ScarAway vs Mederma | Which Is Better For Your Scars?

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: February 7, 2024

ScarAway is our top pick as it uses medical-grade silicone gel, the gold standard for scar treatment based on decades of medical research. Mederma, on the other hand, uses Cepalin® (onion extract) which has only shown mixed clinical results. Both are popular options for new and old scars with excellent reviews. Overall, we recommend ScarAway over Mederma as it's affordable and recommended by surgeons and dermatologists.

Comparison Summary

Editor's Choice

ScarAway Silicone Scar Gel, 0.35 oz.

  • Best For: New and Old Scars
  • Ingredients: 100% Silicone Gel
  • Medical Evidence: Excellent
  • Customer Reviews: Excellent
  • Visible Results: 4-8 Weeks
  • Application: 2x Daily
  • Price per Oz: $$
Runner Up

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel, 0.7 oz.

  • Best For: New and Old Scars
  • Ingredients: Onion Extract, Allantoin, Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid
  • Medical Evidence: Mixed
  • Customer Reviews: Excellent
  • Visible Results: 8+ Weeks
  • Application: 1x Daily
  • Price per Oz: $

ScarAway vs Mederma

ScarAway is a popular brand of scar management products (silicone gels and silicone sheets) that's sold almost everywhere, including big box retailers, pharmacies, and online.

I've used many ScarAway products in the past, including their bestselling silicone scar sheets and their unique silicone scar gel with a rollerball applicator.

Silicone gels and silicone sheets have been the gold standard of scar treatment for decades and are recommended in the International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management. (source: Dermatologic Surgery, 2014)

In particular, a silicone gel helps reduce the appearance of hypertrophic scars and keloids from burns, surgery, car accidents, and acne, including the size, height, and color of scars.

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Currently, ScarAway is one of the most affordable silicone gels at ~$35 per oz.

While it's very easy to buy ScarAway on Amazon, some customers noticed it's actually more expensive than buying from your local Wal-Mart, Walgreens, or CVS.

If you're still shopping around, though, I recommend these silicone gels as well:

1. NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars 30 g (1 oz)

NewGel+ is one of my preferred silicone gels as it has a very smooth gel texture and includes bonus vitamin E to help moisturize and soften your scars.

NewGel+ is manufactured by NewMedical Technology, Inc., the same company behind the premium silicone gel, Silagen.

While NewGel+ is more expensive at ~$54 per oz, I personally like the formula better and have seen good results for my own scars (NewGel+ has over 500 reviews on Amazon as well).

Aroamas Advanced Scar Gel Ad
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2. Aroamas Advanced Scar Gel 45 g (1 oz)

If you're looking for the cheapest silicone gel, Aroamas is only ~$30 per oz and has received thousands of reviews on Amazon.

I haven't personally tried Aroamas yet but it's amazing value for money at this price.

On the other hand, Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is an excellent option for low risk scars like kitchen burns, minor cuts & scrapes, and small bruises.

That's because some studies have shown that Mederma helps minimize new scar formation (Draelos, 2012) and it's much more affordable than silicone gels at ~$16 per oz.

However, the clinical evidence is still mixed and inconclusive, whereas silicone gel has been proven time and time again by randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and medical reviews.

Overall, if you are concerned about your scar's appearance, I recommend using a silicone gel like ScarAway or NewGel+ 2x a day for at least 3-6 months to give your skin the best chance of achieving an optimal recovery outcome following an injury or surgical procedure.

However, if you have an old scar like a mature keloid (2+ years), you may want to speak to your dermatologist about corticosteroid injections as well, as I've personally found them very helpful for flattening my keloid scars and gradually restoring more normal skin color.

If you're interested, here's an excellent video on scar formation and how silicone works:

Now that you know how silicone works in theory, how effective is it in practice?

Since its introduction in the 1980s, there's been hundreds of clinical studies on silicone gel and silicone gel sheets.

Fortunately, Hsu et al. (2017) and Wang et al. (2021) have reviewed the medical literature and concluded that silicone is statistically more effective than placebos or no treatment:

  • Hsu et al. (2017) analyzed 10 clinical trials and found that silicone statistically reduced the probability of developing hypertrophic scars or keloids after surgery
  • Wang et al. (2021) analyzed 6 randomized controlled trials and found that silicone statistically outperformed control treatments, but only after 6-8 months of treatment

Now that you're up to speed, let's discuss the most popular brand of silicone gel products: ScarAway.

