What Works Best for Lightening Scars?

Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Scars can be an unsightly annoyance, but they don't have to stay that way. There are plenty of products that work to lighten scars. Instead of wasting time trying tons of products and techniques, skip the guess work and use tried-and-true methods to clear up your skin.


Hydroquinone -- a dermatological go-to -- blocks melanin production to help clear scars more quickly. Use of the product over time may cause discoloration, stinging and skin dryness, so it's best to consult with your dermatologist before use. Hydroquinone can be purchased over the counter or prescribed by your doctor. If you decide to use hydroquinone, apply it exactly as directed.

Glycolic Peels

Visit your doctor for a twice monthly glycolic peel. Glycolic peels use alpha-hydroxy acid to remove thin layers of skin and fade dark marks over time. Glycolic peels are also beneficial for people with dry skin, acne and wrinkles. If you can't afford treatments from a doctor, purchase an at-home glycolic peel at your local drugstore or beauty counter.

Laser Treatments

If you're looking for a quicker fix, ask your doctor about laser treatments. Laser treatments can help clear up scarring in one to three sessions. While laser treatments can be highly effective, they don't work for everyone. If your scars are a result of melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, laser treatments aren't for you -- they can actually make these scars worse, so exercise caution.

Natural Options

Not everyone is up for doctor visits and expensive treatments. For those looking for a simpler solution, many natural ingredients have been proven very effective at lightening scars. Head to a drugstore to snag products containing vitamin C, soy, kojic acid and mulberry. Vitamin C is a natural bleaching agent so you can squeeze some lemon juice onto a cotton ball and apply it to your skin for 15 minutes.