Do you need some help deciding between ScarAway and Mederma for your scars?
Lucky for you, I’ve put together a full comparison of ScarAway vs Mederma.
I’ve tried both of these popular scar gels for my own hypertrophic scars and keloids.
So which one is better?
ScarAway vs Mederma
Last Updated: 2020-03-29 / Images from Amazon PA API
The key difference between ScarAway and Mederma is that ScarAway is a silicone gel while Mederma uses an ingredient called Cepalin (onion extract). In terms of effectiveness, silicone gels have been used for decades and tend to produce better results for scars. However, Mederma is generally cheaper and best suited for mild or new scars.
ScarAway Silicone Scar Gel
Almost synonymous with scar management, ScarAway is a popular brand of silicone gels designed to reduce the appearance of scars for smoother & more natural looking skin.
Silicone is the #1 dermatologist and plastic surgeon recommended over-the-counter scar reduction ingredient, according to an independent market research firm. (2)
The International Advisory Panel on Scar Management has reiterated the clinical efficacy of silicone for preventing and treating hypertrophic scars and keloids. (1)
Researchers believe silicone products work by hydrating and protecting the scar. This prevents skin dehydration which may contribute to abnormal scar formation. (3)
Why ScarAway Silicone Scar Gel?
Silicone gels are best for scars on your face, hands, and other visible areas of your body. Once applied, silicone gels are invisible and dry fairly quickly.
ScarAway also includes a rollerball dipenser tip that’s used to massage the scar.
Massage therapy may help break up scar tissue and encourage better alignment of collagen fibers. This technique is often used by physical therapists. (4)
You should apply silicone gels twice a day for at least 2 months.
There are many positive reviews on Amazon that claim ScarAway helped fade scars from surgery, accidents, burns, etc.
The most common complaint is that the rollerball can sometimes get “stuck” which prevents the silicone gel from getting out.
As with all skincare products, your mileage may vary (YMMV).
ScarAway 100% Silicone Scar Gel is a clinically proven option for preventing and treating scars.
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel
Another household name, Mederma is found in pharmacies around the world and uses Cepalin (onion extract) for scar reduction.
Why Onion Extract?
Onion extract (allium cepa) has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies show that onion extract can inhibit fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen). (6)
This softens raised scars like hypertrophic scars and keloids. It may also reduce discoloration and prevent new scars.
Onion extract also contains quercetin, a plant flavonoid that inhibits collagen. (7)
The clinical evidence, however, is still inconclusive:
- One study reported no difference between onion extract and Vaseline (8)
- Other studies reported positive results with onion extract (9, 10, 11)
- One of these studies was funded by Merz (manufacturer of Mederma) (11)
In my opinion, the main selling point of Mederma is the price.
It’s more affordable than most silicone gels and is widely available at retailers like Wal-Mart and online at Amazon.
As for the product itself, it definitely works (and I can personally attest to this).
But it does require a lot of patience and most people quit too early. In my experience, it takes at least 3 months before you’ll see any noticeable results.
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.
Read my full review of Mederma here.
Pro Tip: use Mederma 2x daily (instead of 1x) to maintain continuous scar coverage.
Mederma is a popular scar gel that works well and is quite affordable.
I hope this guide to Mederma vs ScarAway helps you pick the right product for you.
Remember, nothing can replace patience and consistency!
- 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
- “About ScarAway”. Retrieved from https://www.myscaraway.com/about/
- 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/
- “Scar Tissue Massage and Management”. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/scar-tissue-massage-and-management-2696639
- Mederma Named the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand for Scar and Stretch Mark Treatments by Pharmacy Times and U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170613005525/en/Mederma%C2%AE-Named-1-Pharmacist-Recommended-Brand-Scar
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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/
- 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/