Does Vitamin E Fade Scars?
Vitamin E does not fade scars.
More Info: Vitamin E promotes healing but most studies conclude that vitamin E does not promote visible results for fading scars.
How Does Vitamin E Work?
Vitamin E is the general term for a variety of tocol and tocotrienol derivatives that are fat-soluble antioxidants found in the skin. When applied topically, it sinks into the skin and aids in healing wounds and helps stimulate the production of collagen. Its claimed by many users to soften the skin, lessen stretch marks, and reduce the appearance of scars.
What Studies have been Done to Determine the Effectiveness of Vitamin E for Scars?
Studies on the effectiveness of vitamin E as a scar treatment began in earnest in the mid 1980s and continue to be a subject of study today. Most of the scientific studies regarding vitamin E have shown that there is no noticeable effect on the appearance of scars.
The most commonly cited study is the double blind experiment by the University of Miami Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery. The doctors found that not only do vitamin E applications produce no visible results, but it also increases the chance of contact dermatitis. In the case of 90% of the study participants, there was no improvement, and in some cases, the appearance of scars worsened during treatment. Interestingly, 33% of those same study participants suffered from contact dermatitis to the vitamin E.
Things to Consider when Deciding to Use Vitamin E for Scar Treatment
Though various studies have shown that vitamin E is not effective for minimizing the appearance of scar tissue, many professionals still promote the use of vitamin E for healing because it increases collagen production and for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The professionals at the University of Maryland Medical Center suggest the topical use of vitamin E once a wound has healed and new skin has formed. They also suggest that higher doses may be beneficial for wound healing.
The most important factor to consider before deciding to treat your scars with Vitamin E is the potential risk of contact dermatitis. Test for irritation by applying the oil on a small patch of skin for a few days before using it on a large area. If you have a reaction, stop using immediately.