Do gels and topical treatmeant really help scars fade, if so how long will they work, or will the work on old scars?

Improve. You cannot erase scars. Poor scars can be improved through the following methods: 1) scar massage 2) silicone sheeting (a kind of silicone tape you where over the scar) 3) steroid injections 4) laser treatment (helps remove coloring) 5) scar revision (removing the scar and starting over).
Please see. Please see your dermatologist for evaluation and to discuss treatment options. This will give you the best treatment.