Reducing the Appearance of Scars

what is the cheapest, easiest, least painless, most effective way to reduce the appearance of pre-existing scars? you know, i hear all these commercials for neosporin products and stuff like maderma (sp?), but do any of these really work?

Moderator’s Note: Moving to General Questions.

I did a bit of research on this recently. It’s all pretty confusing, and there are a lot of conflicting claims out there. I get the feeling that different treatments work for different people. But here is what I was able to glean:

Mederma: a cream that reduces the redness of existing scars. Some people find it more effective than others. It supposedly works well on older scars, too.

Silicone sheets/Neosporin Scar Solutions: These can actually reduce the thickness of a scar. They will also reduce the redness. The disadvantage is that you actually have to wear the product. They are also relatively expensive. While these things will work better on newer scars, they will help older scars, too.

Vitamin E oil: Some people have reported great success with using pure vitamin E oil on scars. I have a surgical scar that was quite itchy. My surgeon told me to use the vitamin E, and that it would also probably help the appearance of the scar. But I never did get around to treating it, so I don’t know if it works. Apparently, the newer the scar the better it works.

Cocoa Butter, Aloe: Although many people claim these work, I can’t find any evidence that they do in fact work.

(I hope that I didn’t get any of this wrong–as I said, there was a lot of conflicting info out there.)

As someone who arrived on earth with Some Assembly Required, I have had a little experience with scars. In my experience, they all “age” to a less noticeable state at a given rate, and Vitamin E might speed that process a little. (the end result seems to be the same). The only surefire way of making them less noticeable is: a) patience, or b) getting a tan. I confess to hitting the electric beach every spring for this reason (although I claim publicly that it’s a pre-emptive strike against sunburn).

PS. I’m white, with average skin tone. Don’t know how well this works for other skin pigmentation.

I’ve tried the silicone sheets and Mederma. Mederma made several small scars less noticable. The tube says to apply it three times a day for 6-8 weeks. I applied it once daily for a few months.

As for the band-aid things, wearing them proved to be too much of an inconvenience. They kept falling off. That’s when I tried Mederma.

Oh yeah, I’m white with pretty fair skin.

I spoke with my dermatologist about this a couple of years ago and she told me that none of this stuff works medicinally. She told me the only benefit comes from scar tissue possibly being broken down by the rubbing of multiple daily application.

This was two years ago (almost to the day in fact) so there may have been advancements in the intervening time.