Vitamin E Oil For Scars: What You Need To Know

A detailed guide to using this powerful antioxidant safely on your scars.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Suchana Marahatta, MBBS, MD (Dermatology)
By Arshiya Syeda

Using vitamin E oil for scars is becoming popular among natural skin care enthusiasts (1). But, how effective is vitamin E oil for scar healing and prevention? Many people believe that vitamin E’s antioxidant capabilities may aid in scar healing. However, the scientific evidence is mixed.

So, is it possible to reduce scars using vitamin E? Is it safe to do so? The usefulness and safety of applying vitamin E oil on scars are discussed here. Read on to learn this oil’s possible benefits and how to use it at home. Keep reading!

What Is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant. It is used in various cosmetic products in oil and capsule forms (2). It is synthesized by plants and is naturally found in (3):

  • Wheat germ oil
  • Sunflower seeds (dry roasted)
  • Almonds (dry roasted)
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Hazelnuts (dry roasted)
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanuts
  • Corn oil
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Soybean oil
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Tomato

There are eight chemical forms of vitamin E. However, the most commonly-used derivatives in skin care products are tocopheryl acetate and tocopherol (2). The vitamin E in your favorite moisturizer, serum, or lotion usually appears as tocopherol on the ingredients list.

We will understand in the next section if vitamin E oil is actually effective for reducing scars.

Is Vitamin E Oil Effective In Reducing Scars?

Some research claims that vitamin E may have a significant improvement in the cosmetic appearance of scars (1). However, in another study, topical application of vitamin E had not improved scar appearance. It instead had led to a high incidence of contact dermatitis (4).

Research on how vitamin E can be used to treat scars is inconclusive at this point. But this powerful ingredient has been actively in use for over 50 years in dermatology. It is essential for the basic maintenance of the human body (1), (3).

Vitamin E oil may have some benefits on scars. Though research is mixed, it is important to know how this oil may help.

Benefits Of Using Natural Vitamin E Oil On Scars

1. May Offer Antioxidant Properties

Vitamin E protects the body from UV radiation and air pollution by acting as a free-radical scavenger and delaying the aging process (5). It can destroy free radicals that otherwise cause DNA damage, reduce skin proteins, and negatively affect connective tissues and cell membranes.

The antioxidant properties of vitamin E may also promote the production of collagen and maintain skin’s strength and elasticity (6).

2. Possesses Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Vitamin E oil is rich in anti-inflammatory properties (7). It may strengthen the skin’s barrier function and soothe the skin. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the oil may also calm irritated skin and nourish it deeply.

3. May Help Nourish Dry, Stretched Skin

Vitamin E may promote skin hydration and nourish dry skin (8). You also may use a moisturizer containing vitamin E oil to potentially treat scars. However, conduct a patch test to check if you are allergic to vitamin E.

Information on the effectiveness of vitamin E oil in reducing scars is limited. But the oil sure may have some overall benefit for the skin.
In the following section, we will discuss how you can use vitamin E oil on your scars.

DIY Steps For Using A Plant-Based Vitamin E Oil On Your Scars

Using vitamin E on scars doesn’t seem to cause any harm. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Clean your scar area with a bar of mild soap to get rid of any bacteria/dirt.
  1. Gently apply a few drops of vitamin E oil to the scar area and massage in circular motions for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat twice a day.
  1. Continue to massage until the oil is absorbed.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Do not apply the oil to an open scar/wound.
  • Do not expose your scar to the sun.
  • Always apply sunscreen when you step out.
  • Avoid applying excess pressure on the scar. Massage gently.

As we saw, the effectiveness of vitamin E oil in treating scars is yet to be established. But there are other techniques and cosmetic procedures that may help treat scars. Let us take a look at them.

Other Healing Techniques, Remedies, And Cosmetic Procedures For Scar Treatment

  • Silicone Sheets
Silicone sheets for scar treatment

Shutterstock

These are soft and flexible self-adhesive dressings you can apply over scars (9). The silicone helps hydrate the scar tissue, lowers collagen production, and eventually flattens the scar tissue to make it fade away. You can use silicone sheets for 12 hours a day for 3 months to see the desired results.

StyleCraze Says
If the silicone sheet loses its stickiness, wash it with mild soap and cool water and lay the sheet flat to air dry. This will make it sticky again.
  • Massage
Massage reduces the look of scars

Shutterstock

Massaging the scar may reduce and soften its appearance, though more information is warranted to confirm this claim. A gentle massage is said to lower the associated pain, itching, and sensitivity.

