Vitamin E topically?

A fan on Facebook asked: “Hi Tina! I have always heard that putting Vitamin E topically on scars and blemishes can help fade and heal them. Is this true? Thanks!”

GREAT question. I was taught for many years that Vitamin E can help reduce scarring, however studies now show that’s not true. Vitamin E isn’t horrible, but some studies do demonstrate vitamin E may cause skin irritation which can worsen scarring.

There are many products out there specifically made to help heal and prevent scarring. I think one of the best ways to prevent, reduce, or minimize scars is to use Silicon gel sheeting. Putting a sheet of silicon gel on a scar every day may help it fade or keep it from getting worse. The sheeting is available at pharmacies or from dermatologists.

Florida dermatologist Andrea Cambio, MD, says gel sheeting should be used for at least three months for best results. Cleaning out a fresh cut or scrape is important. Soothe and clean the wound with cool water. Then remove any pebbles or splinters with alcohol-sterilized tweezers. Gently wash around the wound with soap and a washcloth. Irritants such as harsh soap, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, and alcohol aren’t good for cleaning minor wounds. In fact, these substances can actually delay healing.

Keep it covered. Covering your cut or scrape helps it heal by barring bacteria, dirt, and other irritants. It also helps keep the wound moist for the first few days, which speeds healing. You can use an antibiotic cream or ointment to help keep your wound clean and moist. Keeping the wound covered and moist helps reduce the appearance of scars.

Don’t pick at scabs. Right after you get a cut or scrape, or even pick a pimple, your body starts healing the wound. White blood cells attack infection-causing bacteria. Red blood cells, fibrin, and platelets create a clot over your wound. And in no time, a scab forms. If you pick off the scab, you may not only reopen the wound and introduce bacteria, you could also create a larger scar. Once a wound is healed there are lasers available to help reduce redness however I would recommend waiting at least 6-12 months before treating with a laser.

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