Scar Tissue

Scar Tissue

Related Terms

Keloid Scars

Scar tissue forms over a wound as it heals. They may cause pain when touched or pressed but are not often a cause for concern.

Oils, gels, and creams have been used to make them harder to see. Natural therapies have also been used to do this.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

These herbs and supplements may help make scars harder to see:

  • Onion extract can be massaged into scar tissue with silicone gel.A2
  • Plant oils like olive oil and safflower oil can be massaged into the skin.A3
  • Silicone is a nutrient that can be applied as a gel or cream.A2, A4
  • St. John’s Wort is a plant with bright yellow flowers. It can be applied to the skin as an oil.A1

These therapies have also been used:

  • Massage therapy may improve scarring and ease pain.B1-B3
  • Pressure therapy may improve scarring when used with silicone gel.C1, C2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


Herbs and Supplements

A1. Samadi S, Khadivzadeh T, et al. The effect of Hypericum perforatum on the wound healing and scar of cesarean. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16(1):113-117.

A2. Jenwitheesuk K, Surakunprapha P, et al. Role of silicone derivative plus onion extract gel in presternal hypertrophic scar protection: a prospective randomized, double blinded, controlled trial. Int Wound J. 2012;9(4):397-402.

A3. Bielfeldt S, Blaak J, et al. Observer-blind randomized controlled study of a cosmetic bled on safflower, olive and other plant oils in the improvement of scar and striae appearance. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2018;40(1):81-86.

A4. Kalasho BD, Kikuchi R, et al. Silicone-Based Scar Cream for Post Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty-associated Cicatricial and Hypertrophic scarring. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(5):440-446.

Massage Therapy

B1. Cho YS, Jeon JH, et al. The effect of burn rehabilitation message therapy on hypertrophic scar after burn: a randomized controlled trial. Burns. 2014;40(8):1513-1520.

B2. Ault P, Plaza A, et al. Scar massage for hypertrophic burns scarring-A systematic review. Burns. 2018 Feb;44(1):24-38.

B3. Anthonissen M, Daly D, et al. The effects of conservative treatments on burn scars: A systematic review. Burns. 2016 May;42(3):508-518.

Pressure Therapy

C1. Li-Tsang CW, Zheng YP, et al. A randomized clinical trial to study the effect of silicone gel dressing and pressure therapy on posttraumatic hypertrophic scars. J Burn Care Res. 2010;31(3):448-457.

C2. Anthonissen M, Daly D, et al. The effects of conservative treatments on burn scars: A systematic review. Burns. 2016 May;42(3):508-518.

Other Therapies

D1. Fang QQ, Chen CY, et al. The Effectiveness of Topical Anti-scarring Agents and a Novel Combined Process on Cutaneous Scar Management. Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(15):2268-2275.

D2. Del Toro D, Dedhia R, et al. Advances in scar management: prevention and management of hypertrophic scars and keloids. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Aug;24(4):322-329.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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