Experts Say This Miracle Gel Can Help Fade Scars

best scar creams
Experts Say This Miracle Gel Can Help Fade ScarsCourtesy of Retailer


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AT SOME POINT in their lives, everyone is bound to get a scar. Big or small, old or new, scars are just part of being human. Scars serve an important function for our bodies. “Think of scars as your skin’s Band-Aids,” says dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research, Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “They represent your body’s ability to heal itself in response to trauma.” Scars, he says, are made of a specific type of collagen that’s full of blood vessels, but they way you heal and the “quality and texture” of your scars depends largely on your genetics, which is why you see some people with prominent scars and others with more subtle ones.

No matter what kind of scars you have, most of us want to minimize their appearance. Once they form, using a scar cream can help with just that. Using a scar cream, particularly one with silicone or other proven ingredients, can help minimize the scar and blend it in with your skin. We spoke with experts to bring you the very best scar creams for all types of scars.

Best Scar Creams

What to Consider

Age and type of the scar

Most scar creams will say whether they are designed for old or new scars, and while many of them these days will work for both, you’ll want to make sure you read the label to see what kind of scar the cream is made for. The same goes for what type of scar. If the scar is on your face, like acne scars for instance, you’ll want to make sure the cream is suitable for use on your face.

Ingredients

Many scar creams will utilize silicone, which has been shown to improve the appearance of scars by enhancing the formation of collagen, according to Dr. Zeichner, but also helps maintain hydration and forms a protective barrier to keep out environmental aggressors that could slow the healing process. Other common ingredients in scar creams include onion extract, which Dr. Zeichner says has also been shown to help improve the appearance of scars, hyaluronic acid which helps hydrate the skin and vitamins like Vitamin E that helps soothe skin and aid in regeneration.

Format

Most scar creams these days are actually gels, which allows them to dry quickly and are also usually odorless and colorless. These gels are often great because they fully dry on your skin and “harden” into a protective barrier around the scar. You’ll also find liquids, which you can paint on skin and also harden, and ointments, which form a “semi-occlusive” barrier but don’t fully dry. Ointments and other formats that don’t fully dry may be sticky or stain clothes, so keep that in mind if you are going to wear clothes over the place of the scar.

Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen over a scar can help protect it from UV rays, which could make the scar worse. Depending on where the scar is on your body, if you need to wear sunscreen over it (like if it’s somewhere not covered by clothes), you’ll want a cream or gel that you can wear sunscreen on top of (like a silicone version that fully dries).

How We Selected

We've been testing scar creams since 2017, and have tried the most popular popular over-the-counter scar products. For this story, we combed through our years' worth of testing notes and considered their ingredients, format, and just how well they worked. We also consulted with dermatologists on their expert recommendations. Below is our short list of the eight absolute scar creams for men to buy.

Scar Gel

This top of the line scar cream is basically all silicone, which Dr. Zeichner recommends for use on scars because “it performs several functions on the skin: it forms a physical barrier to protect the scar, it enhances remodeling of the skin and collagen, it maintains hydration and it protects from environmental aggressors.” Dr. Hartman also recommends this medical-grade scar gel for the same reason.

Read more: Best Skincare Products for Men

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076HD8QSY?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.60310517%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Scar Gel</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$97.50</p>

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Scar Gel

amazon.com

$97.50

Silicone Scar Gel

As a more budget-friendly alternative, Dr. Zeichner also recommends this silicone gel. It’s good for all types of healed scars including raised keloid scars and acne scars (yes, you can use it on your face). It’s also ultra gentle, can be used on sensitive skin and children, and can also help control itch and inflammation. Once it’s dry, you can cover it with sunscreen (another essential to scar healing). Overall, it’s a solid silicone choice at a more budget-friendly price.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BZ7NQ4CD?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.60310517%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Silicone Scar Gel</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$11.93</p>

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Silicone Scar Gel

amazon.com

$11.93

Film-Forming Wound Dressing

A thin layer of this gel creates an invisible barrier to protect your skin from infection and allow it to heal. It can be used on all types of injuries, even open wounds and burns and anything else you’re worried could leave a scar, which is why Dr. Hartman recommends it for new scars. It can be reapplied as often as you want–in fact, you should reapply it often–and dries quickly, though you may want to allow plenty of time if you’re wearing clothes over the area just in case.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MGQB394?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.60310517%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Film-Forming Wound Dressing </p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$35.96</p>

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Film-Forming Wound Dressing

amazon.com

$35.96

Professional Scar Therapy Gel

Apart from reducing things like itch and irritation, which can plague new and old scars alike, this cream is ideal for older scars thanks to an ability to promote the formation of collagen. With just one application a day needed, it can work on all types of scars, including those from acne and burns.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYKS04O?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.60310517%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Professional Scar Therapy Gel</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$29.50</p>

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Professional Scar Therapy Gel

amazon.com

$29.50

Brush-On Repair Liquid

Sometimes people use silicone sheets for the same reason you’d use a silicone cream, but they can be unruly and need an adhesive to stick to your skin. This brush-on liquid, also recommended by Dr. Zeichner, creates a protective layer as it dries, the same as a sheet, but without the hassle. It’s so protective you can even layer physical sunscreen on top of it. It’s easy to use, suitable for sensitive skin and works on both new and old scars alike.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000RABT8U?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.60310517%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Brush-On Repair Liquid</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$24.50</p>

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Brush-On Repair Liquid

amazon.com

$24.50

Advanced Scar Gel

“Onion-based scar creams have been shown to modulate the activity of collagen in scars to improve their appearance,” says Dr. Zeichner. This cream contains Cepalin, which is extracted from onions, as well as allantoin which can help both soften and strengthen skin. There’s also hydrating factors like hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 to help retain moisture.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SS9KJG3?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.60310517%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Advanced Scar Gel</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$27.07</p>

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Advanced Scar Gel

amazon.com

$27.07

Moisturizing Scar Formula

In addition to silicone, this scar gel also “contains the blend of botanicals that offer hydration and modulate wound healing responses for optimal cosmetic benefits,” says Dr. Zeichner. The silicone works to form a protective layer while Pracaxi oil, derived from Pracaxi tree, contains fatty compounds that promote healing in the skin. Working in tandem, they help to fade scars and moisturize skin. In addition, it can help even out skin tone.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.walgreens.com%2Fstore%2Fc%2Fserica-moisturizing-scar-formula%2FID%3Dprod6349694-product&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.menshealth.com%2Fgrooming%2Fg60310517%2Fbest-scar-creams%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Moisturizing Scar Formula</p><p>walgreens.com</p><p>$21.49</p>

Healing Ointment

As a wound is healing, Dr. Zeichner recommends this ointment because it forms “a semi-occlusive barrier that offers protecting benefits to allow wounds to heal from the inside out, but still allows for the exchange of gasses across the skin,” allowing your skin to breathe easier and thus heal better. Keep in mind that this ointment won’t form a hardened barrier like silicone scar gels, and you may need to reapply it more often, but it’s the best thing for a healing wound.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006IB5T4W?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.60310517%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Healing Ointment</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$15.99</p>

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Healing Ointment

amazon.com

$15.99

Meet the Expert

  • Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, is a dermatologist and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research, Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

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