Silicone has many uses and its use in the medical field is not to be outdone. Did you know, for example, that silicone can be used in bandages?
What is Silicone?
Silicones are ingredients made from silicon, a chemical element designated by the symbol Si in the periodic table.In reality, they are made from silica SiO2 (silicon dioxide), silica being simply sand and an element present in large quantities on Earth. Nevertheless, silicones are not considered to be of natural origin because they are the result of numerous chemical transformations. They are therefore synthetic ingredients. They are identified in the list of components of a product by their name, which usually ends with -cone, -conol, or -siloxane.
Silicones are used in all possible sectors because they are formed from the polydimethylsiloxane skeleton. This molecule can be shaped at will: modification of the molecular weight, the addition of functional groups, creation of new structures with radically different characteristics. With silicones, the possibilities are almost endless. They are generally classified into 5 groups according to their molecular weight (size of the molecules) and their structure, thus their complexity: volatile silicones (the simplest), fluid silicones, gums, elastomers, and resins (the most complex).
Silicones are used in all fields, including the medical field. Compounds that are inert to the skin, they have therapeutic benefits on the skin, especially on scars. The silicones used are then called ‘medical grade’ because they are subject to regulatory restrictions regarding their quality (higher purity).
What are the Advantages of Silicone Dressings?
Compression dressings made from elastic materials such as medical silicone, hug the scar and allow pressure to be exerted on it in order to flatten and radiate it. They can be used both as a preventive and curative measure, and have an anti-inflammatory and anti-edema effect.
The silicone film acts by maintaining the hydration of the skin. This hydration would in turn reduce capillary activity. Thus, there is a reduced production of collagen in the scar and, therefore, less risk of hypertrophy. The scar is softened and smoothed with the treatment.
The application of silicone-based dressings also helps to reduce the pinkish appearance of the scar and limit the associated itching and pain. In general, silicone dressings are used to improve the aesthetic appearance of scars, reduce and smooth keloid and hypertrophic scars, prevent keloid and hypertrophic scars from forming on recently closed wounds. They adapt to the skin surface without stretching it and can be easily removed and reapplied.
Silicone-based PSAs can be formulated to meet medical needs. If you would like to learn more about the benefits and added value of Silicone PSA, we invite you to visit the ELKEM manufacturer’s website.
Silicones are Also Used in Skincare Products
Silicone can also be used in skin care products, such as healing gels. The healing gel moisturizes and helps regenerate damaged skin tissue while being non-greasy and mattifying, to visually reduce the appearance of wounds. In general, it protects the skin by forming a thin and transparent film, it becomes like a second skin. Silicone-based gels are available on the market, suitable for all kinds of scars (acne scars, wounds due to cuts or injuries, surgical or accidental origin…).