At some point in our lives we all end up with unwanted blemishes on our skin in the form of scars.
They could come from operations, injuries or burns. Or maybe from stretch marks1 after having a child or losing a lot of weight. Maybe your teenage acne left more of a lasting impression than you would like.
Whatever the type of scarring, I think it’s fair to say, we would all wish they weren’t there. Or at least were less visible.
It can get very tedious telling the story behind your scars over and over again.
There is no miracle cure for scars however Mederma is a product that promises:
To reduce discoloration and improve the overall appearance and texture of scars.
Let’s take a look whether that promise holds any validity.
What Is Mederma
The company behind this range of products is Merz Pharma. They were founded in Germany in 1908 and now operate internationally.
They produce a number of over the counter and prescription solutions for skin care.
These include pharmaceutical products for cellulite2, spider veins, facial fillers and cosmetological treatments.
Of the over the counter ranges Merz produces, Mederma offers solutions for scars and stretch marks.
In early 2017 they added a dry oil treatment to this range, as well as a range of skin care, beauty care and supplements.
What Products Do The Company Offer?
There are 4 ranges produced by this company.
- Scar Care: a range to protect scars and reduce their appearance.
- Stretch Mark Therapy: a range to prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- Skincare: A line of face and body products which may give smooth, radiant and healthy-looking skin.
- Beauty Care & Supplements: known as the “spezial” range and claims to provide essential support for healthy skin, hair and nails.
We will take a look at two products in detail. One from the Scar Care Range and one which covers both Scar Care and Stretch Mark Therapy.
- The Advanced Scar Care Gel which the company states is “a convenient, once-daily treatment that is clinically proven to visibly reduce the appearance of scars”
- The Quick Dry Oil which is “a multi-use product for use on scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, and dry skin”.
The Advanced Scar Care Gel contains the following ingredients:
- Allantoin: used as a moisturizer3
- Water (purified)
- PEG 200: generally used as a binding or stabilising agent in cosmetics
- Xanthan Gum: a thickening and stabilising agent
- Allium Cepa (Onion) Bulb Extract: more about that in a moment!
- Lecithin: can be used as a moisturizer4
- Methylparaben: a preservative5
- Sorbic Acid: a preservative
- Panthenol: a moisturizer6
- Sodium Hyaluronate: a skin conditioning agent
This combination of ingredients has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of new scars. This could however also be attributed to the body’s own healing abilities!
The company claims that it works for many types of scars old and new, including acne scars, surgery scars, and scars from burns, cuts, and other injuries.
Other than customer feedback, I could not find clinical evidence that the product can improve old scars.
The Quick Dry Oil has over 30 ingredients including:
- Almond Oil: can be anti inflammatory and may help reduce scar tissue7
- Coconut Oil: a moisturizer8
- Chamomile, Almond and Rose extracts: all shown to repair skin
- Ginger: can help repair skin 9
- Allium Cepa: may help the appearance of new scars
The company claim that this is a “multi-use product for use on scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, and dry skin”.
Whilst the ingredients indicate that it may have some moisturizing and healing benefit for the skin, there is no proof that it will fulfill all it promises.
How Does Mederma Work?
Products with onion extract ( Allium Cepa) have been shown to reduce the overall appearance and texture of scars.
The company rely heavily on this in marketing their product and have a patented ingredient containing onion extract, Cepalin.
It appears that, in the correct formulation, onion extract may help reduce inflammation in the skin, which can prevent redness as well as possibly decrease scar sizes.
This does not mean that it is advisable to cut open an onion and start rubbing it on your scars!
One of the other ingredients that may help the appearance of scars is allantoin. This has been shown to help heal wounds and promote healthy skin. One study showed that allantoin, together with Cepalin can help improve scars.
It would appear that there may be some credibility in what the company claims these products can do. The company admits that once you have a scar, it is there for life.
They do however state that with proper care wounds can heal with less scarring. And further state that after the wound has closed, you can take steps to help improve how a scar looks or feels.
Mederma Side Effects
Some users have reported feeling irritation or itching when using these products.
As with any product it may be wise to patch test first or consult your doctor.
Mederma Reviews & Complaints
Of 2772 reviews on Amazon for the Advanced Scar Care Gel 80 percent rated the product 3 stars or above.
Of the positive reviews there appear to be customers that experienced reduction in all types of scars, from acne to post surgery to cuts and scrapes.
