Silicone Sheets for Scar Reduction
Topical silicone gel sheeting, also known as silicone strips, have been used in scar therapy for more than 30 years and while we still don’t know exactly how it works, its ability to improve scars is largely undisputed. Similar to a Band-Aid, these self-adhesive sheets come in different sizes, though they are much more flexible, reusable, and longer wearing because they’re crafted from 100% medical-grade silicone.
How Does Silicone Gel Sheeting Work?
Silicone Gel Sheeting is one of the only evidence-based recommendable forms of treatment to control the quality of a scar. It’s easy to use, noninvasive and relatively low cost. So how does it work?
• It mimic’s the skin’s moisture barrier and keeps it hydrated.
• It gently reduces the tension in the wound edges which creates the ideal environment for normal scar development.
• Provides a layer of gentle pressure to help relieve itchiness and flatten and fade any raised or discolored areas.
• It reduces both the blood supply to the scar site and the exaggeration of the healing process.
• Protects the scarred tissue from bacteria and prevents excessive production of collagen which can be induced by bacteria in the scar tissue area.
• It generates a negatively charged static electric field through the creation of friction between itself and the skin which aids in the alignment of collagen cells. Interestingly, scar release therapy provided with MPS also generates a negative electric charge to improve the scar.
What are the Pros and Cons of Using Silicone Strips?
All products have their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to silicone strips, it has its pros and cons too.
- Staying power: Silicone Strips ensure your scar tissue are continuously exposed to silicone.
- A non-invasive and painless way of helping reducing scar tissue.
- Can also help minimize redness, pain, bumpiness or itching of scar tissue as your skin heals.
- Comes in multiple sizes.
- Blends well with your natural skin contours so not overly obvious that you’re using these products (but depends on what you’re wearing and where the strips are placed).
- Easily accessible and readily available.
- Duration: Needs to be worn 24 hours a day and can be visible under some forms of clothing.
- Silicone strips can be expensive.
- Allergic reactions are possible, and you might be allergic or sensitive to the products.
Let us know if you have any other questions that aren’t answered here.
CAN I USE SILICONE STRIPS FOR OLD SCARS?
Silicone strips can be used on old scars as well as recent scars.
WHEN SHOULD I BEGIN USING SILICONE STRIPS?
Generally, silicone strips can be applied approximately 1 to 2 weeks after sutures are removed. Be sure to wait until there is no further bleeding, oozing or crusting. ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR SURGEON PRIOR TO USING THEM.
CAN I USE SILICONE STRIPS ON ANY PART OF MY BODY?
Yes, mostly. Silicone strips can be ideal for use on most body parts as long as the tissue has healed adequately.
HOW LONG SHOULD I USE IT
Treatment duration varies from person to person and depends on many factors such as the extent and severity of the scar, your skin’s healing and scar formation processes. Generally the recommended duration of silicone strips usage is 8 to 12 weeks for new scars or 3 to 6 months for existing scars. That’s a fairly long protocol to follow but if you do, you may be rewarded by less visible scars and increased mobility.
IS SILICONE STRIP SCAR TREATMENT SAFE?
Yes, it appears this is a safe treatment. The FDA even recommends silicone strips for the treatment and reduction of scars. There have been no reported side effects from using silicone strips because it is made of non-toxic, medical-grade silicone. Every person is different, however, and you could have an allergy to it (rare but possible).