Scars often prove a common and often unavoidable part of life. Medical procedures and accidents often contribute of scarring. Scars may become a source of sadness or embarrassment for individuals. Covering up scars can become a difficult task when they appear in an uncovered location such as on the face. Some seek plastic surgery while others simply choose to accept their scars. However non-invasive options can help to reduce scars. One of them; an over-the-counter product called Mederma has gained a reputation for its ability to significantly lighten and soften the appearance of scar tissue.
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Sold as a topical gel in a small tube, Mederma is used to treat scars from acne and burns as well as stretch marks. Manufactured by Merz Pharmaceuticals, Mederma is a non-prescription medication containing safe botanical ingredients.
PR Newswire reports that in 2002 and 2003, Pharmacy Times named Mederma as the product most often recommended by pharmacists to reduce scarring. According to a 2003 survey conducted by Pharmacy Times, more than 76% of pharmacists recommend Mederma to their patients, which made it the fifth most recommended over-the-counter product in that year’s survey.
Merz Pharmaceuticals gives credit to an ingredient called Cepalin which creates successful results on scars. Cepalin is a “proprietary botanical extract” which is safe for anyone, including young children.
According to Dermatology Times advisor Dr. Draelos, onion extract is an ingredient in Mederma which acts as an antiinfective. Other ingredients found in Mederma include purified water, PEG-4, xanthan gum, methylparaben and sorbic acid. In 2008, Mederma reformulated their original formulation to include allantoin. Dr. Draelos says that Allantoin stimulates healthy tissue formation and enhances healing while acting as a skin protectant.
Dr. Draelos says that she was part of a 60 patient study conducted by the manufacturer Merz, to test the effectiveness of the new formulation of Mederma with allantoin for the treatment of scars in 2008. Each participant had one thing in common: they each had two benign growths removed and as a result had two superficial, mid-dermal scars. After the wounds healed, Mederma was applied to one of the two scars on each patient. Dr. Draelos reports that the scars treated with Mederma “showed decreased redness and improved appearance.”
Mederma is not to be used on open wounds. It has been shown to have minimal side effects but a few people report itching or redness around the application site. Mederma produces a peeling film on the skin which some patients may not like.