There are several silicone sheet brands such as Rejuveness, Mepiform, ScarFX, Dr.Blaine, Cica Care, and ScarAway. All of these are designed specifically for the treatment of scars. I happen to know a fair bit of OTC scar treatment and generally recommend ScarAway.
Read my ScarAway review to find out why (apart from having used them myself and being content with the results).
Important note: silicones for scars are designed to flatten, soften, reduce itch and pain, and tone down the color of raised scars. They will (probably) not work on indented scars.
My Personal Review
First a bit about my own experiences. A few years ago I ended up in the hospital with stitches in my face, neck, chest and back. I was concerned about the scars that inevitably would emerge. Upon asking nurses, doctors, and even a dermatologist for treatment tips I got little to no useful advice. Mostly I was told that you can’t do anything when it comes to improving the cosmetic appearance of scars.
Partly from being stubborn and mostly because I found it very hard to cope with my new markings I started doing research. Only after contacting a private clinic I learned about silicone sheeting. I started using the sheets and soon noticed the scars becoming softer, flatter, and less itchy and painful. After wearing them for months my scars had improved a lot.
My most problematic scar
One part of the 20 cm long vertical scar on my chest was problematic from the beginning. It seems this is a very delicate and vulnerable part of the skin on the chest. When I bend my head on my chest its the part just below my chin touching my chest.
Some scars, particularly in the sternum, shoulder, shinbone (tibia), jawbone, and earlobe heal slower. They also tend to become more prominent.
It started with not healing appropriate. Where the rest of the wound was already healed this part stayed an open wound for a much longer time. Later on when the scar was improving this part stayed thicker and more red. The technical name for this is hypertrophic. I considered a steroid injection but eventually decided not to. (Actually I forgot about my appointment, unconsciously being aware of the risk I guess)
I used ScarAway silicone sheets. The long ones so I could use one patch for the whole scar.
About a year later I noticed the scar had healed pretty well and was nice flat and the color was better, more skin like. So after all I am glad I didn’t opt for the steroid injection because it seems many times it doesn’t work or can even make it worse. The scar will heal itself every time it is messed with so leaving it will eventually be the best solution.
Silicone Sheets Offer Immediate Sensitive Scar Relief
Another benefit of wearing (ScarAway) silicone sheets had to do with the most problematic scar of mine. The part of the scar on my chest that was widened, raised, stiff, and purple colored. There’s not much tissue there. In fact it’s very delicate skin almost directly on the sternal bone. I guess this combination of delicate skin and the stiff scar placed on the bone is what made it so sensitive.
Also the location, there’s much friction with clothes, zippers from jackets, buttons, and seat belts made this hypertrophic part of my scar very annoying. Sometimes it did hurt but mostly it just was a very unpleasant feeling. I don’t really know how to describe it. My point is that wearing the silicone scar sheets offered relief. It formed a buffer between the sensitive scar and the things frustrating it. In my opinion this is another benefit of wearing the sheets.
What Should You Look For?
High Quality Silicones
First of all it should be mentioned that not all brands make use of the same type of silicones. There are differences in the quality of silicones used in the products. ScarAway has the proven effective dimethicone silicones and uses Silon technology as well. More in a bit.
Apart from a high quality silicone gel formula these sheets (and their backings) should also allow oxygen to pass through. This is important because if the strip isn’t breathable it might cause skin maceration. We all know the effects of skin maceration when we’ve bathed for a long time and our fingers have turned white and wrinkled. Maceration could result in the skin or scar tissue getting infected with bacteria or fungi. It could also lead to worsening (e.g. widening) of the scar. A reader informed me about how he experienced skin maceration during the use of Dr.Blaine silicone strips.
Because the silicone scar sheets tend to fall off from time time one could be inclined to think that the strips can’t be sticky enough. (A lack of adhesiveness is one of the common complaints about silicones for scars.) But, as the surgeon of someone commenting on my posts said:
“a proper silicone sheet should never produce a severe pulling on your scar. If it is too sticky, there is the potential to further damage the new skin, or even open a delicate healing area. in general, he said the ideal sheet would be sticky enough to help you position it on the scar, and use a medical tape..cotton or silk, to secure further if necessary…but stickier does not equate to more effective.”
The strips should not be too thick. Some brands offer pads instead of the thinner sheets. These are thought to embed dirt in them whereas thinner ones are easier to clean. Apart from that they are more comfortable.
ScarAway is a brand that combines all these traits. It is, together with Oleeva which I believe isn’t in production anymore, the only brand that makes use of the patented Silon technology.
So What’s This Patented Silon Technology?
Silon technology was previously exclusively available to major hospitals, burn centers, and the US Military. The trademark is protected by a series of foreign and US patents. Silon technology is also used by plastic surgeons, hospitals, and burn centers in specialty scar treatment garments, masks and sheeting.
Silon technology, is a specially formulated silicone, that mimics the natural barrier function of healthy skin. Research suggests that Silon acts to hydrate scar tissue, which in turn works to soften the scar by breaking down excess collagen, reducing its development and causing it to fade away faster.
“ScarAway starts by softening your scar tissue. Softening of your scar will be noticed in the first few days. This softening occurs by hydrating your scar which in turn helps break down the excess collagen produced when your skin was healing. Over time, with the ideal healing environment created with consistent daily use of ScarAway, your scar will begin to remodel… it will physically change… becoming flatter, smoother, and closer to the texture and color of your surrounding healthy skin. Continue to use ScarAway until your scar has stopped responding for two weeks. The results you achieve with ScarAway are permanent.”
Make sure to choose the right size for your scar. ScarAway comes in 2 sizes: 1.5 x 3″ and 1.5 x 7″. The sheets can also be cut to size for smaller scars or worn side-by-side for larger scars.ScarAway comes in a new package (see below). Some might find this confusing and ask what the difference is with the old, blue package but there is no difference. The same product in a new package.
Amazon Price: $24.40
Silicone Scar Sheets by other Brands
Cica Care, Dr.Blaine, Curad, Rejuveness, Scar Fx
I’m not sure what to think about the silicone scar sheets by Curad. According to a study titled “Silicone Gel Products and Scar Integrity” Curad sheets were the cheapest and most effective sheets when compared with Band-Aid and Cica Care sheets. The predominant negative user reviews I read on Amazon don’t seem to match with this conclusion. (a report of this study (Powerpoint presentation) can be found by searching Google for the title)Scar Fx and Rejuveness both offer pre-shaped strips. ScarAway also has dedicated strips for caesarian section scars.
Check out this page for a list with silicone scar sheet brands.