Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel Review 2019 | Better Than Mederma?

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Dr Sheffield's Scar Gel Review

If you’re looking for a Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel review, you’re in the right place!

Essentially, Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel is a cheaper version of Mederma. Both products include the key ingredient onion extract.

But in terms of scar treatment, clinical studies on onion extract are still inconclusive. (1)

I’ve used Mederma before with good results (see my full review here) but quite frankly I’d recommend that you buy a good quality silicone gel instead.

That’s because silicone is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of scars from surgery (including C-section), accidents, cuts & scrapes, burns, and even acne. (1)

My top recommendation for a silicone gel is NewGel+ (I use it myself). It’s an excellent scar gel with 100% silicone and vitamin E that balances effectiveness and affordability.

Keep reading for my full review of Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel!

Dr. Sheffield's Scar Gel Review

A cheap onion extract gel for mild scars (comparable to Mederma).


  • Reduces scar height & size
  • Restores normal skin color
  • Good reviews
  • Super affordable


  • Results require patience
  • Mixed clinical research

To Keep A Long Story Short...

Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel is a value brand scar product manufactured by Sheffield Pharmaceuticals for retailers and pharmacies.

But don’t let that fool you! This company actually produces many quality skincare products for a fraction of big brand names, including the popular Dr. Sheffield’s Clear Zit Cream (2% Salicylic Acid).

Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel is a very close duplicate of Mederma Advanced Scar Gel, which features the key ingredient onion extract.

Clinical research into onion extract is not yet conclusive, which is why I recommend using silicone gels or sheets instead.

Silicone is clinically proven and recommended by the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management for hypertrophic scars and keloids.

My top pick for a silicone gel is NewGel+ (I use it myself).

On the other hand, onion extract gels like Mederma and Dr. Sheffield’s are cheaper because they don’t use expensive medical grade silicone.

In fact, Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel is super cheap (~$5 per oz) compared to Mederma (~$16 per oz) and NewGel+ (~$40 per oz).

So if you want a cheaper alternative to Mederma with similar ingredients, Dr. Sheffield’s is a great option. But if you want the best results for your scars, I recommend using a silicone gel like NewGel+.

What is Dr. Sheffield's Scar Gel?

Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel is an onion extract gel that works on hypertrophic scars, keloids, surgical scars (such as C-section), and scars from trauma, burns, or injuries.

It’s manufactured by Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, a US company that’s been running since 1850.

This company actually produces many quality skincare products for a fraction of big brand names, including the popular Dr. Sheffield’s Clear Zit Cream (2% Salicylic Acid).

Key Features

  • Onion extract (same as Mederma)
  • Aloe vera (hydration)
  • Allantoin (hydration)
  • Comes in 1.0 oz tube
  • Twice daily application

Key Benefits

  • Flattens raised scars
  • Reduces skin discoloration
  • Helps prevent scars after surgery
  • Thin, lightweight, easy to apply
  • Super affordable

Suitable For

  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Keloids (including on the chest or earlobes)
  • Surgical scars (including C-section)
  • Scars from trauma, burns, or injuries
  • Scars on the face, hands, and other visible areas

How Does Dr. Sheffield's Work?

Onion Extract

Onion extract (allium cepa) has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies show that onion extract can inhibit fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen). This softens raised scars like hypertrophic scars and keloids and may reduce skin discoloration. (2)  

Onion extract also contains quercetin, a plant flavonoid that inhibits collagen production. (3)

The clinical evidence, however, is not yet conclusive:

  • One study reported no difference between onion extract and Vaseline (4)
  • Other studies reported positive results with onion extract (5, 6, 7)
  • One of these studies was funded by Merz (manufacturer of Mederma) (7)


Allantoin is a natural ingredient found in plants like comfrey, salsify, maple, and wheat germ. 

It promotes the healing process, reduces itching, and softens the scar tissue. 

It’s also an excellent hydrator that helps retain water. This makes the scar look and feel softer.

Dr. Sheffield's Scar Gel Reviews

Among the positive reviews, people claimed Dr. Sheffield’s reduced the appearance of their scars, including scar size, scar height, and skin redness.

