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Silicone Based Scar Treatments: An Overview

Silicone Based Scar Treatments

For the past 30 years, Silicone (or silica) has been one of the most popular and effective treatments for scar management. Few treatments are as effective at breaking down scar tissue and creating healthy collagen. Silicone has been shown to be effective on a number of scars including keloids, hypertrophic scars, scar contractures, acne scars and stretch marks. Additionally, it is recommended by professionals, like plastic surgeons and dermatologists, as a recovery mechanism recommended for a number of surgical procedures including recovery from plastic surgeryc-sectionstummy tuckscosmetic surgeries, and laser treatments.

Silicone works for scar healing by aiding the body’s natural healing process by increasing hydration in the skin and decreasing inflammation. Additionally, silicone helps regulate the body’s collagen production which helps ensure that healthy tissue replaces damaged skin. Because of this, silicone scar treatments are effective on all different skin types.

When should you start using silicone on scars?

Silicone is effective on old and new scars. However, in order for silicone treatments to be most effective they should begin within 2 weeks after the wound has fully closed. This is because in most cases scar hypertrophy develops within the first three months, and scar prevention is more effective than scar repair. Silicone can be effective on scars that are a year or older, but they are most effective on scars that are still immature. Immature scars tend to be scars that are less than a year old and are red, thickened and often itchy or painful.

How long should you use silicone scar treatments?

The size and severity of the scarring has a great impact on how long the user needs to use silicone scar treatmentsSilicone scar treatments should be used daily. For most scars it usually takes several weeks for results to appear, but for larger scars it can take up to six months or a year. It is recommended that in order to ensure results, the user should continue treatment a month or two after they have achieved desired results.

Are there any side effects to silicone scar treatments?

Early in treatment, silicone can cause irritation if it is worn for too long. As a result, sometimes, when the user first receives silicone treatment they may be advised to wear it for shorter periods of time to avoid irritation. Additionally less than 1% of the population has some form of silicone allergy that can cause redness and irritation.

Silicone Scar Sheets vs. Silicone Gels

There are two main forms of silicone scar treatmentssilicone sheets and silicone gelSilicone sheets are the most common form of silicone treatment. These sheets can sometimes come in the form of silicone strips or silicone tape. These are soft, flexible adhesive dressings built from cross-linked polymers and fabric. They are placed on the affected area and usually extend an inch beyond the edge of the scar. Silicone gel is a usually clear gel that, when applied to the skin, creates a thin, breathable layer of silicone that draws moisture into the skin. Silicone gel has a self drying technology that usually dries itself within 4-5 minutes of application.

The impact of silicone gels on scarring is less studied than that of silicone sheets. As a result, silicone scar sheets and these tend to be recommended more, especially for hypertrophic and keloid scars. However studies comparing silicone gel to silicone sheets both were equally effective at scar reductionSilicone gel may be preferable for scarring that takes place in an area where sheeting is less effective, like on the face or around joints.

What do silicone scar sheets do?

silicone gel sheet is a soft, flexible, self-adhesive dressing that is applied over scars. It contains silicone which can help improve the scar and relieve itching and discomfort.

What are silicone scar sheets?

silicone gel sheet is a soft, flexible, self-adhesive dressing that is applied over scars. It contains silicone which can help improve the scar and relieve itching and discomfort.

How to use silicone scar sheets

Most of the time, silicone sheets should be worn between 12 and 23 hours to achieve best results. However, the silicone sheet is applied to the skin for anywhere from 4 to 24 hours a day.  Silicone sheets should usually be used for at least two months and up to a year to see optimal results. These sheets tend to extend one inch beyond the edges of a scar. 

How to wash silicone scar sheets

Most gel sheets are meant to be worn for up to a day. If the sheet is designed for reuse, it needs to be cleaned. After the sheet is taken off, they should be thoroughly washed with soap to keep the scar area from getting infected. In order to clean the sheet, wash the sticky side under lukewarm water with plain, non-perfumed soap, then pat it dry with a clean towel or fresh linen. Single use gel sheets should be discarded after use.

Can you shower with silicone scar sheets?

In most instances it is okay to shower with silicone sheets. Most sheets are waterproof and will protect the affected area. If the sticky side of the sheet gets wet and begins to lose its stickiness, simply dry off the sheet with a fresh linen. Once dry it have enough stickiness to apply again.

Do silicone scar sheets protect from the sun?

While some silicone sheets do protect from the sun, most do not have any UV protection. The user should still apply broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to the wound site before applying the silicone treatment.

How to apply silicone tape for scars

Silicone tape can be applied to the scar by placing the sticky side towards the skin. The sheet should extend one inch beyond the border of the scar. If the sheet loses its stickiness, wash gently with mild soap, and cold water before drying. This should allow the sheet to become sticky again.

What does silicone scar gel do?

Silicone gel is a topical silicone which contains long chain silicone polymer, silicone dioxide, and violate component. The long chain silicone polymer and silicone dioxide link together and create an ultra thin sheet that works 24 hours a day to hydrate and protect the scar.

How to use Silicone Gel

Silicone gel should be applied two to three times a day in a thin layer that takes 4-5 minutes to dry. Makeup and sun protection can be applied on top of the gel once the gel has dried.

how to remove silicone scar gel from skin

Silicone gel can be removed from the skin with water and soap. Dry the skin afterwards with a clean garment.

In conclusion, silicone is one of the most popular treatments for all types of scars. The earlier in the scar formation that a silicone treatment is applied, the more effective it is. Both silicone sheets and silicone gels are effective and should be used depending on the situation.

Scars: Diagnosis and Treatment | AAD

Silicone Gel Sheets | NHS

Silica nanoparticles as sources of silicic acid favoring wound healing in vitro | ScienceDirect

The Use of Silicone Adhesives for Scar Reduction | Advances In Wound Care | NLM

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