1. What is a scar?
A scar is part of the normal healing process. The type of scar that forms can depend on a variety of factors including the nature of the injury, which part of the body, the size and the depth of the wound. Scars consist of a non-living protein called collagen which is the most common tissue in the body.
Some injuries will leave a flat white scar that will virtually fade away in time. CICA-CARE is not effective on this type of scar. CICA-CARE is appropriate for red and raised scars resulting from injury to any part of the body, including the face, from surgery or accidents, and may be cuts or burns. But, other scars known as hypertrophic and keloids can cause great discomfort both by restricting movement and by emotional distress.
A keloid scar is a red and raised area which can be uncomfortable and restricting. This type of scarring is a result of the build up of collagen in the area, making the scar larger than the actual size of the wound. Hypertrophic scarring is also red and raised, but without the excess collagen build-up leaving the scar confined to the original wound area.
2. What is CICA-CARE?
CICA-CARE is a unique product for improving scars. It is an advanced form of silicone in an adhesive gel sheet, which has been widely used by medical professionals to help reduce old and new red and raised scars by flattening, fading and softening.
3. How did the product come about?
In 1982, in Australia, a children's hospital was looking for a material which could be used under pressure garments to ensure that pressure was being evenly distributed. It was noticed that where the silicone gel was the scar improved more rapidly. Following this discovery in Australia, the clinical trials began in the UK, which found it was effective when used alone. Back to Top
4. Was CICA-CARE developed just for scar treatment?
No, it was originally used for pressure relief.
5. How does CICA-CARE work?
Research into how CICA-CARE works suggests it may occlude the skin to hydrate the scar area. This means moisture is locked into the skin around the scar. The effect of this may make the scar tissue paler in colour.
6. What is the daily cost of CICA-CARE?
As CICA-CARE can be cut to size, one piece (5 inches x 2 3/8 inches) will enable a 2" scar to be treated for up to 4 months for under $0.50 per day, which is less expensive than a daily newspaper in most countries.
7. How soon can CICA-CARE be used after an injury?
CICA-CARE may be used on any old or new closed wounds, including red or raised scars resulting from surgical incisions such as cesarean sections, cosmetic surgery or accidental injury such as burns and cuts. Always ensure that the wound is fully closed before using CICA-CARE. Do not use on open wounds, infected wounds, scabs, or over stitches.
8. If my scar is longer than the piece of CICA-CARE, can I join pieces together?
Yes, the scar may require more than one piece cut from the sheet to cover the scar. These should be placed edge to edge rather than overlapping each other.
9. How is CICA-CARE used and how long will it take for the scar to get better?
It can vary from person to person and from scar to scar. Some people may see an improvement in a matter of days. When used correctly, best results are seen after 2-4 months treatment time. For the first two days of treatment CICA-CARE should be used for 4 hours per day. For the next two days, CICA-CARE can be increased to 8 hours per day. After this, wear time should be increased by 2 hours per day until a minimum of 12 hours per day is reached. If possible, CICA-CARE should be worn 24 hours per day. This build up is necessary to get the skin accustomed to the gel sheet.
Each separate cut piece used should be cleansed twice daily and will last up to one month in use. Easy painless to remove and replace, the adhesive sheet stays in place, although a light bandage or tape may give extra help to hold it in place. The CICA-CARE adhesive gel sheet is soft, comfortable and easy to apply. It can be cut to size to fit most scars, it is durable and reusable and is ideal for either day or night use. Back to Top
10. Do I have to wear it forever/how long do I use CICA-CARE for?
No, it is intended as a temporary treatment but can be worn until you stop seeing further improvement in your scar. The total treatment time is likely to be from 2-4 months. Click here for more information on Scars Reduction Time
11. How do I care for CICA-CARE?
CICA-CARE gel sheet must be cleaned twice daily. This may need to be increased in warm weather or during periods of physical activity. Mild soap can be used, but do not clean with household cleaning products. For your own comfort and convenience, CICA-CARE can be removed for you to wash and bathe as normal.
