Does Mederma Scar Gel Work?
There’s a new product that claims to be helpful for healing scars. Can Mederma Scar Gel really make a scar less prominent?
No one wants to be stuck with a scar – especially if it’s in a visible area such as the face, chest, or arms. Up until now, there have been few treatments that are effective for improving scars with the exception of laser resurfacing. That recently changed when Mederma scar gel was introduced to the market. The manufacturers of this scar reducing product advertise that Mederma can lighten and reduce the appearance of scars without the need for laser treatments. Are these claims too good to be true? Does Mederma scar gel really work?
Mederma Scar Gel: What’s In It?
The active ingredient in Mederma Scar gel is allium cepa which is a fancy name for onion extract. Interest in onion extract was aroused after an animal study showed that applying it to scars might improve their appearance by altering the way collagen is laid down underneath the scar. Unfortunately, subsequent studies – including randomized, double blind trials – failed to show that it was any better than standard petroleum based products such as petroleum jelly.
Why Was Onion Extract Initially Thought to be Effective for Healing Scars?
When the layer of skin called the dermis is injured, skin cells called fibroblasts repair the injury by producing more collagen. Sometimes the fibroblasts produce abnormal or excessive amounts of collagen which causes a scar to form on the surface of the skin. Because onion extract has anti-inflammatory properties, it was hoped that onion extract would reduce the amount of abnormal collagen formed in these scars – making them less raised and visible.
How is It Used?
The gel is applied to the scar three or four times a day. The manufacturers claim that scars will improve after two months of therapy, but that it may take up to six months for scars that are old.
Mederma Scar Gel for Healing Scars
Three clinical studies have shown that Mederma Scar Gel isn’t effective for reducing the appearance of scars. Despite this, some people claim to have experienced significant improvement in the appearance of their scars after using it.
Is It Worth It?
There have been few good studies showing that Mederma or onion extract is effective for healing scars. The cost of a fifty gram tube is around $30.00 which typically lasts around three months – not extremely expensive – if it really worked. There’s also the burden of having to apply it up to four times a day for up to six months which some people might have problems doing.
Mederma Scar Gel: The Bottom Line?
If you’re really concerned about a scar, it may be best to look into laser resurfacing rather than investing in Mederma. Some scars may also improve with use of Retina-A or Renova. These are available by prescription from your doctor. Don’t waste your money on Mederma Scar Gel.