Silicone Scar Sheets vs Mederma: What's Better for Scars? (2021 ✅)

 | 
Affiliate Disclosure: We earn a small commission when you buy products via links on our website.

In this post, I'll compare Silicone Scar Sheets vs Mederma, including key ingredients, clinical studies, customer reviews, and my personal experience.

Overall, I recommend using a silicone sheet like Aroamas Silicone Scar Sheets 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.

RELATED:

Silicone Scar Sheets vs Mederma



Silicone Scar Sheets
Aroamas Advanced Silicone Scar Sheets

✅ Best For: High Risk Scars
✅ Key Ingredient: Silicone
✅ Application: 2x Daily
Clinical Evidence: Strong
Side Effects: None
✅ Reviews: 2,500+
Price/Value: Good

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 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.

For high risk scars (e.g. hypertrophic scars or keloids from burns, surgery, trauma, and acne, or if you have a family history of keloids), the gold standard is a silicone gel or silicone sheet.

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.

Aroamas Advanced Silicone Scar Sheets
1
BEST FOR HIGH RISK SCARS

Silicone Scar Sheets
(e.g. Aroamas)

Sold @ 
Shop Now

Best For:

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

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Medical Grade Silicone

Key Features:

👍 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:

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

Mederma 
Advanced Scar Gel

Sold @ 
Shop Now

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.

Shop Now
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Share via
Copy link