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Mederma has been called the number one doctor and pharmacist-recommended scar care brand, but does science back up these claims? Research on the use of Mederma as a scar treatment is limited and controversial. Some studies show scar improvements after use of Mederma and others show neutral or even negative results. In this post, we’ve gathered facts from the literature in order to give you the honest truth about Mederma.
Mederma is a brand of topical scar treatment products manufactured by Merz Pharmaceuticals of Frankfurt, Germany. Products include various formulations of gels, creams, oils, and cleansers. Mederma's marketing claims it can make scars "softer, smoother, and less noticeable" through its proprietary formulation of ten percent aqueous onion extract and one percent allantoin as active ingredients. Onion (Allium cepa) extract contains several unique bioflavenoids, such as quercitin, kaempferol, and cepalin, which have proposed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is theorized that onion extract can reduce cell proliferation during wound healing, which would decrease the risk of raised scars.
In a comprehensive evidence-based review on the role of topicals and dressings in the management of skin scarring, two studies found that Mederma could improve the appearance and symptoms of wounds following shave excision of seborrheic keratoses. However, both of these studies note that funding was provided by the manufacturer Merz Pharmaceuticals. Such sponsorship may be associated with biased results.
The review also reported that several studies analyzing the effectiveness of Mederma as a scar treatment gave neutral or negative conclusions. In one study published in Dermatologic Surgery, Harvard researchers used a randomized, double-blinded, split-scar design to compare the efficacy of Mederma to Aquaphor (a petrolatum-based moisturizer). Twenty four patients with new surgical wounds at least 4 cm in length were enrolled and each scar was divided into two equal portions: one half was assigned treatment with Mederma and the other half with Aquaphor at the time of suture removal. Each product was applied three times daily for 8 weeks. After evaluation, it was concluded that Mederma did not improve scar appearance or symptomatology when compared with Aquaphor.
Another study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery examined the effects of applying Mederma to hypertrophic scars on rabbit ears. After 4 weeks, researchers noted no significant reduction in scar size or height. Furthermore, no significant difference in dermal vascularity or inflammation was noted. The only improvement was in dermal collagen organization when compared to scars that were not treated with Mederma. Despite the authors' inability to demonstrate a reduction in scar size, the improvement in collagen organization noted in the Mederma-treated scars suggests it may have an effect on the formation of raised scars.
Since evidence regarding Mederma’s efficacy is limited, the large majority of physicians and scar experts recommend silicone gel as first-line topical therapy for scar management. In fact, an international multidisciplinary group of 24 experts on scar management (dermatologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, rehabilitation and burns specialists, psychosocial and behavioural researchers, epidemiologists, beauticians) consider silicone-based products to be “the gold standard, first-line, non-invasive option for both the prevention and treatment of scars.” (Eur J Dermatol. 2014)
Silicone has been used for more than 30 years in the treatment of scars. When silicone gel is applied to a scar or recently healed wound it spreads as an ultra thin sheet and dries within 4 to 5 minutes due to its self-drying technology. According to a publication in the journal Advances in Wound Care, the advantages of silicone gel include easy administration, even for sensitive skin and in children. It can be applied to irregular skin or scar surfaces, the face, moving parts (joints and flexures) and any size of scar. The durability and biocompatibility of medical grade silicones make them ideal to be used as scar treatment products.
All of these benefits are why NewGel+ uses silicone as the main active ingredient in all products. In fact, NewGel+ offers the widest variety of silicone scar treatment products available, all of which have been proven to reduce, flatten, smooth, and fade both new and old scars.
Browse the NewGel+ collection of scar treatment products now and take your pick from silicone gel strips, sheets and shapes, or two tube sizes of topical silicone gel - whatever your scar needs, NewGel+ will have the perfect match!
August 2, 2017