Among the negative reviews, people noted that Dr. Sheffield’s didn’t provide any benefits.

I find that most people don’t use silicone gels long enough to see the desired results. In my experience, it takes between 3-6 months before you’ll notice any significant improvements. 

As with all skincare products, your mileage may vary (YMMV).

"Does As Advertised."

I am speaking from using this on my face. I think it works, although I sometime have to take breaks from using it, because my skin starts to peel off when I use it for a long time, and often. I would also not advise anyone to use it during the day, or when they are out, as it has a white film. I did see a slight reduction in the visibility of my scars. My scars are very old, so I wasn't expecting much, but it does do well for the price. Just be careful about the dryness and visibility. If you use it during the day, people will ask what is on your face. Not a good look.

Lizzy O

"Just as good as anything else."

How can you not give them a try, with the value?! Honestly, I've become something of a scar cream junkie for two reasons: acne scars on my face, and ingrown hair marks and scarring from a bad wax! I've never been one to have extreme acne but I've had my bad breakouts and you'd be surprised, over the years, how many imperfections on your skin are NOT active zits and can be slowly vanished! The overall condition of my face is much improved. I recommend incorporating it into your regular skin care routine once or twice a day after your regular face lotion (it's gentle so it shouldn't interact with anything--however I use cetaphil/cerave mostly which are non-comodogenic). As far as the ingrown hair scars, they are slowly but surely shrinking and lightening....it's gonna take some more time! This stuff works just as well as any other scar product I've used, and if you compare the ingredients to any other more expensive scar cream, you'll find they're the same! I still, however, use Mederma PM Intensive just to seal the deal, and speed the healing. It's much more expensive though, so the once nightly use (in very small amounts!) is enough for me.


The Bottom-Line

Dr. Sheffield’s Scar Gel is a much cheaper version of Mederma.

It helps flatten old scars and prevent new scars from forming.

Due to the mixed clinical research on onion extract, however, I currently recommend using silicone gels or sheets for scar treatment. 

My top pick for a silicone gel is NewGel+ (I use it myself). It’s an excellent scar gel with 100% silicone and vitamin E that balances effectiveness and affordability.

For large body scars, I recommend a silicone sheet like ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets.


  1. Gold MH, et al. International Advisory Panel on Scar Management. “Updated international clinical recommendations on scar management: part 2–algorithms for scar prevention and treatment.” Dermatological Surgery vol. 40,8 (2014): 825-31.
  2. Cho JW, et al. “Onion extract and quercetin induce matrix metalloproteinase-1 in vitro and in vivo.” International Journal of Molecular Medicine vol. 25,3 (2010): 347-52.
  3. Phan TT, et al. “Quercetin inhibits fibronectin production by keloid-derived fibroblasts. Implication for the treatment of excessive scars.” Journal of Dermatological Science vol. 33 (2003): 192–4
  4. Chung VQ, et al. “Onion extract gel versus petrolatum emollient on new surgical scars: prospective double-blinded study.” Dermatological Surgery vol. 32,2 (2006): 193-7.
  5. Ho WS, et al. “Use of onion extract, heparin, allantoin gel in prevention of scarring in chinese patients having laser removal of tattoos: a prospective randomized controlled trial.” Dermatological Surgery vol. 32,7 (2006): 891-6.
  6. Beuth J, et al. “Safety and efficacy of local administration of contractubex to hypertrophic scars in comparison to corticosteroid treatment. Results of a multicenter, comparative epidemiological cohort study in Germany.” In Vivo vol. 20,2 (2006): 277-83.
  7. Draelos, Zoe D et al. “A new proprietary onion extract gel improves the appearance of new scars: a randomized, controlled, blinded-investigator study.” The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology vol. 5,6 (2012): 18-24.
  8. Gauglitz, Gerd G et al. “Hypertrophic scarring and keloids: pathomechanisms and current and emerging treatment strategies.” Molecular Medicine (Cambridge, Mass.) vol. 17,1-2 (2010): 113-25
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Tom Qiao

I solve skin mysteries using simple science to provide you the best skincare advice!

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