work, to make sure they can get the results that you’re looking for.
My top 5 scar treatment tips
1. Download my Ultimate Scar Guide, so you can understand how your body heals from trauma. You’ll also find LOAD of helpful information in there, with guidance on how to look after your skin from the inside out too.
2. If you have a wound, make sure you’re giving your body the best possible chance to repair. Make sure that you are sleeping 7-9 hours a night, as this is when your body repairs and regenerates.
3. Eat a healthy diet, which contains lots of foods that support healthy collagen production, and promote healing in your body. You’ll find nutrition advice in my guides, but focusing on foods that are rich in vitamin C are a must. Eat plenty of protein, as that’s essential to healing and eat foods rich in beta-carotene, such as pumpkins and butternut squash – as this will help to support your collagen production, skin health and also helps to protect your skin against UV damage.
4. Always apply sunscreen to your scars. When your skin is damaged, it’s more vulnerable to external damage from UV rays. This can result in increased inflammation and can show up as hyperpigmentation, where darker patches of skin develop. This is because your body produces melanin as a natural defense to UV rays, for skin that is already vulnerable, this can mean it over produces melanin in the surrounding tissue, in a bid to protect it whilst it’s healing. Treat your scar gently when it’s healing.
5. Only use scar removal cream in the initial healing stages, and know that creams will never remove scars fully. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as total scar removal, but you can significantly remove your scars, to the point that you have have the freedom to get on with your life, without constantly worrying about them. If your scars have fully matured, then scar removal cream is of little benefit to you. I’d recommend considering scar improvement treatments. Please speak to a professional about these. Both keloid and hypertrophic scars should only ever be treated by a Doctor, as these are complex scars to treat. Often, the best results come with steroid injections, but should only be administered by a trained medic. Whichever treatment path you’re considering, question, question and question again – your practitioner should be able to answer all of your questions!
Scar improvement is possible
If you had told me 10 years ago, that I was going to be able to enjoy my life, without constantly focusing on my scars, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’d spent a small fortune on products and treatments, none of which had worked.
My scars on my forehead and my knee had a significant impact on my life. I always covered my knee scars up, I always hid my facial scarring behind my hair, or a pile of makeup, hoping no one would spot either, not wanting to answer any questions about them. I hadn’t realised how much they had affected my life, until I didn’t have to worry about them anymore.
After I had treated my scars, I felt more comfortable going makeup free. I wore shorts and skirts for the first time in nearly a decade, and I found myself forgetting about my scars, more than I worried about them.
There are still times when I notice them, and wish they were completely gone. But, they are SO much better, and I’m so happy about that. It’s given me such a sense of freedom, and really helped me with my confidence. And, I’d love to help you achieve that too. My happiest moments are when my clients share their moments of ‘freedom’ with me, from going makeup free for the first time ever, or wearing a short sleeved top for the first time in 20 years. It’s a great feeling!
Would you like to improve your scars?
I hope you’ve found my blog on scar removal cream helpful. Please do download the Ultimate Guides, because there’s lots more advice in there too.
If you’d love to improve your scars, once and for all, then please get in touch – I’d love to be able to help you.
My aesthetics clinic is based in Alton, Hampshire. I am on the Hampshire/Surrey border, 15 minutes from Basingstoke and Farnham. I’m also at the end of a direct line from London Waterloo, and a 5 minute walk from the station.
If you have any questions at all, then click on the ‘get in touch’ button. If your scar is over one year old, you can also book a consultation with me HERE.
I look forward to hearing from you. Best, Nikki