Q: Can topical vitamin E help heal wounds and prevent scarring—or is that a myth?
A: Though it’s a popular home remedy, there’s little scientific evidence that vitamin E, applied to the skin, has such benefits. In fact, it may do more harm than good. In a small study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, people who had skin cancer surgery applied a regular moisturizer to one part of their wound and a moisturizer with vitamin E to another part of their wound, twice a day for four weeks. There was no cosmetic advantage to using the vitamin E—and often it caused irritation, redness and rashes and worsened the appearance of the scar.
A few other studies similarly found that vitamin E did not help but was related to a high incidence of skin reactions. There’s also concern it might even interfere with early wound healing by inhibiting collagen synthesis.