ScarAway Silicone Scar Gel Ad
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With 6,500+ reviews (between the 10g and 20g versions), ScarAway Silicone Scar Gel is currently the most popular silicone gel on the market. 🏆

Featuring 100% medical grade silicone, ScarAway is good value for money at ~$35 per oz, but I've never been a big fan of the rollerball applicator.

In case you didn't know, ScarAway uses a rollerball at the end of the tube that's designed to massage your scars as you apply it (massage therapy may help reduce scar appearance).

However, the rollerball tends to block the flow of product and this was the main cause of customer complaints for many years. Recently, ScarAway may have addressed this problem with a new "Easy-Flow Applicator" design.

I personally haven't tried the new version yet, but if it does fix the problem, ScarAway would be one of my top 3 recommendations at its current price.

For best results, use ScarAway twice a day for 24 hour continuous coverage or alternate between ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets at night and ScarAway Silicone Scar Gel during the day.

If you're looking for a ScarAway alternative, Aroamas provides better value at ~$30 per oz.

My Verdict: If you have high risk scars (e.g. hypertrophic scars or keloids from burns, surgery, trauma, and acne, or a family history of keloids), use a silicone gel like ScarAway or Aroamas to minimize scar formation, promote post-op recovery, and reduce itchiness and redness.

  1. Low Risk of Scarring: no family history of keloids, no sensitive areas like the breast/chest
  2. Low Patient Concern: you're okay with how your scar turns out, regardless the outcome

In other words, I recommend using Mederma for less serious wounds, such as mild burns, cuts & scrapes, bruises & accidents, and other minor injuries.

That's because the key ingredient in Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is onion bulb extract (a.k.a. Cepalin in Mederma's marketing materials and allium cepa in the ingredient list).

Red Onions
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According to the 2014 International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management (Part 2), a highly influential research paper authored by the world's leading experts on scar treatment, there's conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of onion extract for scars.

Some studies showed positive evidence, like the original clinical trial by Draelos et al. (2012) that was sponsored by Merz Pharmaceuticals (the parent company of Mederma).

In short, this study found a statistically significant difference in scar appearance between Mederma-treated scars (test group) and non-treated scars (control group) after 4-8 weeks.

However, there's a number of major flaws with this study:

  1. Control Group: in this study, the control scars were left completely untreated. This is an extremely low benchmark and even then, the test group only surpassed the control group after 4 weeks of treatment. I'd be more convinced if the control scars were treated with at least a moisturizer as keeping scars hydrated improves wound healing.
  2. Sample Group: out of 44 participants, the vast majority were Caucasian (39), followed by African American (4), and Hispanic (1). As you might expect, the Fitzpatrick skin type was mostly I and II (both are considered very light skin tones). However, this sample almost entirely excludes ethnic skin types which creates a bias because abnormal scar formation like keloids is more common in those of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent.
New Mederma Advanced Scar Gel Ad
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Other studies found that onion extract was no better than similar topical treatments but resulted in more frequent side effects (itchiness, redness) that caused patients to stop using it. (source: International Wound Journal, 2021)

In addition, many studies used multiple active ingredients in their formulations which made it more difficult to isolate the effects of onion extract. (source: Dermatologic Surgery, 2014)

Finally, here's my personal opinion of Mederma Advanced Scar Gel based on 6+ months of using it on my chest keloids:

  • Application: it's very easy to apply (a bit sticky but dries quickly)
  • Results: I did not see any significant improvements in scar height, thickness, or redness, however, my scars did feel slightly smoother
  • Side Effects: I experienced the occasional itchiness, but the more serious side effect was that the area where I applied Mederma turned slightly darker in color (discoloration)

My Verdict: Taking into account the key ingredients, clinical studies, and my own experience, I recommend Mederma Advanced Scar Gel for low risk scars as the medical evidence is mixed. Mederma may help minimize scars from minor injuries and accelerate the recovery process.

For high risk scars, however, I recommend using a silicone gel or silicone sheet because it's safe (no side effects), clinically proven for scar treatment, and reasonably affordable.

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Article written by Tom Qiao
Tom is the founder and editor of where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.

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