CICA-CARE has been used by the medical profession for over ten years, in which time it has helped improve the appearance of red, dark or raised scars for over one million people worldwide. And now it's available for you to purchase from your local pharmacist.
During the development of CICA-CARE, many research studies were undertaken - and the results were very impressive. In fact, it has been proven that CICA-CARE works in up to 90% of cases and that the results of treatment are permanent.
Here we have summarised the results of four key research programmes so you too can see evidence of how effective CICA-CARE is.
CICA-CARE Improves the Majority of Scars.
Carney, Carson, Gowar, Stevenson, Macnee, Groves et al 1994.
42 people aged between 2 and 60 with red, dark or raised scars were studies with CICA-CARE.
These scars had also improved in condition, color and texture, softenting to enable the skin to become more flexible.
Only 12% of untreated scars improved after 2 months, with just 38% showing improvement after 6 months.
CICA-CARE is Proven to be Durable.
Donald, ANZBA 1995.
A total of 31 patients aged between 18 months and 65 years old took part in this trial. The patients had either hypertrophic or keloid scars which are both types of red, dark or raised scars.
Patients were divided into two groups; one using CICA-CARE and the other another type of silicone gel sheet.
The results showed CICA-CARE to be tougher in every day use. In all, 69% of patients using CICA-CARE wore the same strip for more than two weeks compared to just 40% for the other silicone gel treatment.
By being more durable, CICA-CARE lasts longer and is therefore more cost effective to use.
Dr M Gold
leading USA Dermatologist
As one of the leading dermatologists in the United States, Dr. Michael Gold has researched scars and their optimum treatments for over 10 years. He performed the initial clinical trials on CICA-CARE, the premier topical silicone gel sheeting, in his clinic in Nashville, TN USA.
"The research that was performed at our clinic suggests that in the majority of cases we were able to flatten raised, red scars and made the colour return towards normal. In our clinic, we routinely initiate therapy with CICA-CARE for patients with raised, red scars. It is preferable over other forms of therapy because it is not painful like steroid injections, it does not have any discomfort associated with wearing pressure garments, and it does not have the risks or complications which may be associated with surgery. Patients find CICA-CARE very easy to use and helpful in their own care.
CICA-CARE is useful for raised, red scars of any age and should be considered an important treatment option for these potentially difficult scars."
Dr P Price
UK based psychologist
Individuals with visible scars are aware that others can feel uncomfortable around them and most of these messages are 'non-verbal', for example, people either stare or avoid eye-contact, or stand further away from them. To the person with scarring all these behaviours reinforce the notion that they are 'different', resulting in anxiety about social situations, leading to poor self-confidence and low self-esteem.
Many individuals with scars, whether visible or not, feel that the scar impacts on their everyday life; many seek scar therapy in order to feel that they are proactively dealing with the problem.
Scar therapies such as silicone gel sheeting allows individuals who want a non-invasive approach to regain some control over their therapy. Whilst scar tissue will never return to 'normal', and it is important that expectations are realistic, many who try this option have been very happy with the results.
Scars, especially red, dark or raised ones, can be very distressing, causing emotional anguish, even pain or discomfort. And yet, our research has shown more than 50% of the population have some kind of scarring.
Hearing how other people have coped with, and treated, their scars can both just be reassuring but can also give us strength in the treatment of our own scars.
Three year old Hannah Shaw was spending a day at her grandfather's house when she fell through a glass door. She was left with a scar running from the bottom of her eye down to the bottom of her nose.
As a result of the accident, Hannah was left with a dark red, slightly raised scar, and over a period of time she became very self conscious about showing her face to strangers because of the questions they asked about how the scar occurred. Her mother Gill was informed by the plastic surgeon that Hannah would be scarred for life.
Her mother Gill says: "We noticed that over a short period of time, Hannah had become very reluctant to show her face when we went out. We were told after she had been to the hospital that there was nothing that we could do to treat the scar."
