I Used Mederma and I Want My Money Back

Princess 19 on 20 Mar 2011 at 12:00am

Mederma, a scar therapy and stretch mark ointment, recently released the results to their annual Wear Your Skin Proudly survey. But, is this just marketing hype to cover up the apparently minimal results seen from using this product?

According to the Mederma survey, 66% of U.S. women are happy with their physical appearance. They also say that 65% are not affected by skin imperfections; their self-confidence is unfazed. Yet, over 40% acknowledged that their self-confidence would improve if they could reduce the appearance of their skin imperfections.

Confusing? Yes. What is this all for?

The survey was commissioned to see how women perceive their skin imperfections, such as scars and stretch marks, and how they impact overall body confidence. All these stats are thrown out to support using Mederma. But ask RealSelf doctors and they’ll tell you their opinion differs.

“Mederma does close to nothing. In a blinded prospective study against placebo, Mederma did nothing. Don't waste your money, honestly,” says Samuel Lam, MD.

In the treatment for, say, stretch marks, there are better, albeit more expensive, ways to make them go away versus using Mederma. One way is using lasers such as a Fraxel laser. (40% Worth It rating )

“There are some lasers which might fade them, and Fraxel is enjoying some support, but nothing topical,” says Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD.

But, what about in-depth scars where Mederma touts its effectiveness? Apparently, one is better off having deep scars, such as keloids, excised. Other treatments are laser and steroid injections. But for deep scars, excising the damaged scar tissue out is best. Some patients felt mild pain during the procedure since needles are used for anesthesia and sutures are also performed for closure. About 69% say the result is worth it. 

“Mederma does nothing to improve scars. It is a good emollient but that's about it and it's ridiculously expensive,” says Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD.

In general, then, are topical ointments for scar improvement less effective than touted?

“Topical silicone may be the best topical treatment for scar improvement. While mederma, an extract of onion skin, is frequently recommended it is not as effective as silicone in my experience,” says Edward Lack, MD.

So, to those 40% of women that want to improve their skin’s appearance, consider skipping the Mederma. You are better off saving that $20 for something more worthwhile...like gas money.


Photo Credit:  flickr.com By akiko@flickr