12. Why do I have to wash CICA-CARE?
As part of normal hygiene it is wise to keep the CICA-CARE clean. Also the stickiness of the product is restored after cleansing. This will remove normal oils/secretions of skin.
13. Is it safe to use?
CICA-CARE is non-irritating even on sensitive skin. It is safe for use on children and adults. Back to Top
14. What if I have a skin condition, e.g. eczema, psoriasis, or acne?
Where there is broken skin, CICA-CARE should not be used.
To date there has been no research to determine if CICA-CARE will work on other skin problems
15. Will it work with old scars?
CICA-CARE has been shown to be successful in improving older red and raised scars by softening, flattening and fading the colour of the scar. However, results are expected to be most effective on more recent scars.
16. How do I know if CICA-CARE will work on my scar(s)?
The scar needs to be red and/or raised for CICA-CARE to be effective - it doesn't work on old white, flat scars.
17. Will it work on hairy skin?
Answer:In order for CICA-CARE to work, it must be in good contact with the scar. If there is too much hair, then shaving may be an option.
18. Will it work on elderly people and/or babies?
It is safe for use on children and adults. The product has been tested on subjects from 2-60+ years of age. We have no data on its use on infants below the age of 2 years.
19. Will it prevent scarring?
Yes, CICA-CARE has been shown to help the incidence of red and raised (Hypertrophic & Keloid) scars, if used immediately after the wound has healed (intact skin).
20. What are the types of scars/how many types are there?
There are a several types of scars. Normal scars are usually flat and light coloured. CICA-CARE does not improve this type of scar. CICA-CARE is appropriate for red and raised scars. Hypertrophic scars are red and raised and remain within the boundaries of the original injury. Keloids are also red and raised, but usually grow outside the original boundaries of the injury. Keloids can also be quite itchy. More information can be found at the Scar Information website.
21. Why do some skin types scar more than others?
It is not totally clear why some skin types scar more easily or readily than others. Nevertheless, it is believed that darker skinned people are usually at a higher risk.
CICA-CARE can be used to help prevent scarring when used as soon as the wound has healed.
Click here for more information on preventing scars
22. How many patients have used CICA-CARE?
Many patients have benefited from the use of CICA-CARE. To date over 1,000,000 (one million) units have been sold worldwide.
23. Once CICA-CARE reduces my scar/makes it better, will the scar come back?
Bear in mind that even though there will always be some evidence of the scar, recurrence has not been reported in the majority of cases after using CICA-CARE.
24. What are the published references which discuss your product in use?
- Carney S.A., C.G Cason, J.P Gowar, J.H Stevenson, J.McNee, A.R. Groves, S.S. Thomas, N.B. Hart and P. Auclair, (1994). CICA-CARE gel sheet in the management of hypertrophic scarring. 20, (2), pp163-167.
- Dockery G.L. & Nilson R.Z., The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery(1994) Treatment of Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars with SILASTIC Gel Sheeting. 33,(2),pp110-119.
- Gold M.H.,J Am Acad Dermatol(1994). A controlled clinical trial of tropical silicone gel sheeting in the treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloid. 30, pp506-507
- Donald L., Australian/New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA) (1995). Comparison of 2 types of silicone Gel Sheets. 14 pp10-11.
- Sproat J.E., Dalcin A., Weitauer N., Roberts R.S., Plast reconstr Surg(1992). Hypertrophic sternal scars: silicone gel sheet versus Kenalog injection treatment. 90, pp988-992.
- Ahn S.T., Monafo W.W., Mustoe T.A., Arch Surg(1991). Topical Silicone Gel for the Prevention and Treatment of Hypertrophic Scar. 126, pp499-504.
- Katz B.E., Cutis(1995) Silicone Gel Sheeting in Scar Therapy 56, pp65-67.