Does Vitamin E Get Rid of Scars
Depending on which article you read, you will get different opinions on whether or not vitamin E gets rid of scars. Even experts like doctors and researchers disagree. But there are plenty of claims from alternative medicine practitioners and ordinary people who believe that topical use of vitamin E improved the appearance of their scars and in some cases even removed them. As an antioxidant, the vitamin removes free radicals and stops the oxidation of tissues which results in damaged skin. But there is no research that proves vitamin E helps to heal scars.
Scar Tissue and Vitamin E
Scar tissue forms over a wound as part of the body’s healing process. The wide range of scars is determined by the amount of collagen at the wound site. Collagen is a protein used to manufacture connective tissue. This tissue is responsible for binding various tissues together such as muscles being attached to the skin. Collagen has fibers or strands that interlock to form scar tissue. The levels of collagen create the type of scars. A raised, irregularly shaped scar like a keloid means that too much collagen was available. An ice-pick scar or a pockmark means there was too little collagen at the wound site.
There are different types and sizes of scars because people heal differently. Some people are far more susceptible to scarring than others. One plastic surgeon is Dr. Joel Studin who always recommends Vitamin E oil to his patients after surgery because he believes that the vitamin breaks down the collagen fibers that interconnect to form the skin and scar tissue. The vitamin reduces the strength of the fibers and this makes it easier for scars to fade away or disappear entirely.
A study at the University of Miami concluded that vitamin E has no effect on scarring. In the study, researchers asked 15 test subjects to use two creams on two separate scars. A moisturizer was used on one scar. On the second scar the same moisturizer with vitamin E oil added was used. The creams were applied twice a day for 4 weeks. At the end of a 12-week period, the researchers and test subjects felt that in 90 percent of the cases there was either no improvement or the scar looked worse. The results were the same for the scars treated with the moisturizer and the mixture. Also, 33 percent of the test subjects developed an allergic reaction to the vitamin E oil.
Vitamin E Oil Sources
While vitamin E can be taken internally, applying it to the skin is the usual method in scar healing. Vitamin E oil is available in its natural state and in a synthetic form. This is true of supplements like capsules and liquids as well as the oil. The National Institute of Health says that natural vitamin E is twice as active as the synthetic version. Health food stores sell capsules which can be broken open and applied to the skin. Vitamin E oil in bottles is also available and is more convenient. Vitamin E oil is an inexpensive home remedy so it is worth a try to see if it can get rid of scars.
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