Silicone Sheets for Acne Scars: Do They Work? (2019 Update)

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Do you have acne scars that are raised, bumpy, and red?

If you do, you likely have hypertrophic scars or keloids.

I’ve had acne for many years and it left me with a ton of acne scars.

Fortunately, there are solutions for raised scars including silicone sheets, silicone gels, and in more severe cases, corticosteroid injections administered by a dermatologist.

Today, we’ll look at using silicone sheets for acne scars.

Does it really work?

In a nutshell, yes it does!

Silicone sheets have been used for decades to treat and prevent hypertrophic scars and keloids from injuries, surgical procedures, lacerations, burns, and of course, acne.

Unlike some other scar treatments, silicone is clinically proven to reduce scarring.

In fact, silicone is the #1 dermatologist and plastic surgeon recommended scar reduction ingredient, according to an independent market research firm. (1)

It’s also recommended by the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management, a group of medical professionals that specialize in scar revision. (2)

So the only question is, “Which silicone scar sheet is the best?”

RELATED:

Keep reading for my top recommendations!

Top 5 Silicone Sheets for Acne Scars

Here are my top recommendations for the best silicone sheets for acne scars:

Best Overall Pick

A trusted brand of silicone sheets that fits most types of scars.

ScarAway is a trusted brand of silicone scar sheets that I’ve used many times in the past. Measuring 1.5″ x 3.0″, these sheets are great for most scars including cuts and scrapes, wounds, burns, surgery, and acne. The sheets are made with a flexible and breathable fabric that makes it comfortable to wear for long periods of time. In addition, ScarAway is one of the most affordable silicone scar sheets at roughly $2 each (under $10 for a 60-day treatment plan). Overall, ScarAway is an exceptional choice that deserves its position as our #1 top pick!

Best for C-Section Scars

A longer silicone sheet designed for C-section scars.

Another high quality product by ScarAway, this one specifically created for new Moms with C-section scars. It’s longer than the average silicone sheet at 1.5″ x 7.0″ and can cover a C-section scar with just one strip. These sheets are also ultra-thin, comfortable to wear, and easy to remove without pulling on delicate skin. Once again, ScarAway offers great value on these silicone sheets for C-section at less than $5 a piece (under $20 for a 60-day treatment plan).

Best for Tummy Tuck Scars

A complete pack of silicone sheets for tummy tuck scars.

Another well-known brand, Embrace Scar Therapy offers innovative silicone sheets with tension relief and stress-shield technology. This product is specifically designed for minimizing the appearance of scars from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). It includes 18 full length silicone strips (6.3″ in length) which are applied with a special applicator to ensure no air bubbbles remain. Each strip lasts up to 10 days and the entire set should last 60 days (requires 3 strips to cover the entire scar). Read our full review of Embrace here.

Best for X-Large Scars

An affordable silicone bandage for large size scars.

Produced by Mölnlycke, a Swedish pharmaceutical company, Mepiform is an XL size silicone bandage. Measuring 4″ x 7″, this product is perfect for larger than normal scars from car accidents, surgeries, burns, and other injuries. Regular size silicone sheets are usually only 1.5″ in width which limits their usage for plus size scars. Reviews of Mepiform have been very positive and the price is quite reasonable.

Best Value for the Money

An ultra affordable silicone tape for scar management.

Another product by Mölnlycke, Mepitac is a soft silicone tape. Measuring 0.75″ x 118″ (almost 10 feet!), silicone tapes are more flexible and generally cheaper than silicone sheets. But the downside is that you can’t use them as many times (which is why they’re cheaper). Silicone tapes are easier to position over joints and curved areas of your body. They can also be wrapped around scars for additional adhesion. Overall, Mepitac is an ultra affordable alternative to silicone sheets.

What are Acne Scars?

I’ve had acne for most of my life and acne scars are a constant reminder of my struggle.

When I began to take better care of my skin, I also wanted to get rid of my acne scars.

But at the time, I didn’t realize there were so many different types of acne scars. 

Here’s what you need to know.

RELATED:

Atrophic Scars

These are pitted scars that look like tiny valleys or indentations.

Atrophic scars include:

  • Ice pick scars: deep and narrow holes in the skin
  • Boxcar scars: indentations with sharp edges (looks like a fingernail pushed into skin)
  • Rolling scars: indentations with smooth edges (looks like waves or ripples)

Raised Scars

These are thick bands of scar tissue that have grown above the skin. They are smooth, shiny, and feel hard/lumpy when you touch them.

There are two types of raised scars:

  • Keloids: these continue to grow over time (“scars that don’t know when to stop”)
  • Hypertrophic Scars: these do not grow and may disappear on their own

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

We often get brown or dark spots after a pimple clears up. 

This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) or simply just hyperpigmentation.

The root cause of PIH is excess melanin. This is a pigment in our skin that determines skin color and protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV rays).

Too much melanin, however, leads to unwanted dark spots like PIH.

Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE)

If you have red marks from acne, you may have post-inflammatory erythema (PIE). This is not the same as hyperpigmentation! 

PIE is when the blood vessels close to the skin surface have been damaged by chronic inflammation. This leaves behind redness and red marks on the skin.

For years, I didn’t know I had PIE instead of PIH. It’s funny how one letter makes such a big difference! 

Does Silicone Work on Acne Scars?

Yes, silicone is clinically proven to improve acne scars, but only for raised scars like hypertrophic scars and keloids. If you have atrophic or indented acne scars, then you’ll need to seek different types of scar treatment as those are caused by a loss of collagen.

RELATED:

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

Even the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management endorses the use of silicone for treating  both hypertrophic scars and keloids. (2)

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

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). 

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 is 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 post helped you learn more about using silicone sheets for acne scars. 

For a full review of the best silicone scar sheets, check out my post here.

My overall top recommendation is ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets.

It’s a high quality product by a reputable manufacturer at an affordable price (~$2 per sheet).

References

  1. “About ScarAway”. Retrieved from https://www.myscaraway.com/about/
  2. 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.
  3. Bleasdale, Benjamin et al. “The Use of Silicone Adhesives for Scar Reduction.” Advances in Wound Care vol. 4,7 (2015): 422-430
Silicone Sheets for Acne Scars: Do They Work? (2019 Update)

Today, we'll look at using silicone sheets for acne scars.

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Tom Qiao

I solve skin mysteries using simple science to provide you the best skincare advice!

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