Should You Use Silicone Scar Tape?

Keep reading to figure out if silicone scar tape is the best fit for you!

Image courtesy of NewGel+.

It’s often difficult to keep up with all the latest trends in the world of beauty and self-care, but we can guarantee you’ll want to hear about this one. 

Lately, silicone scar tape has been trending on MedicalTok, one of TikTok’s many subsets of online communities. People posting on this side of TikTok are dedicated to at-home medical care tips and advice, and it’s a very vast community, with over 5.7 billion views amassed under the #medicaltiktok hashtag.

In a shocking statistic, Forbed found that 20% of the U.S. population will consult TikTok prior to speaking with their doctor for health advice. Whether you would check MedicalTok first yourself or not, some of the site’s trends are definitely worth learning more about!

One current trend that’s been gaining a lot of traction is silicone scar tape. Keep reading to find out more about what that is, what it does, and why you might want to use it.

Background: Silicone for Scars

Silicone has been used for treating scars and reducing their appearance since long before the scar tape trend took off, dating back to 1982. 

It works best when combined with other therapeutic methods, such as applying pressure, massaging the scarred tissue, and more. Silicone has been found to help with hydrating scar tissue, and reducing the production of collagen fibers in the area.

Silicone can also help decrease redness and swelling, so it can make scar tissue look softer, flatter, and paler in color. Health professionals often recommend it to prevent raised scar tissue.

For any form of silicone scar therapy, you will likely be instructed to wear it as much as possible over 24 hours to see best results. If you and your doctor decide that silicone scar therapy is the best choice for you, they will often give you the first product, but after that you’ll likely have to purchase them yourself.

An image of someone holding up a box of Mederma skin care for scars in the aisle of a pharmacy, with other scar treatment products on the shelves in the background.
Luckily, there is no shortage of silicone-based scar treatment on shelves. You can purchase these products over the counter. Image courtesy of Free Stuff Finder.

Many different forms of silicone have been used to help with scar treatment, and the vast majority of them are reusable, so it can also be cost effective!

One of the most popular forms of applying silicone to scar tissue is via a topical gel, which you would do on clean, dry skin during a scar massage. The gel only takes up to five minutes to dry, but it will remain waterproof for between six and eight hours!

When using silicone gel, you can usually use your regular beauty products over top of the area, such as makeup, moisturizer, or sunscreen. You can’t use this gel over open or still bleeding wounds, however— only after the healing process has already begun.

While topical gel has been the most well-known method of silicone scar therapy for a long time, other forms exist as well, such as Mepiform dressings, silicone gel sheeting, and mineral oil fabric digital sleeves. All of these methods are more similar to silicone scar tape, and that’s our focus today.

What is Silicone Scar Tape?

So, why may you want to look in silicone scar tape specifically? Well, for the same reason why it’s becoming so popular on MedicalTok— because it can yield better results than a lot of alternative scar treatments, even other silicone ones.

In a nutshell, silicone scar tapes are chemical free-tapes made to treat scar tissue. These self-adhesive strips or sheets contain a thick layer of silicone gel, and are thin, flexible, and soft on your skin. The tape keeps your skin tight and covered, both of which can help speed up your recovery.

Notably, unlike traditional medical tape, silicone scar tape doesn’t pull or peel off skin when removed, which makes the process very pain-free. So, it’s no wonder why silicone scar tapes have become super popular on social media!

Videos mentioning the product have over 3.9 billion views on TikTok. Silicone scar tapes are part of the MedicalTok meta trend discussed above.

Despite the fact that silicone adhesives for scar treatment have been around for a very long time, researchers still aren’t sure exactly what about silicone is so effective for scar treatment. More than likely it’s the result of a combination of factors.

Silicone scar tape applies pressure to the skin, which on its own can be good for scar tissue, but it also simultaneously keeps the skin closed, clean, and hydrated. As mentioned before, silicone can also reduce collagen formation.

These products also limits tension and blood flow around the site of the injury, which can also help the scar tissue heal faster.

In terms of how to use silicone scar tape, you can only introduce these adhesives after an injury has fully healed and there is no longer any risk of infection. The typical timeline in which these conditions would be met is between two and four weeks, but definitely consult your doctor before beginning to use this product.

An image of a man sitting across from his doctor at a table. The doctor is holding a clipboard, and both of them are smiling as they look at it.
It’s always important to consult your primary care physician when you’re considering a new treatment product.

First, clean the area of your scar, then cut the adhesive to the correct size and apply it by pressing it firmly to dry skin. Make sure that the entire scar is covered and that the adhesive is sticking well.

In order to be effective, you should wear the silicone scar tape for at least twelve hours a day. As you get more used to the product, you can gradually increase the time you spend wearing the scar tape up to a full twenty-four hours.

Of course it’s important to follow the directions of the specific product you choose as well as the instructions of your healthcare provider. This is the best way to know when you should switch out the silicone scar tape. You want to make sure that you’re getting the most results out of the product while avoiding any complications.

After all, as with any method of treatment, there is always the chance of some side effects. Things to keep an eye out for if you decide to try silicone scar tape are skin reactions. Wearing scar tape for over twelve hours may irritate sensitive skin.

Additionally, people with known allergies to silicone should also avoid using the product. If you notice any adverse effects, stop using silicone scar tape and get in touch with your primary care physician or dermatologist as soon as possible.

On average, if you find that silicone scar tape does work for you, the whole process will take between two and four months for new scars and up to six months for older injuries.

Benefits of Silicone Scar Tape

Now that you’ve learned more about silicone scar tape, you may be wondering whether an adhesive or a topical gel is the right method of silicone scar therapy for you. Well, they’ve been found to be equally effective, it may just depend on your scar’s location.

For example, if you have a scar on a joint, the tape could be disrupted by that frequent movement and begin to peel off. It can also be difficult to apply to a scar on your face.

Silicone scar tape, on the other hand, can cover a large area of skin and doesn’t have to be applied several times a day, so people sometimes find it more convenient. You also may want to avoid direct sunlight when using silicone gel, while sunscreen can be applied over scar tape.

Those are just a few of the benefits of silicone scar tape, though! Research indicates that it can help with the size of scars, as well as reducing symptoms such as swelling, itchiness, redness, stiffness, hardness, and overall discomfort.

Due to the hydrating properties of silicone and the pressure that scar tape applies, these adhesives can also help alleviate pain.

An image of someone pulling a sheet on silicone scar tape off of their forearm. The skin underneath appears perfectly smooth.
Application and removal of silicone scar tape is very simple, and it’s much more effective than you think! Why not give it a try? Image courtesy of Rejuvaskin.

Silicone scar tape can also act as a preventative measure, and stop existing scars from growing worse, which is particularly effective with scars from surgical procedures and burn scars. Appearance, texture, color— all of these can be assisted by silicone.

The types of scars that silicone scar tape has also been found effective with also include hypertrophic scars, keloid scars, and acne scars.

Many people prefer silicone scar tape because of how non-invasive these adhesives are— they are fairly easy to apply yourself, and you can do so in the comfort of your own home.

Silicone scar tape is also incredibly versatile, both in the ways it will help and the number of scars it has been proven effective with. If that weren’t enough, silicone scar tape can also be used by people of all ages and skin types.

If you are looking for a new method of scar treatment, whether from an injury old or new, silicone scar tape might be worth a try!

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Charlotte Pearse

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