The 8 Best Scar Creams of 2023

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel fades both new and old scars.

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Best Scar Creams

While many people choose to embrace their scars and proudly display them, others may want to reduce their appearance as quickly and effectively as possible. If you fall into the latter category and are looking for a way to minimize old or new scars, the easiest way to do so is with a high-quality scar cream.

Removing scars altogether is usually an impossible feat, but with the right products, you can make them much less noticeable. Since there are many different types of scarring and items on the market to choose from, we talked to a beauty industry research and development expert, three dermatologists, and a dermatological nurse to get the scoop on everything you need to know about choosing the right option for your scars needs. Overall, Mederma Advanced Scar Gel proved effective at minimizing a variety of scars — but our list doesn’t stop there. 

Keep reading for the eight best scar creams.

Best Overall

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel


What We Love: It works on a variety of different scars. 

What We Don’t Love: If you massage it in too rigorously, it can peel off.

In addition to being Amazon's best-selling scar-reducing treatment, this Mederma cream has also racked up more than 11,000 five-star ratings from customers who rave about how quickly and effectively it lessens the appearance of their scars. According to board-certified dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, Debra Jaliman, M.D., the cream stands out because it “only has to be used once a day, unlike other scar creams,” and because it “works on old and new scars.” In that way, it helps people address the appearance of their scars while also saving them time and money in the process. 

Dr. Jaliman isn’t the only derm that approves of it, either. “It works on a range of scar types, including acne scars, surgery scars, and burn scars,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman, M.D., cosmetic dermatologist and surgeon at Shafer Clinic in New York City. “As a dermatologist, I love that this formula is backed by clinical trials showing its efficacy.”

As beloved as this scar cream is, it’s important to note that it’s not an overnight miracle worker. According to the brand, the cream should be applied daily for eight weeks to new scars, while older scars can take between three to six months of religious application to see the best results. 

Price at time of publish: $43

Results: Eight weeks to six months | Key Ingredients: Allantoin 0.5% | Size: 1.76 oz. | Best for: Acne, surgery, cut, and burn scars

Best for Acne

Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment

Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment

Skin Store

What We Love: Silicone (specifically dimethicone), which is arguably the most effective treatment for scarring, is the first ingredient. 

What We Don’t Love: It has to be used twice daily for optimal results, which can be inconvenient for some. 

Nearly 40,000 Sephora shoppers have given this post-acne scar treatment their seal of approval — and derms confirm the hype. According to Dr. Engelman, “the mix of salicylic acid and antioxidants in this formula effectively exfoliates and brightens to help reduce the appearance of scars.”

“It also has a special ingredient called TECA Centella Asiatica which hydrates and helps strengthen the skin-barrier,” Dr. Jaliman adds, noting that the cream is good for existing and new acne scars.

As popular as this scar cream is among shoppers with acne-prone skin, again, it’s important to note that the results require patience. According to the brand, the smoother, brightened results can take as little as eight weeks to appear when it is applied diligently twice a day, however they don’t mention how long they can take beyond that.

Price at time of publish: $56

Results: In as little as eight weeks | Key Ingredients: Dimethicone and Vitamin C | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: Acne and raised scars

Best for Face

Derma E Scar Gel

Derma E Scar Gel

Derma E

What We Love: Results are noticeable within as little as four weeks, making this one of the faster-acting scar creams on the market. 

What We Don’t Love: The gel can sometimes trigger acne breakouts. 

This Derma E scar gel is Dr. Jaliman’s personal top pick because "it's a really nice product at a great price point that can help lighten scars." Its main ingredients are acetyl glycyl beta-alanine and allicin, which work together with other moisturizing ingredients to lighten the pigment of scars and help reduce their appearance over time. While the brand says it works on all types of scarring (including sunburns, chemical burns, industrial burns, old scars, and stretchmarks), Dr. Jaliman says it will work best on superficial scars.

Over 2,700 Amazon shoppers are also fans of the skincare product and have given it an impressive five-star rating. One thing to note is that the cream can sometimes trigger acne breakouts, so be sure to monitor skin throughout usage, and stop if that occurs. 

Price at time of publish: $23

Results: In as little as four weeks | Key Ingredients: Pathenol and Allantoin | Size: 2 oz. | Best for: Superficial scars

Best for Body

Cicatricure Face & Body Scar Gel

Cicatricure Face & Body Scar Gel


What We Love: It’s infused with allantoin, along with results-driven natural extracts. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s a small tube given it's meant for full-body use. 

