Silagen vs Mederma: What's Better for Scars? (2021 ✅)

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In this post, I provide the facts on Silagen vs Mederma, including key ingredients, clinical studies, customer reviews, and my personal experience.

Overall, I recommend Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel for Scars for "high risk scars" like hypertrophic scars and keloids from severe burns, surgery, car accidents, and acne, and Mederma Advanced Scar Gel for "low risk scars" like kitchen burns, minor cuts & scrapes, and small bruises.

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Silagen vs Mederma



Silagen
Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel for Scars

✅ Best For: High Risk Scars
✅ Key Ingredient: Silicone
✅ Application: 2x Daily
Clinical Evidence: Strong
Side Effects: None
✅ Reviews: 50+
⚠️ Price/Value: Expensive

Mederma
New Mederma Advanced Scar Gel 50g

Best For: Low Risk Scars
Key Ingredient: Onion Extract
Application: 1x Daily
⚠️ Clinical Evidence: Mixed
Side Effects: Itchiness, Redness
✅ Reviews: 16,000+
Price/Value: Very Good

💡 Here's the key difference between Silagen and Mederma: Silagen is a physician-exclusive silicone gel made by US manufacturer NewMedical Technology, Inc. that has shown strong clinical evidence for scar treatment while Mederma is a very popular and affordable onion extract gel made by German manufacturer Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH that has shown mixed clinical evidence for scar treatment.

Silagen is a premium silicone gel manufactured by NewMedical Technology Inc. that's sold exclusively at physician's offices like dermatologists and plastic surgeons.

Currently, a quick Google search showed that 15 g (0.5 oz) of Silagen is around $46.00 on various physician's office websites.

This works out to ~$92 per oz, making Silagen one of the most expensive silicone gels.

If you check Amazon.com, you'll find that Silagen is often sold there as well, but frequently at ridiculously marked up prices (most recently $199.99 for 30 g of Silagen 🤔).

Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel for Scars

While I highly recommend silicone gels for high risk scars (including hypertrophic scars, keloids, surgery / post-op, raised acne scars), there are more affordable options than Silagen such as:

NewGel+ Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars 15g Ad

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 that makes Silagen.

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

Aroamas Advanced Scar Gel Ad

2. Aroamas Advanced Scar Gel 30 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.

New Mederma Advanced Scar Gel 50g Ad

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 Silagen 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.

P.S. I've personally tried almost every silicone gel on the market, including ScarAway, Kelo-Cote, NewGel+, Hiruscar, Strataderm, and Azally. Check out my full review here.

Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel for Scars
1
BEST FOR HIGH RISK SCARS

Silagen 
100% Pure Silicone Gel for Scars

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Physician's OfficesAmazon

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Best For:

✅ Hypertrophic Scars
✅ Keloids
✅ Burns
✅ Surgery / Post-Op
✅ Trauma
✅ Acne Scars

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Medical Grade Silicone

Key Features:

👍 Comes in 15g / 30g
👍 2x Daily Application
👍 Transparent & Odorless
👍 Water Resistant
👍 No Side Effects
🕓 3-6 Months (New Scars)
🕓 6+ Months (Old Scars)

Are you searching for the best scar treatment?

(Me too! That's why I started The Derm Detective 🕵️‍♂️)

While there's plenty of scar creams on the market, did you know that the #1 recommended over-the-counter (OTC) scar treatment is medical grade silicone?

In fact, an international advisory panel of the world's leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons unanimously recommended silicone products for scar management. (source: Dermatologic Surgery, 2014)

Silicone forms a unique semi-permeable barrier that protects your scar from infection, keeps it hydrated by preventing water loss, while allowing oxygen exchange.

This helps minimize scar formation as research shows that dehydrated skin cells produce inflammatory signals that stimulate excess collagen production, resulting in raised, red, and thick bands of scar tissue like keloids. (source: Advances in Wound Care, 2015)

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

In addition, Silagen has a beautiful page explaining standard scar treatment protocols based on the International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management (2014).

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 finally discuss Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel for Scars.

As I explained earlier, Silagen is expensive at ~$92 per oz compared to similar silicone gels like NewGel+ ($54 per oz), Aroamas ($30 per oz), and BioCorneum ($32 per oz)

However, price is not the only consideration because ultimately, it's the results that matter.

With silicone gels, it's difficult to tell the difference in product quality without using the product because every manufacturer will say they use 100% medical grade silicone.

I suspect that premium silicone gels like Silagen and BioCorneum use a higher quality silicone, but this is not explicitly stated. What we do know is that Silagen has a silky smooth texture that makes it easier to apply and leave on your skin, as well as a version with SPF 30.

Overall, if you plan to buy Silagen, make sure to buy an authentic product at your preferred physician's office and shop around first for the best deal.

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 Silagen or NewGel+ to minimize scar formation, promote post-op recovery, and reduce itchiness and redness.

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New Mederma Advanced Scar Gel 50g
2
BEST FOR LOW RISK SCARS

Mederma 
Advanced Scar Gel

Sold @ 
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Best For:

❌ High Risk Scars
✅ Low Risk Scars
✅ Mild Burns
✅ Cuts & Scrapes
✅ Bruises
✅ Minor Injuries

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Onion Bulb Extract
⭐ Allantoin
⭐ Panthenol
⭐ Hyaluronic Acid

Key Features:

👍 1x Daily Application
👍 Gel Texture
👍 Mild Fragrance
🕓 4-8 Weeks (New Scars)
🕓 3-6 Months (Old Scars)

With 16,000+ reviews, there's definitely no question that Mederma is the most popular scar treatment (currently the #1 Bestseller in Scar Reducing Treatments).

But does Mederma really work on scars? 🤔

Before I provide you the answer, let me first tell you that I've personally used Mederma for 6+ months, reviewed the original clinical study in 2012 by Dr. Draelos, and consulted the medical literature on scar treatment.

In addition, I'd like you to keep in mind that everyone scars and heals differently, as genetics play a key role in how your body recovers from a wound.

For example, people with a family history of keloids are more likely to develop keloids themselves (1/3 of people with keloids have a first-degree relative with keloids).

In short, use Mederma on "low risk" scars only.

Low risk scars are defined in the International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management as:

  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

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

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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Silagen vs Mederma
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