Ask the Doctor: Are there natural ways to fade a scar?

Fade scars naturally?

The Question: My child fell at the playground and cut her arm, and she will most likely have a scar. Are there any natural ways to fade or shrink it?

Answer: For as long as there have been scars, there have been folk remedies suggested to heal them. Truthfully, though, there are very few studies that support most natural treatments. One option that does have scientific evidence behind it: daily application of a small amount of vitamin E, which moisturizes and acts as an anti-inflammatory, for one month after the injury. To apply, puncture a vitamin E capsule and dab the oil on the scar. One capsule’s worth should cover a small area. You can also try combining topical vitamin E with a small amount of topical coconut oil. This improves vitamin E absorption and also adds coconut oil’s soothing effect on the skin. Also important: applying sunblock to her scar to limit the sun damage that may impair natural healing.

Lawrence D. Rosen, M.D. is the founder of The Whole Child Center in Oradell, New Jersey, and the coauthor of Treatment Alternatives for Children.