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

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ScarFade vs Mederma

What’s better for scar treatment and prevention, ScarFade or Mederma?

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

ScarFade is an inexpensive silicone gel while Mederma is a popular onion extract gel.

So which one is better for your scars?

(The short story is: ScarFade. I highly recommend silicone gels like ScarFade for scars).

Related:

ScarFade vs Mederma

Preview
Best Budget Option
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel - 1x Daily - Reduces The Appearance of Old & New Scars - #1 Doctor & Pharmacist Recommended Brand for Scars - 1.76oz.
Best Value for Money
Advanced Scar Gel-surgery, injury, burn scars -2oz
Best Overall Results
NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars, 1 Ounce
Product Name
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel
ScarFade Scar Gel
NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars
Product Size
50 g
60 g
30 g
Recommended for Scars?
Active Ingredients
Cepalin® (Onion Extract)
Polysiloxanes (Silicone Gel)
Polysiloxanes (Silicone Gel), Vitamin E
Application Frequency
1x Daily
2x Daily
2x Daily
Customer Rating
Prime Eligibility
Price
$28.80
$62.95
$54.00
Best Budget Option
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)
Application Frequency
1x Daily
Customer Rating
Prime Eligibility
Price
$28.80
More Information
Best Value for Money
Preview
Advanced Scar Gel-surgery, injury, burn scars -2oz
Product Name
ScarFade Scar Gel
Product Size
60 g
Recommended for Scars?
Active Ingredients
Polysiloxanes (Silicone Gel)
Application Frequency
2x Daily
Customer Rating
Prime Eligibility
Price
$62.95
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: 2020-03-29 / Images from Amazon PA API

Our Recommendation

ScarFade is an excellent silicone gel that is available at a very reasonable price.

Silicone is clinically proven to reduce scarring and recommended by the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management for both hypertrophic scars and keloids. (1)

Unlike onion extract gels and other scar creams, silicone gels are lightweight, odorless, and do not cause any side effects like itchiness and skin discoloration (as I’ve found with Mederma).

Silicone gels are also easy to apply. You just rub it with your fingers onto your scar.

Mederma, on the other hand, is an onion extract gel that may also help with scars.

The clinical research on onion extract is not yet conclusive but I’ve had success using Mederma in the past for my chest keloids. (1)

Ultimately, I stopped using Mederma due to side effects like itchiness and skin discoloration which are not an issue with silicone gels.

So in short, I recommend silicone gels like ScarFade for scars over Mederma.

The silicone gel that I personally use right now is NewGel+.

ScarFade Scar Treatment Gel

Our Score: 5/5

An excellent silicone gel at a fantastic price.

PROS

  • Reduces scar height & size
  • Restores normal skin color
  • Great reviews
  • Fantastic price

CONS

  • Results require patience

ScarFade is an excellent option for many types of scars, including hypertrophic scars, keloids, surgical scars (such as C-section), and scars from trauma, burns, or injuries.

Silicone is clinically proven to improve scar appearance and skin discoloration. (1)

It works by keeping your skin hydrated, which in turn prevents collagen production, a major contributor to hypertrophic scar and keloid formation. 

ScarFade also has a thin and lightweight consistency, making it easy to apply and leave on your skin throughout the day. 

Key Features

  • 100% silicone gel
  • Thin and lightweight consistency
  • Fast drying
  • Comes in 15g, 30g, and 60g tubes

Key Benefits

  • Flattens and prevents scars
  • Corrects skin discoloration
  • Protects scars from bacteria
  • Easy to apply
  • Very 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

Why Silicone?

Silicone is the #1 dermatologist and plastic surgeon recommended over-the-counter scar reduction ingredient, according to an independent market research firm. (2)

In 2014, the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management confirmed the clinical efficacy of silicone for the treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloids. (1)

Researchers believe that silicone works by hydrating and protecting the scar. This prevents skin dehydration which can contribute to abnormal scar formation. (3)

ScarFade Reviews

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

Among the negative reviews, some people noted that ScarFade didn’t improve their scars at all. Others experienced a skin reaction to the silicone gel.

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).

The Bottom-Line

ScarFade Scar Treatment Gel is one of the most affordable silicone gels today.

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. 

Read my full review of Mederma here.

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.

Alternatives to ScarFade & Mederma

My Top Pick

My top pick for a silicone gel.

Featuring 100% silicone and vitamin E, NewGel+ is a great balance of effectiveness and affordability (I use it myself).

Runner-Up

A high quality silicone gel.

Another high quality silicone gel, Kelo-Cote is very effective on hypertrophic scars and keloids but more expensive.

For Body Scars

Best for large body scars.

Featuring 100% silicone gel, ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets is my top pick for large scars from surgery, injury, or burns.

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 ScarFade helps you pick the right product for you. 

Remember, nothing can replace patience and consistency! 

To Recap:

If you want the best results, go for a silicone gel like ScarFade.

If you’re on a limited budget, a good alternative is Mederma.

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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