6 Best Type of Vitamin E for Scars: A Comprehensive Guide

by Ella

Scarring is a natural part of the healing process after an injury, surgery, or skin condition. However, many people seek ways to minimize the appearance of scars for cosmetic reasons or to improve skin health. One of the most popular remedies for scar treatment is Vitamin E. This comprehensive guide explores the best types of Vitamin E for scars, their benefits, application methods, and scientific evidence supporting their use.


Understanding Scars

What Are Scars?

Scars are marks left on the skin after a wound or injury has healed. They form when the dermis (the deep layer of skin) is damaged, and the body produces collagen fibers to repair the damage. This repair process results in a scar, which has a different texture and appearance compared to the surrounding skin. Scars can vary in type, including:


Hypertrophic Scars: Raised scars that stay within the boundary of the original wound.


Keloid Scars: Raised and thick scars that extend beyond the original wound boundary.


Atrophic Scars: Depressed scars often seen with conditions like acne or chickenpox.

Contracture Scars: Tightened skin resulting from burns, affecting movement.

Factors Affecting Scar Formation

Several factors influence how a scar forms and looks, including:

Depth and Size of the Wound: Larger and deeper wounds generally result in more noticeable scars.

Location on the Body: Some areas of the body are more prone to scarring.

Age: Younger skin tends to heal faster but may scar more easily.

Genetics: Some individuals are genetically predisposed to scar more heavily.

Skin Type: Skin color and type can influence scar visibility and healing.

The Role of Vitamin E in Scar Treatment

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for maintaining healthy skin. It encompasses a group of compounds, including tocopherols and tocotrienols. The most common form of Vitamin E found in skincare products is alpha-tocopherol.

Benefits of Vitamin E for Skin

Vitamin E offers several benefits for skin health, including:

Antioxidant Properties: Protects skin cells from free radical damage.

Moisturizing Effect: Helps retain skin moisture, promoting softness and flexibility.

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Reduces skin inflammation and redness.

Healing Properties: Aids in skin repair and regeneration.

Vitamin E and Scar Healing

The use of Vitamin E for scar treatment is popular due to its purported ability to:

Improve Skin Texture: Vitamin E may help soften the skin, making scars less noticeable.

Reduce Redness and Discoloration: It can help even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of scars.

Promote Healing: By aiding in the regeneration of skin cells, Vitamin E may accelerate the healing process of scars.

6 Types of Vitamin E for Scars

Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be derived from natural or synthetic sources. Natural Vitamin E is typically derived from plant oils and is labeled as d-alpha-tocopherol, while synthetic Vitamin E is labeled as dl-alpha-tocopherol.

1. Natural Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol)

  • Higher Bioavailability: Natural Vitamin E is more readily absorbed by the body.
  • Potency: It is often considered more potent and effective for skin health.

2. Synthetic Vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol)

  • Cost-Effective: Generally cheaper and more widely available.
  • Less Bioavailable: Not as easily absorbed by the skin as natural Vitamin E.

Tocopherols vs. Tocotrienols

Vitamin E comprises two main types: tocopherols and tocotrienols. Each type has unique benefits for skin health.

3. Tocopherols

  • Alpha-Tocopherol: The most common form used in skincare, known for its antioxidant properties.
  • Beta, Gamma, and Delta-Tocopherol: Other forms that also provide antioxidant benefits but are less commonly used.

4. Tocotrienols

  • Superior Antioxidant Properties: Tocotrienols are considered more powerful antioxidants compared to tocopherols.
  • Skin Penetration: They penetrate the skin more effectively, providing better protection and healing.

Topical vs. Oral Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be applied topically or taken orally. Each method has its advantages and considerations.

5. Topical Vitamin E

  • Direct Application: Applying Vitamin E directly to the scar allows for targeted treatment.
  • Formulations: Available in oils, creams, serums, and gels, making it versatile for different skin types and preferences.
  • Immediate Effects: Provides immediate moisturizing and soothing effects.

6. Oral Vitamin E

  • Systemic Benefits: Taking Vitamin E supplements can improve overall skin health and provide internal antioxidant protection.
  • Complementary Use: Can be used alongside topical treatments for a comprehensive approach.

Scientific Evidence on Vitamin E for Scars

Research Findings

The scientific community has conducted various studies on the effectiveness of Vitamin E for scar treatment, with mixed results.

Positive Outcomes

Some studies have shown that Vitamin E can improve the appearance of scars by reducing redness and promoting smoother skin texture.

Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties can protect the skin from further damage and support the healing process.

Mixed or Negative Outcomes

Other studies have found no significant improvement in scar appearance with Vitamin E treatment.
In some cases, topical application of Vitamin E has been associated with allergic reactions or contact dermatitis.

Conclusion from Research

While there is anecdotal evidence and some scientific support for the use of Vitamin E in scar treatment, its effectiveness may vary depending on individual skin types and the nature of the scar. More research is needed to conclusively determine its benefits.

Best Practices for Using Vitamin E on Scars

Selecting the Right Product

Choosing the right Vitamin E product is crucial for effective scar treatment. Consider the following factors:

Formulation: Look for products with natural d-alpha-tocopherol or tocotrienols for better absorption and effectiveness.

