Vitamin e scar healing - is this a myth and does vitamin e fade scars?
Vitamin e, like many other vitamins, plays an important role in healthy skin care and the overall good health of individuals. Certain vitamins also possess special properties. One of the often mentioned special properties of vitamin e is its ability to heal scars or fade scars. Vitamin e has been proven to possess the ability to penetrate skin layers and reduce the formation of harmful free radicals that age skin and interfere with the healing process. Vitamin e also influences collagen production in the skin which plays a role in skin elasticity.
With the above stated vitamin e properties in mind, there has been a long standing discussion about the benefits of vitamin e for the healing of scars and vitamin e for scar fading. Vitamin e oil, lotions, ointments, and creams have been used for many decades by individuals in order to try and fade scars or promote scar healing. In fact, even physicians have prescribed vitamin e containing products after skin surgery. But the questions remain, does vitamin e fade scars and is vitamin e scar healing a myth?
There is little supporting evidence for either side of the vitamin e for scars argument. Many years of anecdotal reports of use and benefits exist, but few controlled and detailed scientific studies to support the stated benefits for skin scars have been performed. Where scientific studies do exist, they support the view that vitamin e does not fade scars and vitamin e scar healing is insignificant.
One study in 1986 used vitamin e cream after reconstructive surgery for burns. When compared with individuals who were only given a cream with no vitamin e there was no difference in the appearance or healing of the scarring. Another study in 1999 looked at a vitamin e cream versus the same cream without vitamin e being applied to a scar after minor skin surgery. In most cases, the scar was no better with the use of vitamin e and in fact the scar was worse for many of the test subjects. For some individuals, a vitamin e skin rash developed due to the frequent use of vitamin e.
Basically, to resolve whether vitamin e for scars is beneficial or not, more research is required. Dosage or strength of the vitamin e product, when after the scar is formed should the cream or lotion be applied, type of scar or wound, and age of the individual, are just some of the variables to focus on in future medical and scientific studies. Only then can the anecdotal reports be validated and the truth be learned about scar healing with vitamin e.
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