The best cream for raised scars might not be a cream at all. Raised scars are called hypertrophic or keloid. The overabundant collagen production as a result of the healing process can be reduced and stabilized by using silicone gel sheets.
This method has been used successfully by medical facilities since the 1980’s. Several studies (1) and clinical reports show that silicone sheeting is effective at reducing the elevation, thickness, and redness of such scars. Also pain and itch are reduced.
“Cosmetic appearance and physiology of raised scars can be improved in 85% of cases.”
Silicone Gel Sheeting vs Silicone Gel Cream
The past years silicone gel ointments have been introduced to the market. Popular brands are Kelo-cote, InviCible, and ScarAway, Applied from a tube the silicones form a thin flexible sheet over the scar. Their advantage is that they are much more convenient since silicone sheets (or patches) can be hard to keep attached. Especially on body parts that are flexible.
Some studies (2) indicate that the creams are just as effective as sheets.
“Results from clinical trials and clinical experience suggest that silicone gel is equivalent in efficacy to traditional silicone gel sheeting but easier to use.”
Older studies demonstrate silicone sheeting to be more effective. To my knowledge no well-designed study comparing both methods has been conducted yet. More about studies on this subject here: Silicone Gel Cream vs. Silicone Sheets, Which Is Better For Scars?
My gut feeling (and a little personal experience) says sheets work better but there’s no scientific ground for that assumption. Personally, I would, therefore prefer to use sheets above creams. In case sheets can be applied relatively conveniently that is.
Creams Are More Convient
However, sometimes you are just better off using a silicone gel cream. For example when the scar is located on your face and you don’t want to wear silicone patch on your face in public all day. (You could decide to wear them at night only but then again, there’s so much movement in the face that it is really hard to keep them attached )
That’s why, in some cases, I recommend to use both silicone sheets and a cream. Based upon my personal experience with silicone scar treatment I generally recommend ScarAway sheets and Kelo-cote cream.
Did you use both? Did you notice any differences? Did one work better then the other? I would love to hear your experiences regarding the differences between sheets and ointments.
(1) Topical silicone gel for the prevention and treatment of hypertrophic scar. PubMed.
(2) Evolution of silicone therapy and mechanism of action in scar management. PubMed.