Mederma: Ingredients, Reviews, Does It Work?


Mederma is the most popular product amongst a group of scar creams and gels containing onion extract as their main ingredient. In this article, we’ll go beyond customer reviews and summarize the actual clinical research done on Mederma Cream and Advanced Scar Gel in an easy-to-read, customer-friendly manner.

Mederma Ingredients:

Mederma ingredients consist of 10% onion extract and 1% allantoin. Onion extract is made simply by breaking down the flesh of an onion. It was originally used to treat burn injuries and has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Allantoin softens and causes shedding of the upper layers of the skin allowing better penetration of onion extract and generally smoothing the skin. Contractubex, the European market version of the product contains the same ingredients as with the addition of heparin which has anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling properties.

Mederma Reviews:

Customer reviews of Mederma, Cotractubex, and other onion extract-based scar products are prolific online. Product reviews are important and should always be given major consideration when considering the use of scar products. In this article, we’ll take a different approach and check out what the clinical research on these products has shown.

Mederma Reviews: What Does The Science Say?

A major review of Mederma, Contractubex, and onion extract’s use for scars was published in Archives of Dermatologic Research. Sixteen studies that looked into the effectiveness of onion extract products such as Mederma and Contractubex were reviewed and analyzed. The authors found that 11 of the 16 studies (about 70%) showed positive results for this, and other onion extract products when it comes to improving scars.

Does Mederma Work For Skin Surgery?

For example, one study published in the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology looked at 44 patients that underwent surgical removal of multiple skin growths called seborrheic keratosis. These patients were asked to apply Mederma Cream to some of the healing wounds but not to others. The study found that the product led to better scarring, as judged by both the patients and doctors, compared to the scars that formed without the use of the product.

Mederma Cream After Laser Tattoo Removal

Another study from the Dermatologic Surgery journal also showed good results from onion extract. The researchers divided patients who underwent laser tattoo removal into two groups. One group used Contratubex (Mederma’s European counterpart) and one that did not. At 3 months after laser tattoo removal, the doctors found about a 50% reduction in scar visibility and symptoms in the group that used the product versus the group that did not.

Other Reviews

On the other hand, a study published in Dermatologic Surgery found no benefit from the use of Mederma compared to simple petroleum jelly (Vaseline). This randomized, double-blind study used the product on some of 24 surgical wounds and not others. The results showed that at both12 weeks and around 1 year, the scarring results were no different between the two groups of patients.

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel Vs Mederma Cream:

The basic difference between gels and creams have to do with their ingredients.

Advanced Scar Gel

Gels, like Mederma Advanced Scar Gel are light and watery in consistency. They absorb quickly into the skin and contain humectants that trap the skin’s natural surface moisture without using added oils or greases. Gels are preferable for people with oily or shiny skin who do not want to use products that contain additional oils. An additional advantage of the Scar Gel over the cream is that the gel product is a once-daily application.

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel
Mederma Advanced Scar Gel is lighter and less greasy than Mederma Cream


Like all creams, Mederma Cream uses a base richer in oils and fats than it’s gel counterpart. Creams have the advantage of bringing moisture in the form of lipids, and oils to the skin. They are best suited for individuals with drier skin types, or who want additional moisturization of the treated area. The cream also contains SPF for the additional benefit of sun protection.

Mederm Cream contains oils so might be preferred by people with dry, rough skin


ScarScore Seal Of Approval

The effectiveness of scar products such as Mederma Cream and Advanced Scar Gel is notoriously difficult to measure because of the many complex factors that interact to determine a person’s scar quality. One can always ask: Did the product actually make a difference? Scientific research attempts to clarify the process using techniques such as double-blinded, randomized control studies. Of 16 research studies done into the use of onion extract (the main ingredients in Mederma and other Contrabutex), 11 showed positive results, earning Mederma Advanced Scar Gel and Cream a ScarScore Seal of Approval.

Other Approved Scar Products:

Based on the excellent science behind onion extract outlined above, ScarScore also supports these fine scar products:

Murad is ScarScore Approved
Bio Oil ScarScore Approved

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