Massage the scar for about 5 minutes at least 3 to 4 times a day. Consult a scar specialist to understand how to massage the scar accurately.

  • Derma Rolling
Derma rolling for scar treatment

Shutterstock

Derma rolling is a procedure where the dermatologist rolls tiny needles over the skin’s surface. This procedure tries inducing tiny injuries to the skin to enable it to self-heal re-modeling the tissue, and eventually improve scar appearance. In a study, derma rolling could improve the appearance of acne scars after three months of treatment (10).

  • Laser Therapy
Laser therapy for scar treatment

Shutterstock

This procedure uses light to target the blood vessels that otherwise make scars appear inflamed (11). Laser therapy may boost collagen production and lower pitting. However, more research is needed to conclusively prove the efficacy of laser therapy in scar management.

  • Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers for scar treatment

Shutterstock

This is a temporary scar treatment where dermal fillers or injections are injected to make the skin plump. Doing this may eventually lower the appearance of pitted scars (12).

StyleCraze Says
Dermal fillers may last anywhere from 6 months to 24 months, depending on the scar intensity, type of filler, and lifestyle. You may need maintenance sessions every 6 months.
  • Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy involves freezing keloid scars to stop them from growing and help flatten them (13). It uses liquid nitrogen to lighten the skin in the surrounding area.

How Long Do Scars Take To Fade?

Most scars fade away with time, depending on the injury severity. The ones that do not fade away are most likely to be permanent.

Fine-line scars caused by injuries such as cuts or surgical incisions may flatten and fade within two years.
Other types of scars, such as hypertrophic scars, may take much longer to fade.

However, information in this regard is very limited. Consult your dermatologist for more details.

Vitamin E oil appears to be a harmless treatment for scars. While it is not guaranteed to treat scars, it sure may promote skin health in other ways. But does this mean anyone can use vitamin E oil?

Vitamin E Oil For Skin: Who Can Use And Who Should Avoid

Vitamin E is generally well-tolerated when applied topically. However, practice caution if you have extremely sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin. Speak to your dermatologist before using vitamin E as it may cause skin irritation and redness in some.

Scars cannot be erased, but we can use home remedies like vitamin E oil to reduce their appearance. The use of vitamin E oil for scars has recently become one of the trending tips among skin care enthusiasts, mainly due to its antioxidant properties. Though few scientific studies prove its efficacy, you can use vitamin E oil for overall skin health. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil help soothe your skin and heal wounds.
You can apply the oil topically but take precautions if you have sensitive skin. Always perform a patch test before applying it to the affected area and consult your dermatologist to know the best way to use it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put vitamin E oil on my face overnight?

Yes, vitamin E oil can be used on the face overnight.

Which is better for scars: vitamin E oil or cream?

Vitamin E works well both as an oil (in lipid-based solutions) or cream (skin creams).

Which is better for scars: vitamin E oil or Bio-oil?

Bio-Oil can help improve the appearance of scars, whether new or old. Vitamin E enhances the general tone and texture of the scar and the surrounding skin by increasing the skin’s moisture level. Both have their own advantages and can be used as per one’s requirement.

Key Takeaways

  • Information on the effectiveness of vitamin E oil in reducing scars is limited. However, the oil may offer some overall skin benefits.
  • Vitamin E oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and the ability to nourish dry, sagging skin.
  • Simply clean the scar area, apply a few drops of vitamin E oil, and massage it in circular motions for 15 to 30 seconds until the oil is absorbed.
  • However, if you have sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin, proceed with caution. Before using vitamin E, consult your dermatologist as it might cause skin irritation and redness in some people.

References:

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Role of Topical Vitamin E in Scar Management: A Systematic Review
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26977069/
  2. Vitamin E in dermatology
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976416/
  3. Vitamin E
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
  4. The effects of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic appearance of scars
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10417589/
  5. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
  6. Long- and short-term effects of vitamin E administration along with stress on skin tissues of mice
    https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/6263294
  7. The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7633944/
  8. Influence of vitamin E acetate on stratum corneum hydration
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9706379/
  9. The Use of Silicone Adhesives for Scar Reduction
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4486716/
  10. Efficacy of a needling device for the treatment of acne scars: a randomized clinical trial
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24919799/
  11. Laser Scar Management Technique
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3916665/
  12. Fillers for the improvement in acne scars
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4598204/
  13. Intralesional cryotherapy for hypertrophic scars and keloids: a review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5965337/
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and... more

Dr. Suchana Marahatta

(MBBS, MD (Dermatology))
Dr. Suchana Marahatta is an associate professor and permanent faculty in the Department of Dermatology in B. P. Koirala Institute... more

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