Does Mederma Work on Old Scars?


Mederma, a topical treatment manufactured by Merz Pharmaceuticals, LLC, is a popular remedy for treating scars from surgery, accident injuries, acne and burns as well as stretch marks. It is available over the counter in cream or gel form. The product is designed to improve the color of the old and new scars as well as the texture and general appearance.


The active ingredient in Mederma is cepalin, a botanical extract derived from onions. Mederma has been recommended by doctors and pharmacists for treating old and recent scars. Mederma must be applied to recent scars three times a day for eight weeks. Old scars require application three times a day for three to six months.

Surgery Scars

Surgery requires cutting through the skin, and the scar is the body’s reaction to that invasion. The surgical scar indicates that the body is repairing the wound. A keloid scar usually extends beyond the original injury. Hypertropic scars are red and raised, similar to keloids, but don’t extend beyond the wound. Contracture scars are often caused by burns and may tighten the skin so severely that movement is restricted.

A surgical scar usually starts out as red and raised but slowly fades. If your scar doesn’t fade as much as you would like, Mederma, applied according to instructions, can make the scar feel softer and appear less noticeable.

Accident Scars

As with surgery scars, after an accidental injury--small cut or a serious accident--your body begins to create fibrous tissue to replace the injured skin. If you develop a scab at the injury site, leave it alone so the wound can heal. Eventually it will fall off, but if it leaves a scar behind, start applying Mederma according to directions. Applied to the scar from an old injury, Mederma can help fade the scar and improve its appearance.

Acne Scars

Acne itself can be treated and is usually outgrown. However, in some cases, the acne is severe enough to leave scars as the body tries to fight the infection and build scar tissue. As with accident scars, it is important to refrain from picking at scabs. While nothing can make acne scars disappear altogether, Mederma has proved effective in improving the appearance even of old acne scars.

Burn Scars

Depending on how serious the burn is, several treatments are available to start as soon as possible. If your burn is treated and still leaves a scar, Mederma can help make the scar look better.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks on the skin of the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks and breasts are often the result of pregnancy, growth spurts in puberty, and rapid or excessive weight loss or gain. The shiny striations are the result of tearing in the tissue under the surface of the skin. Mederma, applied as directed, can reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Differing Opinions

Anecdotal reports from Mederma users differ; many report successful results while others say they could achieve the same results, at less expense, by using petroleum jelly.

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