Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
Better than nothing...
on 5 September 2013
A couple of months ago I had major surgery leaving me with two scars on my chest, each about a foot long. Although healing was going well, the scars were itching like mad and after a month, still too sore to tolerate clothes rubbing on them for more than a couple of hours at a time. My surgeon (at a private hospital but funded by the NHS) recommended Kelo-cote, but said he doubted whether the NHS would stump up for it and when I saw the price of it and totted up how much I'd need for the recommended period for the size of my scars, it was prohibitively expensive, so I sighed and resigned to finding cheaper alternatives.
Mederma is significantly cheaper. And from the first day of use, my scars were less itchy and sore. After a couple of weeks I did notice some improvement, but only on the parts of the scars that don't tend to come into contact with clothes. The bits on my pectoral area, where clothing rests and rubs, were just not improving and I was still in a hurry (once I returned to work) to get home and go topless for the evening.
This is because Mederma has no real staying power. You have to keep applying it throughout the day. The instructions tell you 3 or 4 times, but if your scars are in places that clothing rests on, you'll have to do a deal more than that, as it rubs off within an hour of the stuff drying. It also has a smell to it that you don't mind at first, but which quickly get fed up of on top of the constant flakes of dried gel.
Pining for the more expensive silicon gels, but knowing I couldn't afford them, I had some interesting chats with a friend of mine who happens to be a medical journalist with a background as a pharmacist. He recommended placing cling film over the top of the wet gel after applying, and taping down the cling film with hypafix tape. That would prevent it from actually drying, and create a similar effect to the silicon gels. In desperation, I tried it, and it made a big difference in that I wasn't having to spend half my day cleaning off flaky dried gel and reapplying. But it was far from comfortable.
In the end I went to the GP and bewailed my lot. And guess what? He told me you can get Kelo-cote on prescription. I came home with a 60g tube of the best silicon gel, gratis. If I'd known I could do that in the beginning, it would've saved a lot of hassle (been using Kelo-cote for 2 weeks now and it's like night and day, a vast improvement!). Even if you have to pay for your prescriptions, I'd say try your luck with your GP first and only if they won't prescribe you the good stuff, would I suggest falling back on this.