Wow … I just did a Google search on the phrase “scar treatment products” and it came back with 891,000 results! Apparently there is a market for these products. As I clicked through several of the links it occurred to me how easy it would be for somebody that didn’t know any better to be impressed by some of the lofty claims offered on some of these sites.
One of the most amusing observations during this exercise was the array of different miracle ingredients some of these products contain … everything from honey to onion extract. Several of the sites claim that their miracle ingredient is clinically proven to reduce scarring. Most, however, fail to offer up evidence of any such clinical trials.
With so many scar treatment products out there, how does one go about picking the right product? I have spent a considerable amount of time researching this topic and in my opinion the first place you should look is at the ingredient list. To my knowledge the only ingredient proven effective in legitimate clinical trials is silicone. Sure, you will find other ingredients that are claimed to be proven effective but take a closer look. My experience is that these claims aren’t backed by actual study reports or that the study’s they do offer are sketchy at best. Look for study’s that have actually been accepted by and printed in professional medical trade journals. Again, the only ingredient I know of that is backed by such published studies is silicone.
Silicone scar products come in the form of either a sheet or a gel. Both can be very effective if used properly. Generally, the gel is preferred by more physicians and their patients because it is less cumbersome to use and not visible once applied. In addition, makeup or sunscreen can be worn over the top of it. There are numerous scar products containing silicone gel. They contain varying amounts of silicone from just a trace to 100% silicone. It is ok and possibly beneficial for these products to contain small amounts of other ingredients such as vitamin c or sunscreen.
One should also note that there are different types of silicone. It is best if the silicone used in the product is non volatile, meaning it will not evaporate once applied. Volatile gels are easier to apply and probably more comfortable but may potentially be less effective as a portion of the product applied evaporates, leaving less product on the skin. Non volatile gels can be sticky to the touch and slightly uncomfortable when first applied but if you massage them onto the skin thoroughly and gently wipe away the excess they aren’t so bad.