While this Cicatricure scar cream can minimize the look of scars on both your face and body, most customers say they use it on their body. Not only will it reduce a scar's coloration, but it also works to improve its texture. To see the best results, the brand recommends applying the cream four times a day for eight weeks, and for older scars, you should apply it three times a day for up to six months. 

The reason this gel is able to address scars so well is due to its make-up. It’s formulated with allantoin, as well as a number of natural extracts, including soothing aloe vera extract, onion extract (which has been studied and proven to assist in keloid and hypertrophic scar reduction), and lightening chamomile extract. Together, these ingredients help flatten scars, while also warding off discoloration. While the formula is impressive, we do wish it came in a bigger tube — if you have larger scars you may need to repurchase often. 

Price at time of publish: $20

Results: In as little as two weeks, but typically up to eight | Key Ingredients: Allantoin and Onion extract | Size: 1 oz. | Best for: Raised scars

Best for Dark Spots

Topicals Faded Brightening & Clearing Serum

Topicals Faded Brightening & Clearing Serum


What We Love: It not only diminishes dark spots, it addresses uneven texture, too. (Plus, how cute is the packaging?)

What We Don’t Love: It has a sulfur-like smell — but the brand is up front about it from the get. 

When a skincare product is beloved by over 113,000 Sephora shoppers, it’s hard not to take note, which is why Topicals Faded Serum for Dark Spots & Discoloration is a top pick. Formulated with a bounty of scar-healing ingredients, including soothing centella asiatica, brightening kojic acid, and smoothing azelaic acid, this cream is a blessing in disguise for anyone living with darkened scars. The brand even went so far to prove it with a clinical study. “In a study with 32 participants aged 29 to 55, after 4 weeks: 100% found that the overall look of their skin was improved; 96% found that their skin tone looked more even; and 84% found that dark spots appeared less visible,” the brand reveals. The only downside is the scent — which isn’t so pleasant. But that minor inconvenience is worth the incredible results. 

Price at time of publish: $38

Results: In as little as four weeks | Key Ingredients: Azelaic acid, Tranexamic acid, and Niacinamide | Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: Post-acne dark spots and raised scars

Best for Raised Scars

Elaimei Silicone Scar Sheets

Elaimei Silicone Scar Sheets


What We Love: It comes in a roll, so you can cut the exact size you need. 

What We Don’t Love: It can sometimes roll up on itself.

Scar creams can help in the overall healing process but they can also be a bit messy — especially during the cooler months when you have to bundle up. With that in mind, dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar suggests using scar patches instead. “Unlike creams, they can be left on for the whole day without worrying about rubbing it off,” she says. What’s more, silicone patches are actually said to be the most effective scar treatment, as they can physically flatten scars, leading to smoother, less noticeable lesions.

While brands like ScarAway are popular for individual use patches, oftentimes, scars aren’t one-size-fits-all. As such, we suggest the highly-rated Elaimei Silicone Scar Sheets, which come in a roll, so you can cut them to the exact size you need. No wonder over 1,700 Amazon shoppers have given these sheets their five-star seal of approval. These patches do have incredible staying power, but if you’re doing any physical activity, they can sometimes roll up onto itself, so try to wear them while stationary (like while you sleep).

Price at time of publish: $20

Results: In as little as four to eight weeks | Key Ingredients: Silicone | Size: 1.6” x 120” roll | Best for: Raised scars

Best for After Surgery

SkinCeuticals Advanced Scar Control

SkinCeuticals Advanced Scar Control


What We Love: The formula uses a unique combination of silicone, allantoin, and fatty acids to diminish the texture and coloration of post-op scars.

What We Don’t Love: It requires a minimum of 12 weeks use to start seeing results, so patience is key.

If you're looking to thwart post-op scars in their tracks, check out this scar gel from SkinCeuticals. Made with a patented combination of silicone, allantoin, and fatty acids, the occlusive scar gel helps skin retain hydration and works to improve overall texture and discoloration on old and new scars alike. 

