ScarGuard MD ScarCare is a silicone* based cream that dries to a thin film after application. Scarguard Labs (the manufacturer) states that:
“many doctors use ScarGuard MD for old, raised scars, keloids, and to help prevent scar tissue from forming after surgery or injury.”
* (Silicone scar creams are used to flatten, soften, tone down the color, and smoothen thick scars. They are also known to reduce scar pain and itch. )
So does ScarGuard really work? Here’s a short review with the pros and cons of ScarGuard MD.
Scarguard MD differs from other silicone scar creams in that it combines several ingredients. Or, as the manufacturer advertises: “a patented formulation that combines multiple technologies.” Also referred to as “SG5 technology which combines five medically-proven treatments into one easy-to-use solution”. These treatments are:
1)Silicone. Topical silicone is clinically proven to help shrink scar tissue and help prevent new scar formation after surgery.
2)Cortisone. A low dose of hydrocortisone helps reduce irritation.
3)Vitamin E. Helps the healing process by softening and moisturizing the scar and surrounding tissue.
4)Pressure. Slight increase in surface tension is provided.
5)Occlusion. The medical term for adhering to, and protecting, the scar.
A critical note on these five proclaimed medically proven treatments:
Occlusion, especially by silicones, does seem to be effective in scar treatment. However the amount of pressure a silicone sheet, let alone a silicone cream administers is negligible. Vitamin E used as a standalone topical treatment is discouraged by dermatologists because it may cause skin irritation and worsen scar appearance. The benefits of vitamin E as a scar cream component are disputed.
Let’s take a look at the other Scarguard Scar Care ingredients.
Active ingredients: Silicone 12.75%, Hydrocortisone 0.55%, Inactive ingredients: Vitamin E, Specially-formulated flexible collodion.
Collodion is a flexible substance which dries to form a flexible cellulose film when applied on the skin.
Hydrocortisone (or cortisol) is a is a steroid hormone naturally occurring in the human body. It’s function here is to reduce itch. Hydrocortisone is also used in anti itch creams. As most over-the-counter anti itch creams ScarGuard MD also contains less than 1% of this component.
I don’t grasp the reason of the addition of collodion (instead of using silicones).
I’m also wondering why hydrocortisone was added to the formula since silicones have proven to reduce itch themselves. This seems redundant to me. It may be that the limited amount of people who experience skin irritation during the use of silicone creams benefit from using a product that contains hydrocortisone.
I haven’t used this product myself so I can’t speak from experience. So let’s take a look at ScarGuard MD reviews. An analysis of various reviews from different sources yielded the following:
ScarGuard MD Pros
- almost invisible
- dries fast
- easy to apply
- possible to apply makeup on top of the film
- cheaper than the popular Kelo-cote Advanced Formula Scar Gel and ScarAway Silicone Gel Serum
ScarGuard MD Cons
- doesn’t last, may flake, peels off
- looks like paper on your skin very thin, white, translucent paper film
- bad scent, smells like acetone or nail polish remover (smell fades quickly)
- doesn’t seem to work on old scars
Since there’s far less silicones in ScarGuard than in some other silicone creams I would personally choose a brand that does contain silicones only. (e.g. ScarAway or Kelo-cote )
However, because of the addition of hydrocortisone ScarGuard might be ideal for people with a very sensitive skin who are prone to sweat rash or other skin irritations.
From the various silicone scar cream brands such as Dermatix, ScarZone, Derma E, ScarFade, Rejuvasil, ScarAway, and Kelo-cote I would choose one of the two latter.
I would order one of these because they contain more (only) silicones. For the best results I would certainly recommend to use them in combination with the clinically proven more effective silicone sheeting. Studies demonstrate that the occlusion is a major component in the effectiveness of these silicone products. The fact that the creams are much easier to apply and wear makes them ideal for particular situations and body locations.
More clinical ScarGuard info in this study report: Efficacy of Scarguard in the Prevention of Scars
Conclusion of this study: “Both patients and investigator noted improved aesthetic effects with Scarguard on the appearance of scars following a minor surgical procedure. [..] study observations were determined in a small group of patients in a nonblinded fashion, further investigation is warranted to confirm these results.”