Are you looking for an honest Mederma Advanced Scar Gel review?
Mederma is one of the most popular scar gels, but does it actually work? (hint: it’s controversial)
I know what it’s like to live with embarrassing scars and I’d like to help you avoid the same experience!
In this post, we’ll examine the medical research behind Mederma to see if it lives up to its claims.
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel Review
- Limited clinical research
- Side effects include irritation, itchiness, and skin redness
- Results require patience
Mederma is one of the most popular over-the-counter scar treatments. According to Pharmacy Times, it’s been the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for 15 years!
The main ingredient in Mederma is Cepalin (onion extract).
Clinical research on onion extract is promising but somewhat mixed. How this ingredient actually works on scars is not yet fully understood.
With over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, there’s no doubt that Mederma has helped many people with their scars and quality of life.
Overall, the Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is an affordable and effective product for all types of scars.
You can buy Mederma at most pharmacies and retailers, including Wal-Mart and Amazon.
What is Mederma?
Mederma is one of the most popular over-the-counter scar treatments with over 2,000 reviews on Amazon.
It’s designed for all types of scars, including scars from surgery, burns, acne, trauma, injury, and more.
Mederma is manufactured by Merz Pharma, a pharmaceutical company based in Germany.
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is available at many pharmacies and retailers, including Wal-Mart and Amazon.
What Makes Mederma Different?
Mederma has a number of unique features:
- It’s been the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for over 15 years
- The active ingredient is Cepalin (onion extract)
- It’s more affordable than alternative treatments
- It only requires 1x daily application (but we recommend 2x per day)
#1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand
According to Pharmacy Times, Mederma has been the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for scar treatment for 15 years!
Pharmacy Times conducts a national survey every year of over 3,000 pharmacists to determine the top recommended brands.
Cepalin (Onion Extract)
The active ingredient in Mederma is Cepalin (allium cepa or onion extract).
Cepalin may help reduce inflammation and soften scar tissue. This can improve the size, texture, and color of your scars.
For more details, check out our ingredient analysis.
Mederma is usually more affordable than alternative treatments like silicone gels, silicone sheets, corticosteroid injections, and laser therapy.
1x Daily Application
Mederma is more convenient than competitors as it only requires 1x daily application.
However, we’d recommend using Mederma 2x a day because:
- Many customers achieved positive results by using the product 2-3x a day
- The gel dries up over time – applying it twice a day ensures continuous coverage
Who Should Use Mederma?
Mederma can be used on all types of scars, including:
- Post-surgical scars
- Burn marks
- Acne scars
- Keloid scars
- Hypertrophic scars (often develop following burns)
- Scars from trauma or injury
- Scars from bruises, cuts, or scrapes
Please Note: Mederma should not be used on open wounds! For most injuries, you can use Mederma after the scab has fallen off. For surgical scars, you must wait until the stitches or staples are removed.
How Does Mederma Work?
Now that you know how scars form, let’s discuss how Mederma works.
According to Merz Pharma, Cepalin (onion extract) helps reduce inflammation and swelling. This relieves persistent inflammation and may improve scar redness.
Cepalin is also supposed to calm down collagen production. This makes scars smoother and may also decrease the height of raised scars.
In addition, Mederma contains hydrating ingredients like allantoin, panthenol, and sodium hyaluronate. These help the skin retain more moisture to make scars look and feel softer.
In the next section, we’ll take a deeper look at the active ingredients in Mederma.
The key ingredients in Mederma include:
- Cepalin (Onion Extract)
- Sodium Hyaluronate
You can find the full ingredient list here.
We’ve analyzed the effectiveness of each ingredient for treating scars.
1. Cepalin (Onion Extract)
Allium cepa or onion extract has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It contains plant flavonoids, such as quercetin and kaempferol, that may play a role in preventing and treating scars.
The underlying mechanism is still not fully understood.
Remember, one of the root causes of scarring is excessive collagen synthesis. By reducing collagen production, onion extract helps prevent new scars and softens existing scars.
Researchers also found that onion extract increases matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression. MMP-1 is an enzyme that breaks down extracellular matrix and collagen during normal wound healing.