Developed specially for postoperative incisions, it creates a barrier (almost like a gel bandage) that allows the skin to focus on healing the area. It works well on other types of scars as well, including burns and other small cuts, plus, it can help prevent new scars from forming. As with many other scar creams, the key is consistent application — apply this a minimum of twice a day for 12 weeks to start seeing improvements. Though the process is lengthy, the results are worth the wait. 

 Price at time of publish: $112

Results: In as little as 12 weeks | Key Ingredients: Silicone, allantoin, fatty acids | Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: Post-incision related scars

Best for Burns

BioCorneum Scar Treatment Plus SPF 30

BioCorneum Scar Treatment Plus SPF 30


What We Love: It’s formulated with SPF 30, so it ensures your burn scar is fully protected.

What We Don’t Love: Some shoppers report that Amazon sells expired tubes. 

Say hello to Aguilar’s number-one scar cream for burns. “I may be biased because Biocorneum has saved my forehead after I accidently burned it with my curling iron, but it really is one of the best,” she says. “It has SPF 30, dries really fast, is lightweight, and is water resistant.” And to top it off, it can be used on old and new scars. 

What sets this scar cream apart — beyond the fact that it’s infused with SPF — is that it’s made with the brand’s Silishield, which is a cross-linked silicone that applies like a gel but acts like a silicone sheet to suppress scars and encourage faster healing.

The one thing to keep in mind is that some Amazon shoppers report that they’ve received expired tubes. As such, your best bet may be to go directly to a dermatologist to source this FDA-cleared SPF-infused scar cream. (You can find an authorized provider, here.)

Price at time of publish: $23

Results: In as little as 60 to 90 days | Key Ingredients: Silishield | Size: 0.4 oz. | Best for: Burns and raised scars

What to Keep in Mind

Scar Type

Scars can be broken down into four categories: Keloid, contracture, hypertrophic, and acne. 

“Keloid scars are the result of an overly aggressive healing process — they extend beyond the original injury,” explains beauty industry expert Robert J. Bianchini, Ph.D., a seed investor for selfmade and former VP of Research, Innovation, and Engineering at Rodan + Fields. “Treatments include surgery to remove the scar, steroid injections, or silicone sheets to flatten the scar.” For keloid scars, we recommend using Cicatricure Face & Body Scar Gel, as it contains onion extract which has been proven to reduce these raised scars. 

Contracture scars are caused by many things including surgeries and burns, explains Dr. Bianchini. “These scars tighten skin, which can impair your ability to move. Contracture scars may also go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves.” Burn scars are often contracture, so BioCorneum Scar Treatment Plus SPF 30 is a good option to try for this type. 

“Hypertrophic scars are raised, red scars that are similar to keloids but do not go beyond the boundary of the injury,” Dr. Bianchini says. “Treatments include injections of steroids to reduce inflammation or silicone sheets, which flatten the scar.” For these, try Elaimei Silicone Scar Sheets. Made with silicone, they can be cut to fit your scar.

“If you've had severe acne, you probably have the scars to prove it,” Dr. Bianchini says. “There are many types of acne scars, ranging from deep pits to scars that are angular or wavelike in appearance. Treatment options depend on the type of acne scars you have, the extent of infection, and your ability to arrest the bacterial infection or stop it from getting worse.” Murad InvisiScar Post-Acne Resurfacing Treatment is specially designed to treat all types of acne scars. 

Key Ingredients

Beyond the type of scar you have, you should also think about how you want your end result to look. Do you want to lighten it? Make it appear flatter? Depending on the result you're after, there are a few ingredients you should look for. 

If you want to fade dark marks, Dr. Engelmen suggests looking for an option that features "active ingredients such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, phytic acid, l-ascorbic acid, or glycolic acid, as they brighten the skin and promote cellular turnover to reveal younger, healthier cells, fade dark spots, and improve overall skin tone." Topicals Faded Serum for Dark Spots & Discoloration features a slew of brightening actives to address darker scars. 

If you want to minimize the overall look of your scar, Dr. Jaliman suggests using products that feature allantoin and vitamin E to soften and hydrate the skin, vitamin A which encourages healthy skin cell production, and allicin (found in onion and garlic extract) which helps prevent scar tissue from forming. Our best overall pick Mederma Advanced Scar Gel (which contains allantoin) is one of the best options on the market. 

As for deeper scars, Dr. Jaliman recommends using silicone sheets because they "normalize collagen synthesis, and reduce irritation and redness that is usually associated with scars. The end result is a smoother, flatter scar. Plus, they keep bacteria away from the scar."

