Mederma vs Mederma PM 2019 | What’s Better for Scars?

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Mederma vs Mederma PM

Are you wondering about the differences between Mederma and Mederma PM?

Lucky for you, I’ve put together a full comparison of Mederma vs Mederma PM.

Both products feature the key ingredient, Cepalin (onion extract), for scar treatment.

On the one hand, Mederma PM is a night-time scar cream with onion extract. It includes additional skin repairing ingredients like copper peptides, vitamin E, and hydrolyzed collagen. 

On the other hand, Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is an affordable scar gel with onion extract. It’s lightweight, fast drying, and suitable for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin.

So you’re probably wondering, “Which one is better?”

Well…

The short version is: neither.

You see, onion extract gels and creams like Mederma and Mederma PM are promising, but not yet fully supported by the medical community for scar treatment. (1)

That’s why I prefer silicone gels instead as silicone is clinically proven and recommended by most dermatologists and plastic surgeons for scar management.

My top pick for a silicone gel is NewGel+ (I use it myself). It’s effective, easy to apply, and comes at a reasonable price.

Next, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between Mederma and Mederma PM.

Related:

Mederma vs Mederma PM

Preview
Repairs Scars Overnight
Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream - Works with Skin's Nighttime Regenerative Activity - Once-Nightly Application is Clinically Shown to Make Scars Smaller & Less Visible - 1 Ounce
Best Value for Money
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel - 1x Daily - Reduces The Appearance of Old & New Scars - #1 Doctor & Pharmacist Recommended Brand for Scars - 1.76oz.
Best Overall Results
NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars, 1 Ounce
Product Name
Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel
NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars
Product Size
28 g
50 g
30 g
Recommended for Scars?
Active Ingredients
Cepalin® (Onion Extract Gel), Tripeptol (Copper Peptides, Vitamin E, Hydrolyzed Collagen)
Cepalin® (Onion Extract Gel), Panthenol, Allantoin
Polysiloxanes (Silicone Gel), Vitamin E
Application Frequency
1x Daily
1x Daily
2x Daily
Customer Rating
Prime Eligibility
Price
$23.58
$28.80
$54.00
Repairs Scars Overnight
Preview
Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream - Works with Skin's Nighttime Regenerative Activity - Once-Nightly Application is Clinically Shown to Make Scars Smaller & Less Visible - 1 Ounce
Product Name
Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream
Product Size
28 g
Recommended for Scars?
Active Ingredients
Cepalin® (Onion Extract Gel), Tripeptol (Copper Peptides, Vitamin E, Hydrolyzed Collagen)
Application Frequency
1x Daily
Customer Rating
Prime Eligibility
Price
$23.58
More Information
Best Value for Money
Preview
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel - 1x Daily - Reduces The Appearance of Old & New Scars - #1 Doctor & Pharmacist Recommended Brand for Scars - 1.76oz.
Product Name
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel
Product Size
50 g
Recommended for Scars?
Active Ingredients
Cepalin® (Onion Extract Gel), Panthenol, Allantoin
Application Frequency
1x Daily
Customer Rating
Prime Eligibility
Price
$28.80
More Information
Best Overall Results
Preview
NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars, 1 Ounce
Product Name
NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars
Product Size
30 g
Recommended for Scars?
Active Ingredients
Polysiloxanes (Silicone Gel), Vitamin E
Application Frequency
2x Daily
Customer Rating
Prime Eligibility
Price
$54.00
More Information

Last Updated: 2020-04-05 / Images from Amazon PA API

Our Recommendations

In short, Mederma PM is a night-time cream with additional skin repair ingredients like copper peptides, vitamin E, and hydrolyzed collagen. The texture is a bit thicker than Mederma.

On the other hand, Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is an affordable scar gel for everyday use. It’s lightweight, dries quickly, and is suitable for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin.

Both products by Mederma include the same key ingredient, Cepalin (onion extract). 

Unfortunately, the clinical research on onion extract is somewhat mixed.

That’s why I suggest using silicone gels instead as an alternative to Mederma. 

Silicone is recommended by the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management, as well as by most dermatologists and plastic surgeons. (1)

I prefer silicone gels because they’re effective, lightweight, and dry quickly.

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

Now, I’ve had some success with Mederma before for my chest keloids (see here).

But after 6 months, I stopped using Mederma due to side effects like itchiness and skin discoloration. I’ve since switched to NewGel+ and haven’t experienced any side effects.

To Wrap Up:

If you want the best results for your scars, go for a silicone gel like NewGel+

If you want an affordable scar gel for daily use, go with Mederma Advanced Scar Gel.

If you prefer a night-time cream with bonus skin healing ingredients, go with Mederma PM.

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

PROS

  • Softens existing scars
  • Reduces discoloration
  • Thousands of reviews
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Inconclusive clinical studies
  • Results require patience
  • May cause itchiness, irritation, or redness

About Mederma

If you want great results that won’t break the bank, Mederma is an excellent option.

Featuring Cepalin (onion extract), Mederma has been the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for 15 years.

Although clinical studies of onion extract are somewhat mixed, it’s clear that Mederma has helped thousands of people with their scar problems.