Huynh Bui writes:
I have tried many scar cream/gel for my acne scars but nothing works. I always feel really embarrassed with all the scars on my face and neck. I gave this product a try. I could clearly see the different after a week of using it. The scars are fading away. I have been using for more than 4 months now, love it.
And Carla reports:
I am impressed. Three times applying it to my three months old surgery scar (belly button to pelvic bone/ keloide) and already some improvement, my scar is definitely thinner, maybe around 20%. Even my husband noticed :). I am very happy with results and will keep applying it.
It appears that the product may work well on new scars but not old ones.
This helped me not form new scars, but it did nothing for the old ones applying 3 x a day for 3 months. I am disappointed & glad I didn’t pay too much.
There are negative reviews, in the main they complain of it not working at all, it smells unpleasant or the product causing irritation.
I do not recommend this product. I waited 6 months to give it a chance, but the scars still show! Less redness than at the start, but this would probably have happened all by itself.
Reviews for the Quick Dry Oil are again mainly positive on Amazon, 84 per cent at 3 stars or above.
Jennifer H writes:
Great product for me! I’ve been using it once a day since my mastectomies with tissue expanders. I wanted something to help with healing and preventing stretch marks if possible. It absorbs quickly and I noticed it actually got rid of my blotchy red skin on my neck and chest from sun damage. That is an added bonus! Very moisturizing and my skin looks and feels much softer, even younger. I still have over a 1/2 a bottle and I have been using daily for 2 months.
Meanwhile Kinny writes:
Did absolutely nothing for me ….seen no improvement.
Other negative reviews are in the same vein, with some saying the product is greasy.
Mederma; Packages, Prices & Where To Buy
The ranges can be bought online at Mederma.com, Amazon, or at other outlets such as CVS Pharmacies, Target, Alpha XR or Walmart among others.
The prices may vary between outlets. To give you a guide, below you can see for how much you can buy Mederma at Alpha XR website.
Some items qualify for free shipping if you are an Amazon Prime member and Amazon offers a 30 day money back on some products. Check their website for full details.
See below how the official site looks like.
Mederma Pros & Cons
Mederma Review: Final Words
As with any product it seems this range will not work for everyone, however there are more positive reviews than negative ones.
This is not a magic potion that will eliminate all your scars, there is unfortunately no way to get rid of them completely once we have them. It does appear that these products may help them become less visible.
In order to achieve this though it seems that you have to commit to using them as directed over a long period of time. On the plus side they are readily available and not too expensive.
I suppose it depends on how you feel about any scars you have. Some people may see them as trophies of their life experiences. After all if you survived a shark bite you might want the reminder that you are still here to tell the tale!
We laid out the facts, will you buy Mederma? Comment below and tell us what you think!
- Young, Gavin, and David Jewell. “Creams for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy.” Cochrane database of systematic reviews 1 (1996). https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000066/abstract
- Rossi, Ana Beatris R., and André Luiz Vergnanini. “Cellulite: a review.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 14.4 (2000): 251-262. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1468-3083.2000.00016.x
- Farber, Elliott. “Allantoin-containing skin cream.” U.S. Patent No. 6,329,413. 11 Dec. 2001. https://patents.google.com/patent/US6329413B1/en
- Raut, Sushil, et al. “Lecithin organogel: A unique micellar system for the delivery of bioactive agents in the treatment of skin aging.” Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B 2.1 (2012): 8-15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211383511001079
- Soni, M. G., et al. “Evaluation of the health aspects of methyl paraben: a review of the published literature.” Food and chemical Toxicology 40.10 (2002): 1335-1373. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691502001072
- Camargo Jr, Flávio B., Lorena R. Gaspar, and Patrícia MBG Maia Campos. “Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations.” Journal of cosmetic science 62.4 (2011): 361. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/29f8/5e7b925f71483995027c89bf7d757c64f1a0.pdf
- Ahmad, Zeeshan. “The uses and properties of almond oil.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 16.1 (2010): 10-12. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejlt.200700220
- Nevin, K. G., and T. Rajamohan. “Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats.” Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 23.6 (2010): 290-297. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/313516
- Grzanna, Reinhard, Lars Lindmark, and Carmelita G. Frondoza. “Ginger—an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.” Journal of medicinal food 8.2 (2005): 125-132. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125