In this post, I'll compare Silicone Scar Sheets vs Mederma, including key ingredients, clinical studies, customer reviews, and my personal experience.
Hypertrophic Scars, Keloids
Burns, Cuts & Bruises, New Scars
Silicone, Titanium Dioxide, Polyurethane Film, Polyethylene Film
Allantoin, Cepalin (Onion Extract), Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid
💡 Here's the key difference between Silicone Scar Sheets and Mederma: Silicone sheets have been used for decades by medical professionals for scar management as they're supported by strong clinical evidence while Mederma is an onion extract gel (allium cepa) made by Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH that has shown mixed clinical evidence.
That's because silicone is safe, supported by decades of clinical studies, and recommended by leading dermatologists in the International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management. (source: Dermatologic Surgery, 2014)
The most popular silicone sheets on the market include:
For low risk scars (e.g. mild burns, cuts & scrapes, and bruises), Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is a good choice as it's been shown to be effective for minimizing new scars.
However, keep in mind that the clinical evidence on onion extract gels remains mixed.
Overall, if you are concerned about your scar's appearance, I recommend using a silicone gel or silicone sheet twice a day for 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 reviewed almost every silicone scar sheet on the market, including ScarAway, Aroamas, Embrace, CicaTape, Mepiform, and Epi-Derm. Check out my full review here.
✅ Hypertrophic Scars
✅ Surgery / Post-Op
✅ Acne Scars
⭐ Medical Grade Silicone
👍 5.7" x 1.57" Sheets
👍 2x Daily Application
👍 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 minimizing 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:
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:
Now that you're up to speed, here are the most popular silicone sheets on the market:
For best results, maintain 24-hour silicone sheet coverage over your scar by switching between two silicone sheets for day and night, or using a silicone gel during the daytime.
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 sheet like ScarAway or Aroamas to minimize scar formation, promote post-op recovery, and reduce itchiness and redness.Shop Now
❌ High Risk Scars
✅ Low Risk Scars
✅ Mild Burns
✅ Cuts & Scrapes
✅ Minor Injuries
⭐ Onion Bulb Extract
⭐ Hyaluronic Acid
👍 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:
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).
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:
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:
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.Shop Now