Amazon alone has well over 2,000 reviews, including hundreds of before/after photos.

Personally, I’ve used Mederma for my chest keloids and have seen slow but steady improvements in scar texture and color (check out my progress photos here).

Mederma has a light texture and mild scent. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly.

Key Features

  • Cepalin (onion extract)
  • Light texture
  • Mild scent
  • Dries quickly

Key Benefits

  • Softens existing scars
  • Reduces scar discoloration
  • Won’t break the bank

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

Why Onion Extract?

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

Studies show that onion extract may inhibit fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen). (3) 

This can help soften hypertrophic scars and keloids and may also reduce discoloration. 

Onion extract also contains quercetin, a plant flavonoid that inhibits collagen. (4)

The clinical evidence, however, is still inconclusive:

  • One study reported no difference between onion extract and Vaseline (5)
  • Other studies reported positive results using onion extract (6, 7, 8)
  • One study was funded by Merz (manufacturer of Mederma) (8)

Mederma Reviews

Mederma has well over 2,000 reviews on Amazon. While reviews are mostly positive, Mederma doesn’t work for everyone. 

For some people, Mederma flattened their scars completely. But for others, it didn’t seem to move the needle much.

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

Side effects of Mederma may include itchiness, irritation, and redness. 

Pro Tip: use Mederma 2x daily (instead of 1x) to maintain continuous scar coverage.

The Bottom-Line

Mederma is a popular scar gel that works well and is quite affordable.

Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream

Our Score: 4/5

A night-time scar cream by Mederma featuring Tripeptol.

PROS

  • Reduces scar size & height
  • Thin and clear texture
  • Over 800 reviews on Amazon
  • Affordable
  • Money back guarantee

CONS

  • Results require patience
  • Mixed clinical research

Mederma is a popular brand of over-the-counter scar treatments. According to Pharmacy Times, it’s been the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for 15 years!

The main ingredient in all Mederma products is Cepalin (onion extract). This may help soften scar tissue and reduce skin discoloration. However, medical research on onion extract is still limited.

In addition to Cepalin, Mederma PM also contains Tripeptol, a complex of “peptides, collagen, and antioxidants to promote healthy-looking skin and fight free-radical damage.”

The other advantage of Mederma PM is that it’s designed to work while you sleep. 

Mederma PM includes Tripeptol, a complex of skin-healing ingredients including:

  • Copper Peptide: may promote wound healing
  • Vitamin E: an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen: building blocks of longer-chain collagen molecules

Mederma PM also includes excellent skin hydrators like glycerin, aloe vera, and panthenol.

This product is available at most retailers, including Amazon where it has over 800 reviews. ​

Key Features

  • Cepalin (onion extract)
  • Tripeptol (copper peptide, vitamin E, hydrolyzed collagen)
  • Skin hydrators (glycerin, aloe vera, panthenol)
  • Night-time scar cream
  • 1x daily application

Key Benefits

  • Flattens raised scars
  • Reduces skin discoloration
  • May help prevent scars after surgery
  • Thin, lightweight, easy to apply
  • Hydrates skin

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

Why Onion Extract?

Please see the same section under Mederma Advanced Scar Gel.

Mederma PM Reviews

Among the positive reviews, people claimed Mederma PM reduced their scar appearance, including size, height, and skin redness.

Among the negative reviews, some people didn’t see any results on their surgical scars.

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

The Bottom-Line

Mederma PM is a great option for scars that contains Cepalin (onion extract), as well as skin repair ingredients like copper peptides, vitamin E, and hydrolyzed collagen.

What Causes Scars?

Ever wonder why you get those pesky scars in the first place?

Well, research suggests that genetics are partly to blame (thanks, Mom and Dad). (9)

But scars themselves are a natural response by your body to injuries.

Part 1: Inflammation

When you’re injured, your body sets off an “alarm” signal known as inflammation.

This process jumpstarts the immune system and triggers wound healing signals.

Part 2: Repair

After inflammation comes the repair stage.

Your body replaces damaged skin with new skin cells and materials like collagen.

Collagen fibers weave together to form the foundations of new skin tissue (a “scar”).

Part 3: Scars

Unfortunately, scars are seldom identical to the original skin.

They’re often a different color and may feel hard or lumpy.

Sometimes, scars end up elevated like hypertrophic scars or keloids. 

This happens if your body produced too much collagen during the repair stage.

The Bottom-Line

I hope this guide to Mederma vs. Mederma PM helps you pick the right product for you. 

Remember, nothing can replace patience and consistency! 

To Recap:

If you want the best results for your scars, go for a silicone gel like NewGel+

If you want an affordable scar gel for daily use, go with Mederma Advanced Scar Gel.

If you prefer a night-time cream with bonus skin healing ingredients, go with Mederma PM.

References

  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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25068544
  2. Bleasdale, Benjamin et al. “The Use of Silicone Adhesives for Scar Reduction.” Advances in Wound Care vol. 4,7 (2015): 422-430. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486716/
  3. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20127038
  4. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14643528
  5. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16442038
  6. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16875470
  7. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16634531
  8. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390235/
  9. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022978/
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Tom Qiao

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

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