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How Do Silicone Scar Sheets Work?

A cartoon of a woman using silicone scar sheets.

Scars are a normal part of the healing process. They form when the body makes extra tissue to repair damaged skin and close gaps caused by injuries or surgical procedures. But scars can cause cosmetic concerns, especially when they cannot be hidden by clothes. Visible scars can lead to a loss of self-esteem and affect your quality of life. 

Silicone gel sheets can promote scar healing and significantly improve the texture, color, and visibility of scars. These scar sheets can be used on all skin types and can reduce the appearance of surgical scars, burn scars, keloids, and hypertrophic scars. Please continue reading to find out how silicone scar sheets work. 

What does a silicone sheet do to scar tissue?

Research suggests a silicone scar sheet acts as a barrier and increases hydration in the skin while allowing skin in the affected area to breathe. In addition, a silicone sheet helps to regulate growth factors (substances that promote collagen synthesis) and collagenases (enzymes that stop excessive collagen production), thus restoring balance in excess scar tissue. The result is a softer, flatter scar that is less visible. A silicone gel sheet also protects scar tissue from bacteria and reduces redness, itching, and discomfort while the scar heals. 

What types of scars can benefit from scar tape?

Plastic surgeons recommend silicone sheets to heal scars and control excess collagen in scars after cosmetic surgery. This scar treatment can be combined with other measures like laser treatments to reduce the appearance of scars. Scar tape can also be used on scars from surgical procedures, burn scars, acne scars, and insect bite scars.

Can silicone sheets be used for scar treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloid scars?

Hypertrophic and keloid scars (thickened, raised scars) are particularly troublesome and can cause redness, pain, and itching. The application of silicone sheets is a proven scar treatment for raised scars. The other treatment recommended by healthcare professionals for hypertrophic scars is a local injection of corticosteroids. However, silicone sheets are both preventive and therapeutic, whereas steroid injections are only therapeutic for raised scars. Also, steroid injections can be quite painful and are contraindicated for large scars and in children.

Frequently Asked Questions

When to start using silicone sheets?

For fresh scars, you should start scar treatments with silicone sheets after the wound has closed (this usually takes 5-10 days). Do not use silicone sheets on open wounds, dirty wounds, or broken skin. For existing scars, you can start using silicone sheets immediately.

How long does it take for silicone scar sheets to work?

It usually takes 60-90 days for silicone sheeting to produce a noticeable difference in the scar area such that it blends with your skin’s natural color and texture. Keep in mind that treating scars with silicone gel sheets is highly individual. It varies from person to person, depending on factors such as scar types and the health of the skin’s surface. Post-surgical scars, including plastic surgery scars, tend to heal faster than burn scars, hypertrophic scars, and keloids. 

How long should you wear silicone scar sheets?

You should wear silicone scar tape every day for 12-23 hours. The longer the silicone is in contact with your skin, the faster you will get results. Many people find it convenient to wear scar sheets at night while they sleep. The usual treatment duration is 3 months or until the scar is fully healed. 

Some silicone scar sheets are washable and reusable for up to 10 days. These sheets should be removed and washed, the scar area cleaned, and the sheet reapplied after it has dried completely. Fabric-backed sheets are ideal for comfort.

Other types of silicone scar sheets are for continuous use for up to 10 days. You don’t need to remove them for cleaning. Simply discard the sheet when it loses its adhesiveness and replace it with a new one. 

Do silicone scar sheets work on old scars?

Silicone scar sheets may improve the appearance of older scars. However, they are more effective on new scars. 

Can I wear silicone scar sheets while bathing?

Some silicone scar sheets are water-resistant and can be worn while showering. However, ideally, scar sheets should not be worn while bathing, swimming, or exercising because water, perspiration, and bath products can cause them to lose their adhesiveness. The scar sheets should be reapplied on dry skin after bathing or exercising

What are the disadvantages of silicone scar sheets?

Silicone sheets can be cumbersome to wear on scars, especially in visible areas. You may need to trim the sheets to fit smaller scars or wear two sheets side-by-side to cover larger scars. The scar sheets can cause skin irritation in some people, requiring discontinuation of treatment. 

For these reasons, many people prefer to use a topical silicone gel on scars instead of scar tape. The gel is easier and more convenient to use and equally effective as a silicone scar sheet. 

Silicone gel can be used on sensitive skin, in children, on irregular surfaces such as joints, and on large scars. Additional advantages of a silicone scar gel are that it is invisible when dry, requires no fixation, and can be worn in combination with makeup and sunblock.

You can use a combination of the gel and sheets. For example, wear the topical silicone gel when you’re not wearing a silicone scar sheet, but do not use both together. 


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2918339/
  2. https://scaraway.com/faq/#toggle-id-5