Does vitamin E fade scars? | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Does vitamin E fade scars?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Medical experts have conflicting views on the effectiveness of vitamin E as a treatment for scars.
  • If you have a wound that has fully healed or an old scar that you want to reduce, vitamin E oil can be somewhat effective.
  • Studies show that vitamin E oil is not useful for scar reduction.

Medical experts have conflicting views on the effectiveness of vitamin E as a treatment for scars.

In burn units around the world, vitamin E is still regularly used to soften newly developing scar tissue despite the fact that recent studies show that it may serve little purpose.

Vitamin E is much more effective on new scars than older scar tissue.

The fact that vitamin E is massaged into treatment areas regularly might explain why it has long been touted as a natural scar remedy.

The act of massaging scar tissue can help to breakdown scar tissue, improve circulation, and can even lead to the creation of more blood vessels.

Just as massage therapists regularly use oils to prevent chaffing and more easily slide their hands across the skin, vitamin E oil can be used in place of any other oil-based substance that is good for the skin.

Pure vitamin E has many health benefits when it is consumed. On the other hand, it has not been proven to work effectively as a topical treatment. You have to be careful about applying vitamin E to scars as open wounds can become infected if they are not sufficiently kept clean.

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Can Vitamin E Help to Heal Open Wounds?

Many people confuse the fact of vitamin E being used by doctors to aid in the healing process with the lack of sound evidence showing it to reduce scars. After a wound closes up by forming a scab or a blister, vitamin E oil can be safely applied to it.

Open wounds should never be slathered in vitamin E oil because of the risk of infection. Once a wound begins to heal, vitamin E can help to speed up the process by forming a protective barrier against the elements.

Some wounds should be dressed with gauze while others heal more efficiently if they are allowed to stay uncovered. Vitamin E itself promotes better circulation, which is needed to help any blood that reaches the epidermis to clot more quickly.

Can I Massage My Scar With Vitamin E?

If you have a wound that has fully healed or an old scar that you want to reduce, vitamin E oil can be somewhat effective. The National Center for Biotechnology Information through the National Institutes of Health has performed two separate studies testing the effectiveness of vitamin E oil on the scars formed in adults and children.

The results of both studies show that vitamin E oil is not useful for scar reduction. However, these studies did not address the effectiveness of vitamin E oil massage. Although vitamin E oil can only penetrate so far into the skin, there is a chance that massage would help it to be better absorbed.

In addition, massage has scientifically been proven to help improve the appearance of scars. If you are going to attempt to treat your scars with vitamin E oil, you may notice better results if your scars are newer.

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Does Vitamin E Work on Burn Scars?

Burns essentially damage the skin while wounds can destroy both skin and muscle tissue. Burn scars normally heal in a different manner than other wounds, especially if they are severe enough. Vitamin E can be good for burn victims if it is applied in the right manner.

However, vitamin E is largely thought to be a more effective treatment for the prevention of scar tissue rather than as a scar reduction treatment. Older burn scars will probably not improve very much via the application of vitamin E.

Can You Treat Scars With Oral Vitamin E Supplements?

In almost every medical study judging the effectiveness of vitamin E on scars, the participants were treated with vitamin E topically. Vitamin E supplements could possibly help to aid in the reduction of scars if taken orally, but there is simply no proof available to substantiate this theory.

Healthier individuals with stronger immune systems tend to heal more quickly, therefore any wounds received would be less likely to scar. Older scars can fade more rapidly if the skin is healthy, but nothing other than plastic surgery or silicone strips would make major scars virtually undetectable to the naked eye.

Overall, oral vitamin E supplements don’t seem to make much of a difference when it comes to fading old and new scars. Vitamin E gelcaps can be punctured in order to get access to the rich vitamin E oil inside, which can then be rubbed onto scar tissue. Even topically, vitamin E is not a reliable or effective treatment for scars.

Of course, supplementation paired with proper nutrition is only one part of a healthy lifestyle; exercise matters, too. Sign up for an PRO plan today for access to workouts, certified personal trainers, group challenges, and more.

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