Derm DMs: How Do Silicone Scar Treatments Work?
There are a variety of ways to fade and remove scars — one method you may or may not be familiar with is the use of silicone patches. These adhesive or gel treatments are placed on the scar over a length of time and are designed to help fade its appearance. To learn more about silicone scar treatments, we tapped NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick and here’s what we learned.
According to Dr. Garshick, silicone products help with the overall appearance of scars by helping to reduce the size and improve the color and appearance. Silicone helps to improve hydration and regulate collagen production. “By providing an occlusive barrier for the scar, silicone can help to promote a hydrated environment and reduce the potential formation of hypertrophic, raised or keloid scarring. Additionally, especially when in an adhesive format, it can also help to provide a protective layer to help with the healing,” says Dr. Garshick.
How to Use a Silicone to Address Scars
There are different forms of silicone available in the form of adhesives or gels. Dr. Garshick says that while studies suggest that it is up to personal preference on which you want to use. “The sheets help to apply gentle pressure to the scar and can alleviate tension and soften the scar,” she notes. “While some benefit can be seen in the first few weeks of use, it is generally recommended to use for at least 12 weeks.”
If you are unsure about using silicone sheets to treat a scar, we also recommend a gel-based over-the-counter option like the SkinCeuticals Advanced Scar Control, which is a highly-concentrated silicone scar gel that works to improve the appearance, color and texture of new and recent scars.
Dr. Garshick also says that newer scars will be the most responsive to silicone, though old scars can still be addressed with it. “To see results, the most important thing you can do is be consistent,” says Garshick. “It is also important to incorporate sun protection as sun exposure can impact scars at any stage. Some silicone products may also contain SPF coverage which can make it convenient.” Of course, it is always best to speak with a board-certified dermatologist to determine the best scar treatment for you.
Design: Juliana Campisi