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You’ve overcome the pain of your injury, whether that be from a surgery, accident, or other trauma that left your skin wounded. Unfortunately, your wound healed into a scar that is a constant reminder of the pain you had to go through. You desperately want to be rid of it, but you aren’t exactly sure how. If you’ve searched online, you’ve probably come across several forums and blogs all claiming that lube is the cheapest scar treatment you can find. But did you know that this is one of the worst things you can do for your scar? Read on to learn why you should never apply lube to a scar and what you should apply instead!
On the surface, lube and silicone gel may seem the same. Both are made with silicones, a class of ingredients made from alternate chains of silicon (a natural element) and oxygen atoms. Since they appear the same, people often choose lube over silicone gel scar treatment products because lube is much cheaper. However, these two types of products are formulated to do two very different things and have major differences in how they affect your skin.
Lube is designed to do just what the name implies—lubricate. In order to accomplish this it must remain in a liquid form. If lube dries out, it isn’t doing its job. Additionally, lube must remain in a liquid form so that it is able to be easily applied and spread out over an area with contact. Once again, if the lube dries it will not be able to spread evenly. Thus, personal lubricants are formulated with silicones that will remain in a liquid form. Since lube is designed to slide all over and not dry, it can be easily rubbed off when applied to a scar. If that layer of silicone is removed it is not doing anything to benefit the scar. Keep in mind that lube is designed only to reduce friction once applied, not to heal or protect a wound. Plus, lube is known to stain clothing whereas silicone gel scar products should not stain clothing.
In contrast to lube, silicone gel scar products are created using a combination of silicones that promote wound healing as well as disrupt the scar formation process. Unlike personal lubricants, silicone gel scar treatment products are created with medical grade silicones. These are silicones that undergo specific testing for biocompatibility (safe to use in the body) and have been deemed appropriate to be used for medical applications.
When silicone gel is applied to a scar 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, one of the advantages of silicone gel is its 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 for use as scar treatment products.
Some silicones used in scar treatment products dry to a more solid form while others evaporate to help “cure” the product, essentially creating a “silicone bandage” on the skin, much like liquid bandage products dry and stay over a cut. According to the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, silicone gel heals scars by providing occlusion and increasing hydration of the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of the skin). Since silicone molecules are too large to penetrate into the skin, they can only work when in contact with the scar, ideally for 24 hours a day. Essentially, this creates a barrier that still allows the skin to “breathe”. The result is a softer, flatter, and less noticeable scar.
While it may seem like a cheap alternative to heal your scar, lube is not designed to work in the same way as a silicone scar product like NewGel+ and will not deliver the results you would get with a product that dries and stays in place. Therefore, our final verdict is that you should never apply lube to a scar!
NewGel+ offers the widest variety of silicone scar treatment products available. Products like NewGel+E are specifically formulated to be applied over the scar and dry in place. The gel forms an occlusive layer that gradually wears off over the course of the day, and therefore should be applied twice daily. Additionally, NewGel+ has products like sheets, strips, and shapes that stay in place over the scar for a full 24 hours. All NewGel+ products are easy to use, convenient, safe, and clinically proven to help heal your scar. Trust NewGel+ to soften, flatten and fade your scar!
August 14, 2017