If you have undergone (or are considering) a c-section, you might delight in understanding the scar healing process. This article will explain everything you need to know about c-section scar removal, healing, and complications such as infection.
What Causes C-Section scarring
C-section scarring occurs as part of the normal healing process. When the skin is injured by any factor – in this case the surgical incisions – it responds by starting a build up of collagen in the injury site. This is accompanied by increase circulation which explains the red appearance of most scars during the initial stages.
Collagen works like natural “glue”, strengthening the skin tissues and protecting the underlying skin tissues as they heal.
C Section Scar Healing – C-Section Scar Recovery
Whether by choice or necessity, a caesarean section will not only give you a baby but also leave you scarred in the lower abdomen. On a positive note however, the scar often heals very well with time and eventually goes away, although not completely.
How Long For C-Section Scar to Heal
C-section scars heal in a span of 6 to 12 months and most are hardly noticeable 6 months down the line as Dr. Karol Gutowski, Northbrook plastic surgeons say. There are of course exceptions whereby scar tissues remain visible for as long as 2 years or more.
C-Section Scar Healing Process
At the beginning the scar typically looks red because of the increases circulation and may appear swollen and hard due to the build up of collagen. As time progresses, the scar tissue usually becomes paler and less noticeable.
Once the scar has completely matured, it will turn into a pale, thin line which blends in with the skin surrounding it.
C-Section Scar Not Healing
Factors such as infection leading to poor healing of the incision wound, poor observation of the surgeon’s instructions by the patient, and genetic predisposition can delay the scar healing process.
If you are concerned that your scar has stayed for so long without fading away, maybe more than one year, you may want to talk to your doctor or surgeon about the various intervention measures such as laser treatment, surgical revision, silicone gel sheeting etc.
How to Help C-Section Scar Heal
You can always help the c-section scar to heal properly by sticking to your surgeon’s post-surgery guidelines.
It is also important to avoid engaging in strenuous activities and sporting activities which can place pressure on the incision site for at least 6 weeks. This helps to prevent accidental opening of the incision wound and infection.
You should also avoid scratching the scar to prevent infection which is one of the factors leading to poor scarring process.
Infected C-Section Scar
Infection is one of the most common risks of c-section surgery. When a scar gets infected, it often starts oozing pus and may get swollen and bleed. You may also experience increasing and pulsating pain and the area may look increasingly red and feel warm to the touch.
If you notice any of the above signs of infection, you should see your doctor immediately for appropriate treatment. S/he will very likely give you a round of antibiotics and other medications to relieve pain and reduce the inflammation.
Infected C-Section Scar Pictures
Pictures remain our preferred way to express our proverbial thousand words. To give you an idea how scar infection manifest itself, here are several infected c-section scar pictures:
Infected 1, 2
C-Section Scar Removal
For some patients, the c-section scar is hardly an issue given the fact that it is not only neatly hidden beneath the bikini line, but also clears on its own given time, c-section scar heal on their own as to eventually fade away into a thin, pale line that is not as noticeable.
Some scar may however become due to factors such as genetic predisposition and poor healing of the incision wound. This might leave you asking what c-section scar removal options are available.
Silicone sheets: Silicone gel is one of the most commonly used scar treatment option. It is often incorporates into adhesive sheets that are stuck on the scar. Some common over-the-counter silicone gel sheets that you may want to consider for c-section scars are ScarAway and Rejuveness.
Scar creams: Scar creams are one of the options that you may want to consider for c-section removal. We have covered more about creams in a subsequent section of this article.
Surgical scar revision: Surgical scar revision is yet another common c-section scar removal that you may want to consider for stubborn scars. The scar is modified surgically to make it flatter and less visible.
Punch grafting is one of the common approaches to surgical scar revision which involves surgically removing the scar and replacing it with a skin graft obtained from a healthy part of the body, commonly behind the ear.
Laser treatment: Laser light is perhaps one of the most useful innovations of the 21st century. One of its diverse uses is treatment of scars whereby high energy laser pulses are used to remove the top layer of the skin to stimulate a regrowth of healthy skin from beneath.
Newer non ablative lasers Nlite and Fraxel Re:Store target the dermis layer of the skin whereby they stimulate the production of collagen without damaging the top layer of the skin. It is on the downside however not ideal for deep scars.
Talk to your doctor or a dermatologist or surgeon about the suitable options for your specific case.
C Section Scar Cream
A C-section scar can benefit from one of the many scar creams available on the market today. These are available over-the-counter or on prescription. It seems that most products today, including kelo-cote and scarguard, are silicone-based. Mederma is one notable exception, featuring onion extracts as the active ingredient.
Whether Mederma works is subject to controversy, with differing scientific findings as at the time of this writing, but it might be worth your time if online reviews are anything to go by.
Massaging C-Section Scar
Massaging is a great way to reduce the extent of c-section scarring. Massaging improves blood circulation and mechanically breaks down the scar tissue. This helps to aid the scar tissue healing process and can lead to a flatter looking scar.
It is important however to wait until the scar has healed considerably before massaging it. You should wait for at least 6 weeks before doing it. The best way to massage your scar is in circular motions using some oil, say olive oil, or shea butter.