Gill Shaw found out about CICA-CARE, self-adhesive gel sheet. She bought some straight away and started to use it immediately on Hannah's face.
"After a few days the scar had flattened out, and it was really easy and comfortable for her to use. Hannah wore it for four months and we are delighted with the results. The scar is now a silvery line and the change in our daughter is so noticeable - she is the happy, go lucky child she was before this all happened."
Twelve years ago, a serious car accident left police officer, Jill Thomas, 38 with a highly visible red, raised scar on her chin. Plastic surgery went some way to improving the appearance of the scar but it was still very noticeable.
Jill said: "Although I was told by doctors that I was prone to keloid scarring, I was offered very little advice or hope in terms of improving my scars appearance. I had asked my doctor about laser treatment but was persuaded against this as there was a risk that it could make my scar worse."
Then Jill heard about silicone gel sheets, a treatment for red raised scars which is now available from pharmacies. Jill bought a pack of CICA-CARE silicone gel sheeting and started using it. Jill was delighted with the results. She noticed that her scar was much flatter and the redness had faded.
Jill continued: "Before I started using CICA-CARE my scar was very red and quite raised making it difficult to conceal, even with make-up. Now, only one month into the treatment, my scar has faded and flattened to a point where I can conceal it with make-up and friends have actually commented that my scar is less visible now."
Forty five year old Chris Burt had a Thyroidectomy in 1990 leaving her with a red, raised scar on her neck which was still quite visible eight years later. So, when her doctor informed her that she would need to have the same operation again, Chris was filled with dread. Although the surgeon was careful to make the incision as neat as possible and in the same place as previously, when the wound had healed, the scar was even more red and raised than it had been after her first operation.
Commenting on her experiences, Chris said: "After the second operation, I was upset to realise that the scar was much worse than it had been immediately after the first operation. It was so raised that I could still feel it through several layers of clothing and it actually made me feel queasy when I touched it. But the main problem was that it was very uncomfortable when it rubbed on my clothing.
"Then a friend told Chris about a new treatment for red and raised scars called CICA-CARE. Chris started using the treatment in June and after seven weeks she had noticed that the scar was not as red or raised as it had been - and so did her husband and friends!
Chris added: "Having gone through the operation once before, I knew that it would take a long time before my scar would fade. Because the scar was so much worse than the first time, that troubled me a lot. Although I was sceptical about how much the product would help me before I started using it, I was amazed at how quickly it started to have an effect. The discomfort has now gone and my scar is much less noticeable already. I feel really positive about finishing the treatment and even my GP has asked that I go back to show her the end result."
Mrs Stewart’s Story
Three heart operations in as many years left Mrs Stewart with severe scarring running from her neck to her naval. Red, raised and painful, Mrs Stewart expected to see some gradual improvement in the scars' appearance following her last operation. This was not the case.
Talking about her experiences, Mrs Stewart said: "I was in considerable discomfort as a result of the scarring. Not only were they painful but also, because they were red and raised, I couldn't bring myself to wear anything that didn't have a high neck line."
"I consulted my GP and the surgeon who had performed my operations. They told me I had keloid scarring and the only possibility that was suggested by my GP was to operate on the scars to remove some of the excess tissue. However, my surgeon advised against this as there was a risk that it could make the scarring worse."
Then Mrs Stewart read in a magazine about a new treatment called CICA-CARE from Smith & Nephew which can be used to treat red, raised scars.
Mrs Stewart continued: "Since I started using CICA-CARE two months ago the redness of the scars has started to fade. They are also not as raised as they were and this seems to have helped with the discomfort I was having before. I've noticed a particular improvement at the top of my chest and it has even given me the confidence to go out and buy myself a blouse with a lower neck line than I would have dreamed of wearing before."
For young Gemma Vickers, the everyday rough and tumble of living with two younger brothers always had a more worrying side. From the age of three her parents noticed that even a small scratch would often develop into a nasty red, raised scar, and that the scar could end up larger than the original injury. As she got older she started to become anxious about every cut or graze, knowing that it could leave an ugly and unusual scar on her skin.
