Does Petroleum Jelly Help Fade Scars?

Does Petroleum Jelly Help Fade Scars?

First discovered about two hundred years ago, petroleum jelly has been widely used as an ointment for only about half that time. It was first used as a treatment for skin injuries, although it has since been used for a wide range of skin problems. Petroleum jelly is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons. It is flammable and has a melting point of around 37 degrees Celsius. It is translucent and pale yellow. It generally does not have any taste or smell. It is also hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water, and it is not soluble in water.

Petroleum jelly has been used widely in the field of medicine for the purpose of attempting to heal scars. It does appear to have some beneficial healing properties. For example, it prevents other fluids or contaminants from entering a wound, so it protects the wound from bacteria and infection. This is one way it can help prevent severe scarring, as infection can result in worse scars. Additionally, by keeping the wound moist, it inhibits the formation of thick scabs, which is good because scabs delay the healing process.

However, it is important to realize that the healing benefits of petroleum jelly are only effective on fresh wounds and cuts, and it has no effect on older scars. While it may work to minimize scarring in the first place, it will not reduce, improve, or minimize the appearance of old scars.

Petroleum jelly is thought to be beneficial in many types of applications. For example, it can soothe chapped lips, soften dry skin, and protect the skin from hair dyes or other chemicals. It can also be gently massaged into the feet before going to bed to get rid of cracks and tough, dry skin.

Unfortunately, in spite of its many potential benefits, scar healing does not appear to be among them. Any perceived benefit gained from using petroleum jelly on an older scar is likely just the temporary effect of keeping the scar moisturized. Even in the case of fresh cuts or wounds, its abilities are limited, as it cannot be used on deep or severe wounds. If you are unsure about whether petroleum jelly is safe to use on a cut or other skin injury, ask your doctor.

As far as healing an older scar is concerned, a product with more than just moisturizing properties is required. Moisture is an important component of scar healing, but so are collagen regulation, oxygen circulation, and optimal nutrition – and clearly, petroleum jelly provides none of these. A better choice is a product that contains a mixture of ingredients known to bring about significant improvement in the appearance and texture of scars, such as dimethicone silicone, licorice, and certain vitamins. A healthy diet and regular exercise also go a long way toward healing scars.

Moisture alone cannot heal scars the way many other proven ingredients and methods can, so if you are serious about improving your scars, your best bet is a product designed to do just that.

Do you have a question about your scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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  1. The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
  2. Susan Ryan says:

    What works best on old scars

  3. park soo gi says:

    Does it heal the new scars ?

  4. Janille Necesario says:

    Is be working i your scars?

  5. Dimpz :') says:

    Hello. What is the best product to remove your old scarsc? ( scars for 14 yr old already )

  6. Ansari sarah says:

    Hey, there is a scab/scar on my cheeks due to scratching by nails. how to get rid of this ASAP

  7. How can i remove my chicken pox scars? and get back to my flawless skin ?

  8. Petroleum Jelly fades the scars but it doesn’t clean off the scars completely. Correct me, if I am wrong. Even I wrote an article on How to get rid of scars, but never across this. I am gonna try your suggestion and would like your views on my suggestions too.

    • Hi Rekha, petroleum jelly doesn’t contain anything that would fade a scar. It only seals the skin to retain moisture. Moisture may improve the appearance if your skin is dry, but it won’t fade the hyperpigmentation.

  9. So if I put Vaseline one my scar well it go away or no .

  10. I have a Hickey bite and I wanna know does petroleum jelly get rid of it .. BC I been using it for at least 3 days and now my skin is flaking .. Idek if it’s helping make new skin or what

    • Hi Marianna, a hickey bite is not considered a dark spot, as it is bruising of the skin. The blood has to reabsorb into the skin in order for it to go away. The best you can do is to try to wear a skin concealer over it like Dermablend.

  11. I have a black scar round my eyes and and I was caused by my previous cream so I stop using the cream but the scar hasn’t gone I have been using petroleum jelly buh is not working on it pls I need a cream that will clear it pls help is urgent pls

    • Hi Ella, sorry to hear that. Petroleum jelly doesn’t get rid of scars and definitely should not be used around the eyes as it is heavy and the tissue surrounding the eyes is very delicate. It’s best to use a stable form of Vitamin C to fade the discoloration, as well as sunscreen to prevent the scar from re-darkening.

  12. Does Vaseline help in lightening dark corners of the lips. Please let me know, coz it looks very bad😩

  13. What is good to use on a 6 month old scar from heart bypass surgery?

  14. Damayathi says:

    I have blackspot on my face. Is it petroleum jelly will get rid of my face blackspot?


    Whice vaseline best for fade plastic surgery red and hard scar ? My doctor prescribe vaseline

  16. Can vaseline prevent scarring in small cuts if it’s been scabbed over and will it help in any way with very fresh scars?

  17. My son is 16 months and suffered second degree burn on the face. ( tea poured on his face) i hav been using vaselin bt i hav leant that it does not help, as he is stil young, cant the face heal naturally?

    • Hi Sonto, sorry to hear this about your little one. Petroleum jelly won’t help the scarring. Did you have his pediatrician take a look? There may be a cream you can apply for someone under age 2.

  18. TinuadE Adetona says:

    I used one cream over 9yrs ago, and it gave me hyper pigmentation all around my Face. I have been using different things on it, Aloe Vera, tumeric and honey including palm oil and I also used some tube cream on it but the thing is just getting much. Please help me.

  19. Wat then can b used to clear scars completly if nt petroleum jelly

  20. Cristine mae panizales says:

    Does petroleum can remove pekas in my face?

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