A 'magic' scar gel making waves in Europe has been launched in the UK.
One bottle of Nourisil MD is sold every 30 minutes in Holland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France and the Czech Republic.
It is now available in the UK for the first time after being launched by Fagron UK.
The product helps to flatten, soften and smooth keloids and hypertrophic scars through a unique formula of five different silicones and vitamin E.
Fagron UK general manager Peter Batty said: 'The gel’s preservative-free ingredients are the gold standard in scar treatment. They have proved so skin-friendly in tests that children can also benefit from its use.'
Scars are formed when the skin is injured, the dermal barrier is disrupted, and the outer layer of skin loses moisture. Too much collagen is then produced, causing the raised skin and redness associated with scars.
Certain areas of the body which are more prone to moving and stretching are at greater risk of scarring, such as the chest, back, shoulders and neck.
Peter said: 'Nourisil MD works by creating a silicone barrier that allows skin to release moisture at normal levels, as opposed to too much – a sign of it being damaged.
'Silicone has been used in scar therapy for decades but unlike other products like silicone sheeting, the gel can be applied to the affected area, left to dry for around 60 seconds, and then clothing can be applied as normal.'
The formula will be particularly useful in the treatment of C-section scars, bosses say, by helping to reduce associated pain, redness and discolouration.
After C sections wounds have fully healed and stitches have been removed, women are advised to gently massage in the scar treatment gel twice a day.
The gel includes polysiloxanes and tocopheryl which form an invisible layer that hydrates and protects. Sun blocks and cosmetics can then be added afterwards.
Treatment usually lasts between 60 and 90 days, but longer maybe needed for larger or older scars.
There are two kinds of scars. A keloid is a tough heaped-up scar, often coloured pink or purple, that rises abruptly above the skin.
In comparison, a hypertrophic scar is characterised by deposits of excessive amounts of collagen, causing a less raised mark, often forming around pimples, body piercings, cuts and burns.
While research has failed to fully identify the exact mechanism by which silicones aid scar improvement, their positive effect is largely undisputed.
Other treatments for scarring include silicone gel sheeting, which has been used in scar therapy for over 30 years.
They work by flattening, softening and fading red and raised scars, and the sheet can be easily cut to fit the scar.
Research indicates they work by moisturising and covering the scar area, helping reduce the size and colour and even improving the elasticity of the tissue.
A disadvantage is that they are designed to be worn for up to 24-hours-a day, and washed and reused, which can prove inconvenient and can lead to skin infection.
They also can’t be applied to areas like joints or the face.
Silicone gel treatments, which are an extension of silicone sheeting, remain a favoured and often first point of clinical recommendation in scar management.
Other silicone gels are sold in tubes which allow oxygen to get in and dry the product out. Nourisil MD’s is sold in a medical grade airless dispenser so it lasts for longer.
The NHS says there is no medical evidence to show that vitamin E alone can manage or reduce scarring.
Nourisil costs £28 and is available at www.nourisilmd.co.uk