Her mother Sue said: "We found out early on that Gemma suffers from Keloid scarring. Although everyone could tell me what it was they couldn't offer any treatment and I felt that there was nowhere that I could turn to help my daughter."
"Having keloid scarring started to have quite an impact on Gemma. She became extremely anxious about being scratched by her little brother because she knew what could develop. I wanted to do the best for my daughter so tried as hard as I could to find out more about the condition and ways of improving the appearance of the scars, but no-one was able to help me."
Gemma, now 15 has a keloid scar on her elbow and shoulder from a fall off her bike and two on her knee from key-hole surgery. "When she had the surgery we told the surgeon that Gemma suffers from keloid scarring but he said it would not be a problem. She ended up with 2 keloid scars despite his reassurances."
Sue Vickers found out about a self-adhesive silicone gel sheet, from her boss who saw it featured in a magazine. "We bought some straight away and Gemma started using it on her elbow. After only eight days the scar had flattened out wonderfully, and it was really easy and comfortable for her to use.
"The fact that there is now something that Gemma can use on her scars has taken a lot of her anxiety away. She knows that at some point she will need a small operation to remove a cyst on her neck and before we were aware of this treatment this was a major worry for her. Now we feel that there is a way that can help and it makes all the difference."
Doris Mitchell in Ireland has first hand experience of the trauma scars can cause. What should have been a routine gall bladder operation in 1986 left Doris, with what she describes as a "10 inch bright red rope".
This was a keloid scar, which was red, raised, intensely itchy and continued to grow outside the original wound itself. Doris was in constant pain for almost 8 years and tried nearly every treatment available including attending a panic clinic, laser therapy, steroid injections, various creams and oils. She was so desperate for relief, that even the drastic step of surgical excision (literally cutting out the scar) was undertaken, in the hope that the new scar would look better. However, this treatment too was unsuccessful.
Doris then spotted an article about a new therapy being used in hospitals in 1994. She contacted her local pharmacist to investigate if it were possible to purchase the hospital product for self-use. She could and it was then she began to use CICA-CARE, a non-invasive silicone gel sheeting.
The scar, which was making her life a living hell, was flattened, the redness disappeared and Doris can now enjoy an active, pain free life. "I was restricted by the scar in every way. I couldn't wear tight or rough clothing, such as a belt; even sitting in the car for long periods was painful. I really have a new lease of life since using CICA-CARE and I want other people who may be suffering terribly to know that there is now hope".
Andrew has had several knee operations to replace damaged ligaments. The first operation was a result of a rugby accident, which left Andrew with a very raised, red scar about 10 inches long. The scar was so severe that even after 18 months, it had not faded at all and was still very painful and red.
"I wasn't offered any advice from doctors about helping me get rid of my scar, just told to take plenty of vitamins", says Andrew. "The scar was stiff with scar tissue and therefore very inflexible - it was painful to move and I couldn't play sports again for a long time as a result of the scarring."
A year and a half after his operation Andrew heard about CICA-CARE - a self-adhesive gel sheet developed specifically to treat red and raised scars. Andrew started using it regularly on his scar and was delighted with the results. After a year, the 10-inch prominent scar had flattened and faded and had almost disappeared.
Unfortunately a weight-lifting accident meant Andrew had to have another knee operation in February 1999. However, because Andrew was now well aware of the benefits of CICA-CARE he used it immediately on his scar. This meant that, unlike the first scar, Andrew had no problems with resistance or with the flexibility of his knee, and as a result was back in training within 10 weeks of his operation. Andrew says:
"I'm very fortunate to have found out about CICA-CARE relatively soon after my first operation and I'm amazed that no one in the medical profession advised me about the product! Since using CICA-CARE my scars have practically disappeared and I'm having no problems at all with resistance or inflexibility. As a result, I've been able to go back into training and enjoy my sporting hobbies again."