A cesarean section is a major abdominal surgery where a doctor cuts through skin, fat, and muscle making a substantial incision about 6 inches long to deliver the baby. The scar is the tell-tale sign left behind after the incision wound is healed.
Even after the incision wound heals, the c-section scar can appear raised or discoloured. The skin of your scar may be thicker than the rest of your skin. Sometimes, it might have a stretching sensation or might be painful, especially in the early days after the surgery.
A C- section delivery leads to stitch marks on the body which is done either by staples or sutures. You are discharged from the hospital 3-4 days after the c-section. At the time of discharge, your doctor will remove the staples from your incision.
If you had dissolvable sutures, they’ll dissolve on their own. Gone are the days or sutures which need to be removed later (speak to your doctor about dissolvable sutures which are now readily available in India). The doctor will then cover your C-section incision with adhesive bandages. While your incision is still fresh take care of the following things:
Once the c-section incision heals, it leaves behind a scar. The scar can appear as a raised, hardened skin which has a darker, reddish colour than the surrounding skin. While the scar may fade away over time, it does not completely vanish on its own. Even though a c-section scar lies in a position where it is covered by clothing, it still makes women conscious of its presence and of their appearance. There are a few steps you can take to minimise the scarring:
Keeping the scar moist and covered after the incision has healed is the best way to help reduce scarring after a C-section. Research suggests that petroleum jelly is as effective as any other scar cream in keeping the area moist. Petroleum jelly keeps the scar from getting too large, deep or itchy.
Putting a sheet of silicone gel over your scar site is also very effective. These sticky, clear sheets help keep the scar moist and covered and lead to softer, thinner, and less red scars. These silicone sheets can be left on for the entire day, but have to be removed while bathing or showering. The silicone sheets are reusable and washable too. Silicone gel sheets may be especially helpful for raised scars as they press down on the scar and make them flatter. You can buy silicone sheets at any medical stores but read the instructions carefully before use.
Aloe vera gel helps to lighten the dark stretch marks and the stitch marks from the skin. If you have access to, use fresh aloe vera gel straight from the plant. Aloe vera gel will also soothe and provide relief in case you are experiencing any burning sensation or pain.
Applying vitamin E oil or vitamin E capsule extract on your scar can help it fade away. Vitamin E Oil massage helps to make the tissue soft and also leads to healing of the skin. Studies have also shown that Vitamin E oil reduces or prevents raised scars by blocking the growth of scar tissue.
Cocoa butter is anti-oxidant in nature. It helps in the healing of the wound and also helps reduce the appearance of scars. Besides this, massaging your body with a rich cocoa buttercream will also help you diminish any pregnancy-related stretch marks.
The high vitamin C content of lemons helps fade away scars. Use lemons only after the incision wound has healed completely, not right after surgery as it might hamper the process of healing.
Honey is a natural healing ingredient which reduces skin inflammation. According to researchers, honey seems to help in new tissue formation. It may also reduce scarring and prevent the scar from becoming raised. However, do check with your doctor before trying honey as a scar remedy.
These home remedies are effective only to fade away the scar and not make it disappear completely. For permanent scar removal, you need to consider medical options like laser treatment or cosmetic surgery which are more invasive and expensive procedures. We suggest not being conscious of the scars, just treating your body well and focusing on your health. Just consider your c-section scar as a reminder of the wonderful life you’ve given birth to.
Want to share your mommy experience with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you