While all of the above ingredients help to heal established scars, selfmade dermatologist Manju Dawkins, M.D. says that treating wounds and healing scars as soon as possible can make a big difference in how faded the lesion can become. “In the first three weeks, moisture is of the utmost importance,” she explains. “Petroleum jelly is tried and true — it’s what I recommend to all my patients after skin biopsies to improve healing and prevent infection."


The biggest thing to keep in mind with scar creams is that they take time to work. Generally, you have to apply the cream twice a day for at least 30 days to even begin to notice a difference, with more noticeable results appearing after three to six months of use.

Intended Use

As with most skincare products, it’s important to read the instructions to ensure that you’re applying your scar cream of choice properly. If you don’t want to be bothered with such logistics, Aguilar says that “Once applying scar cream or gel, make sure the area dries for at least 15 minutes before putting clothes over it.”

Additionally, when using scar creams, she says that sun avoidance is crucial, as UV exposure can halt healing and actually deepen the appearance of the scar. 

Your Questions, Answered

How does scar cream work?

"Scar creams are meant to target dark marks and minor textural changes. They help to promote cellular turnover and fade hyperpigmentation or discoloration," Dr. Engelman says.

Aguilar tacks onto this, noting that scar creams also serve as a protective barrier. “By keeping scars sealed in scar cream, you help soften the scar,” she says. “Additionally, scar creams that contain medical-grade silicone prevent dysregulated wound healing that can result in keloid disorders.”

Does scar cream work on old scars?

They can, but it’s important to be patient and rigorous about your application, and keep your expectations within reason. 

“Scar creams can help old scars, but you’ll get a much better result if you care for a wound early on,” Dr. Dawkins says. “Wounds heal in three phases: Inflammatory phase (days one to three), a proliferative phase (days four to 21), and a remodeling phase (day 21 to year one).” 

With this in mind, Dr. Dawkins says that the best way to manage a scar is to prevent it. “Keep the wound clean — gently wash with mild soap and water to keep away germs and remove debris,” she says. “To help with healing, keeping the wound moist is so important. You actually don’t want the wound to dry out and form a scab. Wounds with scabs take longer to heal. Keeping the wound moist with something simple like a petrolatum product can help prevent infection and prevent a scar from getting too large, deep, or itchy.” 

Additionally, Dr. Dawkins reiterates the importance of sun protection during the scar prevention and treatment stages. “Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply frequently,” she instructs. “In general, the earlier you start treating a scar, the better the outcome.”

Does scar cream work on stretch marks?

It can — but it will take time and the proper product, and even then, it’s not a 100 percent given. “Stretch marks are notoriously difficult to treat,” Dr. Dawkins says. “There are a ton of products out there, but there hasn’t been enough evidence to show that they actually work well.” That said, she points out that stretch marks tend to fade on their own over time, eventually shifting from red to white. 

“Factors that determine whether a scar cream, or any cream, will improve the appearance of stretch marks depends on how old the stretch marks are and how deep they are,” Aguilar adds. “Scar creams soften, protect, and hydrate skin, improving the look of stretch marks. While scar creams might not entirely fade stretch marks, they can definitely improve the texture and their appearance.”

When is the best time to use scar cream?

As soon as a wound occurs, if possible. “Remember: You’ll want to keep it clean, keep it moist, and keep it out of the sun,” Dr. Dawkins says. 

That said, not all wounds can immediately be tended to in this way — as is the case with surgery scars, for example. For that reason, Aguilar says the best time to use scar cream is as soon as a wound has healed and the skin has closed. “The wound should be healed prior to using scar cream because it can interfere with our skin's natural healing process,” she says. “It is best to use scar cream as soon as the scar forms and not delay treatment.”

Why Shop With Us

Rebecca Norris has been covering beauty for over eight years. For this piece, she spoke with three dermatologists (Manju Dawkins, M.D., Dendy Engelman, M.D., and Debra Jaliman, M.D.), a skincare research and development expert (Robert J. Bianchini, Ph.D.), and a dermatological nurse (Natalie Aguilar) to uncover everything there is to know about scar creams and the wound healing process. With their expertise in mind, she mulled over the top-rated scar creams the market has to offer, including gel, cream, and patch options. These were the top eight standouts. 

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