Community Views: Reducing Scar Visibility
Last updated: December 2022
Sometimes, skin cancer treatment can leave people with large, disfiguring scars despite properly caring for their wounds post-surgery. For some, skin cancer scars can be painful reminders of battles and dark times in their lives. However, there are certain options out there that can help minimize and reduce skin cancer scars, including surgeries, natural remedies, topical treatments, and more.
We asked our Facebook community: What are a few ways to reduce scar visibility? Here's what our members had to say:
Ways to reduce skin cancer scar visibility
Natural oils and remedies
Essential oils have been said to assist in reducing scar visibility since many contain anti-inflammatory/antimicrobial properties. These oils will target the damaged skin and regenerate skin cells may help reduce the appearance of scars.1 However, essential oils may cause irritation to the skin and can interact with certain medications, so it is best to do your own research before using them. Many of our members have also used different types of oils, such as Vitamin E, that promote quicker healing and minimize scarring. With all this being said, there is not much research out there to support that these oils can reduce scar visibility and results have been inconclusive. However, some of our members have found these remedies useful!
- "Globs of Vaseline on gauze pads or bandages until healed, then switched to vitamin E oil."
- "Coconut oil."
- "Rosehip oil."
- "Used oil from vitamin E capsules."
- "I used Emu Oil and Lavender oil."
- "My go-to is Neosporin and aloe vera plants."
- "Dermatologist recommended Vaseline during healing period."
Topical medication gels
Our members shared various topical medications that helped reduce the visibility of their scars. Strataderm, Mederma, and Biocorneum were the most common responses around scar gels. Strataderm Scar Therapy Gel is used for old and new scars with a once daily application. Mederma Advanced Scar Gel has a triple action formula where it seals in moisture, renews cells, and helps to form collagen in the skin. Users have said they started to see improvement within the first month of using it. Biocorneum Advanced Scar Treatment is typically applied twice a day since it should have 24-hour contact with the scar area. However, it's important to note that every scar is unique and different, so some scars may take longer to heal than others, and these treatments may not work for everyone.
- "Strataderm. Got it from my Mohs surgeon."
- "Mederma Advanced scar gel and sunscreen."
- "Biocorneum Advanced Scar Treatment and massage to flatten out the scar."
Silicone sheets are thin, (mostly) transparent sheets placed on a scar to facilitate a healing process and maintain moisture. Some of our members cut the sheets into different shapes and sizes so they can create more supply to use overtime. ScarAway was a very popular brand amongst our members, however, many shared they used the sheets over the spray or cream.
- "I used silicone sheets cut into strips size of the scar."
- "Scar Away helped with my melanoma scar as well as my basal cell scars. I then put Palmers cocoa butter on them everyday after I am done with scar away."
- "Silicone scar straps are awesome."
- "Scar Away sheets to flatten the scar and stop the itching. It worked on me, the cream itself did not, only the patches."
Plastic surgery is an option for those who want to minimize the visibility of their skin cancer scars. Plastic surgeons are trained to repair and reconstruct physical defects, especially on our skin. If you're interested in learning more about surgical options for skin cancer scars, you may find them here.
Embracing your scars
There is another option here- embracing your scars! Not all scars go away or might take a longer amount of time, but it's important to still love the skin you're in. Regardless of how many skin cancers you've had, you won. You survived. You're still here. These scars are reminders of what you overcame, and that is something to be proud of. One advocate shares an article around body positivity including your scars, which you can read here.
- "I just let my scars show, why hide?"
- "None, I'm proud of those scars. I am a survivor."
Thank you for sharing ways to reduce scar visibility from skin cancer
Thank you for all of our members who shared different options available for reducing scars that skin cancer treatments may leave us with. Share any other remedies we've missed below!
Do you sunscreen in the fall?