Concentration: Products with a higher concentration of Vitamin E (around 5-10%) are generally more effective.

Additional Ingredients: Products containing other beneficial ingredients like aloe vera, cocoa butter, or hyaluronic acid can enhance the overall healing process.

Application Methods

Proper application of Vitamin E can maximize its benefits for scar treatment:

Cleanse the Area: Ensure the scarred area is clean before applying Vitamin E.

Patch Test: Perform a patch test to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivities.

Gentle Application: Apply a small amount of Vitamin E oil or cream to the scar and gently massage it into the skin.

Consistency: Apply Vitamin E regularly, at least once or twice daily, for several weeks to see noticeable improvements.

Combining with Other Treatments

For optimal scar healing, consider combining Vitamin E with other treatments:

Silicone Gel Sheets: Proven to reduce scar thickness and improve texture.

Hydrocolloid Dressings: Maintain a moist environment, promoting faster healing.

Massage Therapy: Regularly massaging the scar can break down excess collagen and improve skin flexibility.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Possible Side Effects

While Vitamin E is generally safe for topical use, some individuals may experience side effects:

Skin Irritation: Redness, itching, or a rash may occur in sensitive individuals.

Contact Dermatitis: An allergic reaction causing inflammation and discomfort.


To minimize the risk of side effects, follow these precautions:

Patch Test: Always perform a patch test before using a new Vitamin E product.

Avoid Open Wounds: Do not apply Vitamin E to open or unhealed wounds as it may delay healing.

Consult a Dermatologist: If you have a history of skin allergies or sensitivities, consult a healthcare professional before starting Vitamin E treatment.

Alternative Treatments for Scars

Silicone Gel and Sheets

Silicone gel and sheets are widely regarded as effective treatments for reducing the appearance of scars. They work by hydrating the scar tissue and regulating collagen production.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known for its soothing and healing properties. It can help reduce scar redness and improve skin texture when applied regularly.

Onion Extract

Onion extract is another popular remedy for scars. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce scar size and discoloration.


Honey has natural antibacterial and moisturizing properties. Applying honey to scars can promote healing and improve skin appearance.

Laser Therapy

For more severe scars, laser therapy can be an effective option. It works by removing the outer layers of skin and stimulating collagen production.

See Also: Top 10 Scar Creams for Legs in 2024: Dermatologist Recommended


Vitamin E is a popular remedy for scar treatment, offering potential benefits due to its antioxidant, moisturizing, and healing properties. While scientific evidence on its effectiveness is mixed, many individuals find it helpful for improving the appearance of scars. Choosing the right type of Vitamin E, applying it correctly, and combining it with other treatments can enhance its benefits. As with any treatment, it’s essential to consider individual skin types and consult with a healthcare professional if needed.


1. What is the best type of Vitamin E for treating scars?

The best type of Vitamin E for treating scars is natural Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) because it has higher bioavailability and is more readily absorbed by the skin compared to synthetic Vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol). Additionally, tocotrienols, a less common form of Vitamin E, may offer superior antioxidant properties and better skin penetration.

2. How does Vitamin E help in scar healing?

Vitamin E helps in scar healing by providing antioxidant protection, which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the skin. It also moisturizes the skin, which can soften and improve the texture of scars, and supports the regeneration of skin cells.

3. How should I apply Vitamin E to my scars?

To apply Vitamin E to scars, follow these steps:

  • Clean the scarred area thoroughly.
  • Perform a patch test to check for any allergic reactions.
  • Apply a small amount of Vitamin E oil, cream, or serum to the scar.
  • Gently massage the product into the skin.
  • Repeat the application once or twice daily for several weeks or as recommended by a healthcare professional.

4. Can I use oral Vitamin E supplements for scar treatment?

While oral Vitamin E supplements can improve overall skin health and provide systemic antioxidant protection, they are not as effective for targeted scar treatment as topical applications. For best results, use a combination of oral supplements and topical Vitamin E.

5. Are there any side effects of using Vitamin E on scars?

Some individuals may experience side effects such as skin irritation, redness, itching, or contact dermatitis when using Vitamin E on scars. To minimize the risk, always perform a patch test before full application and avoid using Vitamin E on open wounds.

6. How long does it take to see results from Vitamin E treatment on scars?

The time it takes to see results from Vitamin E treatment on scars can vary depending on the individual’s skin type, the nature of the scar, and the consistency of application. Generally, it may take several weeks to a few months of regular use to notice improvements.

7. Can Vitamin E be used on all types of scars?

Vitamin E can be used on various types of scars, including hypertrophic scars, keloid scars, atrophic scars, and contracture scars. However, its effectiveness may vary, and it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for severe or complex scars.

8. What should I look for in a Vitamin E product for scar treatment?

When selecting a Vitamin E product for scar treatment, look for:

  • Natural Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) or tocotrienols for better absorption and effectiveness.
  • A higher concentration of Vitamin E (around 5-10%).
  • Additional beneficial ingredients like aloe vera, cocoa butter, or hyaluronic acid.
  • Products free from irritants and allergens if you have sensitive skin.

By understanding the different forms of Vitamin E, their benefits, and proper application methods, you can make informed decisions about using Vitamin E for scar treatment and overall skin health.


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