How to keep scratches from scarring

Updated February 21, 2017

Knowing how to prevent scars can keep your skin looking clear and feeling smooth. Scratches or cuts---even the smallest or least noticeable of wounds---can leave a permanent mark, especially if you have sensitive or fair skin. The likelihood of scarring is greater if the cut is deep, but prevention is simple, and just a few minutes of daily care can make all the difference during the healing process.

Apply antibacterial ointment to the scratch and keep it covered with a small bandage for seven days. Change the bandage daily, and wash the area with soap and water each time.

Replace the ointment with petroleum jelly after a week, and keep a bandage over the scratch until the skin is closed. Depending on the severity of the cut, this could take another week.

Switch out bandages and ointments for silicone sheets or patches. The patches can prevent the formation of a scar now that the skin has healed. Use patches as directed, as each brand can vary. Your local drugstore should have a few brands in stock.

Gently rub aloe vera over the affected area in slow circles at least three times a day. This will prevent scar tissue from forming under the skin. Replace the silicone patches each time you apply aloe vera.

Keep the affected area covered from sunlight, as it can hinder healing deep beneath the skin's surface. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 over the area prior to sun exposure. Do this for at least one month.


If you scar easily, make an appointment with a dermatologist who can help you determine the best option.


If your scratch bleeds profusely, is extremely painful or seems red, heated or swollen, see your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of infection.

Things You'll Need

  • Small bandages
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Silicone patches
  • Aloe vera
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About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.