Silicone gel is a relatively new form of treatment for thick scars. The gel comes packaged in sheets of various sizes, and can be purchased without a prescription from your doctor.
Why is silicone gel used?
There are two main uses for these gel sheets:
1) To prevent thick scar formation after a surgery or injury.
2) To prevent keloid formation in those prone to develop keloids.
Studies show that it can be quite effective in treating hypertrophic scars, by hydrating the scar tissue. This softens it up and causes it to fade away over time. Some of the gels can also treat older scars as well, so if you have any ask your doctor about whether or not applying a sheet will help.
How are the sheets applied?
You typically start using the gel 1-2 weeks after suture removal or after the injury. The silicone gel is cut slightly larger than the wound and covered with a Band-Aid, ace bandage, cloth wrap or tape.
Each day the gel is washed in warm soapy water then rinsed with cool water. The gel should then be reapplied to the scar. The more the scar is covered with the gel the better it works. Also, make sure the side with the net or backing is pointed away from the skin.
Apply the silicone gel preparation over the affected area for 12-24 hours each day, or as much as possible to maximize results. You can keep using the same piece over and over, but if the gel starts to crumble, you will need to start using a new piece.
What kind of results can I expect?
With daily use, the scar will become flatter and smoother. The treatment works slowly and will require at least 2 months before the results will be noticeable.
Today there are many companies that make these sheets. The best are ScarAway and CicaCare, which offer one, two and three month supplies of cleanable and reusable silicone gel sheets.