What works better for Scar Treatment – Topical silicone gel or Silicone sheets

One of the more common questions we receive on a daily basis goes something like this:  “Which product works better for scar treatment, topical silicone gel or silicone sheeting?”  This is a difficult one to answer in just a few sentences, so we thought we would write an article to better explain the benefits of both treatments.

It comes down to personal choice.  Apples to apples, both products are likely very similar in terms of overall effectiveness.  In other words, if both products are consistently used as directed, both should perform similarly.  To achieve maximum benefit from either, it is important that the product be in contact with the skin as much as possible over the recommended course of treatment (approximately 12 weeks).  The product that is most convenient for you given your preferences and lifestyle is the one you should choose.  To help you with this decision, we offer the following lists of benefits and challenges characteristic of each.

Silicone Sheeting:

  1. Very effective at improving the size and intensity of scars if used as directed (see our scientific studies page).
  2. Available in sheets that can be easily cut to appropriate size for individual needs.
  3. Our Scarfade Sheeting has a flesh colored cloth backing (similar to a band aid) to help it blend in with the surrounding skin.
  4. Can be re-used over time if cared for properly.
  5. Difficult to use on certain areas of the body such as joints, skin folds and facial features.
  6. Must be cleaned on a regular basis, as sticky surface tends to attract debris.

Silicone Gel:

  1. Very effective at improving the size and intensity of scars if used as directed (see our scientific studies page).
  2. Available in different sizes for varying types and sizes of scars.
  3. Can be applied easily and conveniently to just about any area of the body.
  4. Is clear in appearance so nobody knows you are wearing it.
  5. Only a small amount is needed … a little goes a long way.
  6. Is a bit tacky/ greasy, but if a little time is taken to wipe away the excess after application, this shouldn’t prove to be much of an issue.
  7. Since it is clear, the scar remains visible whereas the sheeting covers and hides the scar like a band aid.

The product that is best for one may not necessarily be best for another. Both products are highly effective and both very popular.  That said, in our experience a higher number of patients seem to prefer the silicone gel over the sheeting for its overall ease of use.  Ease of use typically leads to better results, as patients are more likely to consistently follow the recommended treatment plan when a product is more convenient for them to use.