Scar Treatment

How long do scars take to fade?

3 min read

Many of us have scars. Whether they’re from childhood accidents, surgery or illness, some scars will fade over time but it’s unlikely they’ll completely disappear by themselves. If you’re looking to reduce their appearance, you’ll need to look into scar treatment.

  • Keloids and sunken acne scars are least likely to fade [1].
  • If left untreated, sunken acne scars may become more noticeable as your skin loses elasticity with age.
  • With scarring, prevention is better than the cure. Care for your wounds to help prevent scarring.

In this article:

  • How long does it take for untreated scars to fade?
  • How long does it take for scar treatment to make scars fade?
  • Factors in time it takes for scars to fade


How long does it take for untreated scars to fade?

Depending on the scar type, scars can take up to two years to fade naturally[2]. After the two-year mark, it’s unlikely your scar will fade anymore [2].

Scarring is a natural part of the healing process following tissue damage[2]. Most wounds cause the skin tissue to break, releasing collagen[2].

Collagen is a protein that is often associated with fuller, younger-looking skin. When your skin tissue breaks, collagen builds up in the area to heal and strengthen the wound[2]. This continues for several months, causing a raised or lumpy scar[2].

Many scars often start to look worse before they get better[3]. For about six weeks, you’ll notice the skin around your scar become very tight, hard and red as your body forms a strong scar[3]. Over the next four months, your scar should become smoother, softer and flatter[3].

How long does it take for scar treatment to make scars fade?

With certain scar treatments, you can start to see results after just 2 weeks. While most scars should fade over time, there are many ways you can help speed up their fading and potentially make them fade more than they would naturally.

Silicone gels

Silicone gels hydrate your skin while letting it breathe so that your scars can soften and start to heal[4]. Repeated applications will be needed to see a difference.


Fillers, like Botox or similar injections, can smooth and plump up your skin, reducing the appearance of your scars[4]. You should notice a difference in a few weeks.

Scar creams

Specialist scar creams can penetrate beneath the skin’s surface to visibly improve scar appearance providing moisture, to help cell renewal and encouraging collagen formation.

Mederma® Advanced Plus Scar Gel

  • Unique triple benefit formula
  • Renews cells and aid formation of collagen
  • Use just once a day

Buy today

Laser therapy

Laser or light therapy may reduce the redness in your scar by targeting the blood vessels in the excess scar tissue[5]. It can also help resurface your skin, making pitted scars appear flatter[5]. You might need a few treatments before you notice a significant difference.


Skin needling involves rolling a small device covered in hundreds of tiny needles across the skin[5]. It can help resurface the skin to make your scars less visible[5]. Results do vary depending on your skin and scar types, so you may need a few treatments to see visible results.

For more detailed information on scar treatments, visit our Scar Treatments page.

*IRI data 2021

Factors in time it takes for scars to fade

Many factors can slow down the healing of your scars. These include[6]:

  • Your age – Older skin is often more lax than younger skin, so scars often settle much quicker.
  • Skin condition – Moisturized, well cared for skin will often heal faster and better.
  • Sun exposure – Any excess sun exposure isn’t great for your skin – but it can be especially damaging for scarred skin.
  • The severity of the scar – Larger, deeper scars will often take longer to fade.
  • Type of scar – Keloids and pitted scars often take longer to fade and may not fade at all.


The length of time scars take to heal and fade depends on a lot of factors from the type of scar to your own skin condition and age. Treatments like scar creams can help to speed up the natural scar healing process but some scars may not completely fade or disappear at all, while others might need the help of a healthcare professional.


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