Abnormal wound healing (i.e. scars) seem to have lower than normal levels of MMP-1. By boosting the levels of this enzyme, onion extract helps prevent scar overgrowth and encourages more normal wound healing.
Clinical studies with human volunteers have been somewhat mixed.
Early studies found no significant difference between onion extract and good ol’ fashioned Vaseline. Other studies found that onion extract was effective for scars created by laser removal. A third study suggested onion extract was superior to a single corticosteroid injection.
But these early studies all focused on an older formula.
In 2012, Merz created the Mederma Advanced Scar Gel using a higher concentration of onion extract.
This was supported by the findings of Draelos et al. in a study funded by Merz (the authors were also paid consultants for the company).
You can probably guess what that study said…
It showed the new Mederma gel was significantly better at treating new scars after 8 weeks of 1x daily application.
However, there’s an obvious flaw in this study. Mederma was compared to a control group that did nothing but let the scar heal on its own.
In independent studies, the control group used an alternative product such as Vaseline, corticosteroid injections, or silicone gels.
Saying that Mederma works better than doing nothing isn’t particularly convincing, in my books.
Overall, onion extract is promising but more studies are required to confirm its effectiveness for scar treatment.
Mederma also contains allantoin. This natural ingredient is found in plants such as comfrey, salsify, maple, and wheat germ.
Allantoin promotes the healing process, reduces itching, and softens the scar tissue.
It’s also an excellent hydrator and helps the skin retain water. This makes the scar look and feel softer and smoother.
Panthenol is a common ingredient in skincare products. It’s a chemical derivative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).
Panthenol aids wound healing and improves skin hydration and elasticity. It can also alleviate redness, inflammation, and irritation.
4. Sodium Hyaluronate
This is another great ingredient for wound healing and hydration.
Sodium hyaluronate is a salt derivative of hyaluronic acid, a common substance in our skin. It can hold up to 1000x times its weight in water!
Sodium hyaluronate improves hydration by attracting and retaining water in the deeper levels of the skin.
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel Reviews
Review by Astrea W.
"Works but takes time!"
"Improved my surgery scars"
Mederma Before and After Photos
Here are a few before and after photos that customers have posted:
How to Use Mederma
I recommend applying a thin layer twice a day and staying as consistent as you can with it.
For some people, that could mean waiting up to 6 months or more before seeing any results. Keep a record of before and after photos to monitor your progress.
If you can’t wait that long, you may want to consider corticosteroid injections, a well-established method of flattening keloid and hypertrophic scars.
Make sure to use adequate sunscreen and sun protection during the day. Scars can be easily damaged and discolored by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Mederma Side Effects
Side effects of Mederma may include:
- Increased sensitivity
- Allergies or skin rash
Most people should not experience any side effects. However, some people may have allergies or skin reactions to the ingredients. Stop immediately and discontinue if this happens. You can contact the manufacturer for a full refund using this form.
Make sure to test for skin reactions by doing a patch test on your arm before using it on your face.
There are also a few questionable ingredients in Mederma, including:
Where to Buy Mederma
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Mederma make my scar disappear?
Unfortunately, scars never truly “disappear” – it will always be slightly different in texture or color from the surrounding skin. But Mederma can help soften the scar texture and reduce discoloration to make the scar less noticeable.
How long before I see any results?
According to the company, it may take up to 8 weeks to see results for new scars and 3-6 months for old scars.
When can I start using Mederma on my scar?
You should only use Mederma on closed wounds. That means the scab has fallen off or the stitches have been removed.
Is there a money back guarantee?
Yes, Mederma offers a money back guarantee with no time limit. According to the company, if you’re not happy with your results after 8 weeks for new scars or 3-6 months for old scars, you can request a refund using this form or by calling 1-888-925-8989.
I hope you enjoyed our review of Mederma Advanced Scar Gel.
While the clinical evidence is somewhat mixed, Mederma has helped thousands of happy customers with their scars (over 2,000 reviews on Amazon).
It’s an affordable and effective product that you can find almost everywhere.
Remember, nothing can replace patience and consistency! Scar gels must be used twice a day for several months before you see any dramatic improvements.