Edit: the answer was in another abstract that I hadn't read yet:
- It increases hydration of stratum corneum and thereby facilitates regulation of fibroblast production and reduction in collagen production. It results into softer and flatter scar. It allows skin to "breathe".
- It protects the scarred tissue from bacterial invasion and prevents bacteria-induced excessive collagen production in the scar tissue.
- It modulates the expression of growth factors, fibroblast growth factor β (FGF β) and tumor growth factor β (TGF β). TGF β stimulates fibroblasts to synthesize collagen and fibronectin. FGF β normalizes the collagen synthesis in an abnormal scar and increases the level of collagenases which breaks down the excess collagen. Balance of fibrogenesis and fibrolysis is ultimately restored.
- Silicone gel reduces itching and discomfort associated with scars.
Get some stitches. Doctor gives some scar cream for it. Run out. Go to pharmacy. Brand not found. Pharmacist looks at it, "oh yeah, the active ingredient is silicone, here use this," and grabs something off the wall behind him.
This sets my bullshit meter off. And I ask, "silicone? So is 'scar cream' just a placebo then? Did the doctor just give me this to trick my mind into healing a good scar?" And he goes, "oh no, silicone does work," which of course is exactly what he would say if it was a placebo ;)
So I looked it up, read a couple abstracts, and apparently, this is evidence-based science: silicone makes scars heal better. Okay fine. How? What does silicone do to the scar that makes it heal better? Don't tell me that the silicone placebo conspiracy goes this deep.