Strataderm vs Mederma | Which Is Better For Scars?

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: February 11, 2024

Strataderm and Mederma are both popular options for scar treatment, but Strataderm is a premium silicone gel made in Switzerland that's sold at doctor's offices and backed by decades of medical research. However, it's one of the pricest silicone gels on the market on a per oz basis. Mederma, on the other hand, uses Cepalin (onion extract) which has shown mixed clinical results but has received thousands of positive reviews. Moreover, Mederma is affordable and widely available at pharmacies and retailers. Overall, we recommend Strataderm over Mederma if budget isn't an issue. You may also consider cheaper silicone gels like BioCorneum and ScarAway which deliver better value for money.

Comparison Summary

Editor's Choice

Strataderm Scar Therapy Gel, 0.35 oz.

  • Best For: New and Old Scars
  • Ingredients: 100% Silicone Gel
  • Medical Evidence: Excellent
  • Customer Reviews: Outstanding
  • Visible Results: 4-8 Weeks
  • Application: 1x Daily
  • Price per Oz: $$$$$
Runner Up

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel, 0.7 oz.

  • Best For: New and Old Scars
  • Ingredients: Onion Extract, Allantoin, Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid
  • Medical Evidence: Mixed
  • Customer Reviews: Excellent
  • Visible Results: 8+ Weeks
  • Application: 1x Daily
  • Price per Oz: $

Strataderm vs Mederma

Strataderm is a premium silicone gel made by Switzerland-based manufacturer Stratpharma that's sold by medical professionals like dermatologists and plastic surgeons, as well as online through the official Stratpharma website or third-party retailers like Amazon.

I personally bought the 50g version last year and it's lasted me almost a year now with daily use!

Silicone gels and silicone sheets have been the gold standard of scar treatment for decades and are recommended in the International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management. (source: Dermatologic Surgery, 2014)

In particular, a silicone gel helps reduce the appearance of hypertrophic scars and keloids from burns, surgery, car accidents, and acne, including the size, height, and color of scars.

Strataderm Scar Therapy Gel 50g Ad
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Currently, you can buy 50 g (1.75 oz) of Strataderm for US$109.95 from the official Stratpharma website (for international customers, visit your respective regional store).

This works out to ~$62 per oz, making Strataderm one of the more expensive silicone gels.

If you check, you'll find that Strataderm 50 g is sometimes sold at a lower price, resulting in ~$50 per oz. (still a bit expensive, but much more reasonable)

For a more affordable option, I recommend the following silicone gels:

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 behind the premium silicone gel, Silagen.

While NewGel+ is not exactly cheap at ~$54 per oz, it's a better deal if you only need a 1 oz tube instead of the Strataderm 50 g version (which is only cheaper on a per oz basis).

Aroamas Advanced Scar Gel Ad
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2. Aroamas Advanced Scar Gel 45 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.

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 Strataderm 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.

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, let's finally discuss Strataderm Scar Therapy Gel.

As I explained earlier, Strataderm is reasonably affordable at ~$50 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 Strataderm and Silagen use a higher quality silicone, but this is not explicitly stated.

From my experience using Strataderm on my hypertrophic scars and keloids, I've found that it has a thicker, almost cream-like, consistency, whereas cheaper silicone gels like ScarAway and Kelo-Cote are almost always clear/transparent with a more liquid-like consistency.

Overall, if you plan to buy Strataderm, make sure to buy an authentic product from your dermatologist's office, the official Stratpharma website, or a reputable third-party seller.

My Verdict: If you have high risk scars (e.g. hypertrophic scars or keloids from burns, surgery, trauma, acne, or you have a family history of keloids), use a silicone gel like Strataderm to minimize scar formation, promote post-op recovery, and reduce itchiness and redness.

  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
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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
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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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Article written by Tom Qiao
Tom is the founder and editor of where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.

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