What Is The Best Topical Scar Treatment?

Q: Dr. Eppley, do you have any recommendations for topical ointments for my forehead laceration which was fixed about a month ago to help with the scar. Which are the best on the market? Do you have any knowledge or recommendations of using supplements like enzymes and vitamins to help reduce the scarring? I have read serraptase like in Vitalzym helps break up and remove scar tissue and was thinking of trying it. I’m trying to do anything I can to reduce it. Thanks very much for your time and advice!

A:I don’t think there are any magical scar creams, lotions or potions…despite how they are marketed and promoted. I also don’t think there are any vitamins and enzymes that help scarring either. While you can use any or all of them, they are as much psychotherapy as anything else for the typical non-problematic scar or surgical incision. This is not what most patients want to hear as understandably everyone wants to do the most they can for their scar. Time will create as much improvement as anything else. I think if it makes you feel better to use them then you should. There are other early scar treatments to consider, such as fractional laser resurfacing and broad band light therapies, that may have more profound effects than topically applied creams and ointments. This should not be construed to imply that the treatment of known problematic scars, or those that might potentially become so, will not respond well to the use of silicone gel sheeting and topical silicone gels and oils. But whether these are of benefit in many lacerations and wounds that might otherwise do well on their own is a matter of debate.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana