The best C-section scar treatment consists of a few things one can do. Read on to learn about which options will help your scar heal quickly.
C-section scars are very common among women because the caesarean section is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States.
A C-section delivery can be daunting both physical and emotional. The period direct after this surgery is generally very hectic. There’s the care of the newborn child, lots of social activity, and recovery of the surgery. In these hectic times the treatment of the c-section scar might get passed up.
Here’s an overview of which options are available on treating your c-section scar optimally. From effective scar treatment, how to reduce scar pain, to abdominal binders and massage after c-section.
The C-Section Scar
The scar is most commonly located on the lowest part of the tummy, just above the pubic bone. Because of its location it is mostly covered by underwear or clothes. Incisions on other locations are less common. Here are some c-section scar photos.
Logically the location of the c-section scar depends on where the incision(s) is (are) made.
There are several types of Caesarean section (CS). An important distinction lies in the type of incision (longitudinal or latitudinal) made on the uterus, apart from the incision on the skin.
- The classical Caesarean section involves a midline lengthwise incision which allows a larger space to deliver the baby. However, it is rarely performed today as it is more prone to complications.
- The lower uterine segment section is the procedure most commonly used today. It involves a crosswise cut just above the edge of the bladder and results in less blood loss and is easier to repair.
- A crash Caesarean section is a Caesarean performed in an obstetric emergency, where complications of pregnancy onset suddenly during the process of labour, and swift action is required to prevent the deaths of mother, child(ren) or both.
- a repeat Caesarean section is done when a patient had a previous Caesarean section. Typically it is performed through the old scar.
Source: Wikipedia Ceasarean Section
C-Section Procedure Animation
An incision is made in the abdomen area from just under the navel to the top of the pubic bone. Or, more frequently, a horizontal incision across and just above the pubic bone is made. This Pfannenstiel incision is also referred to as the bikini cut. Then the surgeon will make a second incision on the lower part of the uterus.
(C-Section) Scar Treatment Misconceptions
“I had a C-section 6 weeks ago and the scar is red and puffed up. Does anyone recommend a scar treatment for it? and when should I start applying the scar treatment?”
In the answers many of the common, so called best c-section scar treatments are mentioned but a really truthful and helpful answer isn’t there. Yes, of course scar tissue improves over time as mentioned by one of the answerers. But no, Mederma is not a proven effective remedy actually. Studies show it works just as good, or even slightly less effective, as Vaseline. Also for Cocoa butter there’s no clinical evidence it improves scar appearance.
Why so many people swear such products work for them possibly has to do with the massaging of the scar, improved blood circulation, and hydration. Regarding vitamin E capsules, better leave those where they are, or use them where they are intended for but do not use them topically. Studies have shown rubbing vitamin e onto scars can make their appearance worse and cause skin reactions.
So what does work? First of all, decent wound care can really make a difference. Let’s look into that.
C-Section Wound Care
The best C-section scar treatment starts with proper wound care.
A wound that heals fast and without problems such as excessive inflammation and infections has lower risk of developing excessive scar tissue. Wounds that are not kept clean and looked after are prone to poor scar healing.
How To Avoid C-section Wound Infection
Wound infections can’t always be avoided but it’s certainly recommended to take some precautions. Here are some tips:
Washing your hands and the wound
Make sure to wash your hands (with antibacterial soap such as Betadine) before changing bandages, surgical tape, or wound dressings. Also keep the wound sterile and covered. When washing the wound it should always be done very gentle with a soft wash cloth or sponge.
Betadine (the disinfecting ointment medical personnel uses in hospitals) can also be used for cleaning the wound. It’s best to not rub firmly because this might open up the just healed wound. Drying should be done with a clean towel by patting the wound tissue gently.
A very effective, natural, topical antibiotic
Some women use Neosporin, Bacitracin or an antibiotic ointment of another brand. An increasing amount of bacteria is developing resistance to antibiotics. Another downside of topical antibiotics is that prolonged use isn’t recommended because of possible side effects.
A product that does not have these disadvantages and, on top of that, is natural are Medihoney dressings. They provide a moist environment which is beneficial to wound healing and create a very effective barrier to harmful, infection causing, bacteria. What’s also convenient is that they do not stick to the wound.
“Medihoney dressings have been shown to improve healing rates by up to 30% compared to standard dressings” (Reference: Robson, V., Dodd, S. and Thomas, S. (2009)
Suitable for exuding wounds
Use Medihoney wound dressings. These medical honey dressings have been proven to be highly effective in managing a wide array of exuding wounds. There are several types of Medihoney dressings for different types of wounds. Honeycolloid dressings are suitable for wounds with light to moderate drainage. Medihoney calcium alginate dressings are best for wounds with moderate to heavy drainage.
Overhanging skin on the c-section wound may contribute to development of an infection so make sure to keep an close eye on the healing process. In case of foul odor, excessive pain, swollen tissue an infection might be present.
Medihoney Wound Dressings
the best treatment for your c-section wound
Many women use Bacitracin First Aid antibiotic ointment, or Neosporin antibiotic ointment but there’s something much better. Wound dressings with sterilized, medical grade manuka honey.
Research of the last decades has shown this type of honey to be very successful in speeding wound healing, reducing the chance on infection, treating infections (even infections that seemed untreatable!), removing wound odor, and soothing and moisturizing tissue.
Medihoney dressings have shown to even cure staph and even MRSA infected wounds. Staph infection also occurs in c-section wounds. All Medihoney dressings provide an antibacterial barrier that inhibits bacteria, reducing the risk of infection. A popular dressing is Medihoney wound paste.
The Best C-Section Scar Treatment
Silicone strips for c-section scars are proven effective.
Silicone sheets improve c-section scars by:
- reducing swelling and redness
- softening the scar tissue and toning it’s color down
- reducing itching and pain
- preventing the scar from bulging and growing into a hypertrophic or keloid scar
- reduce the unpleasant feeling when underwear or jeans are bothering the c-section wound or fresh scar
- are backed with a silky, ultra-thin, soft fabric which is opaque colored so it conceals the scar during treatment
Treatment and Prevention
Silicone dressings however, which are in many cases FDA Class 1 Medical Devices, do not only improve the scar appearance, they also reduce or take away itchiness and pain. On top of that they reduce the chance on developing hypertrophic (red and raised) and keloid c-section scars. (keloids are scars that grow beyond the normal wound boundaries.)
“Surgeons, dermatologists, ObGyns, and physical therapists are recommending ScarAway to their patients, and urging them to try this safe, effective and affordable method of scar treatment and prevention,”
says Jessica Rowen, President of Mitchell-Vance Laboratories, LLC, a certified woman-owned business.
ScarAway C-Section Scar Treatment Strips
clinically proven safe and effective in treating and preventing scars these make the best c-section scar treatment available over the counter.
ScarAway C-Section scar strips are patented silicone strips developed specifically for moms recovering from c-sections. These strips help restore raised and discolored C-section scars to a more natural color and texture, using the same technology trusted by burn centers and plastic surgeons.
As far as I know ScarAway is the only brand which makes use of the patented Silon technology. (ScarAway was previously marketed as NeoSporin Scar Solution)
These sheets mimic the natural barrier function of normal, healthy skin, increasing hydration and temperature at the scar site, working to soften the scar tissue and reducing it’s development, this is what causes it to fade away faster.
ScarAway easy-to-apply, self-adhesive silicone scar management sheets. They are drug free and completely safe for c-section or nursing moms.
Here’s a short review:
“The patches are called scaraway and are silicone sheets. I used them for my c-section scar and am VERY pleased. (My friends scar got red and bumpy..mine healed flat and pretty thin and is regular skin color now).. They adherer to your skin without tape (but they are not sticky like bandaids)..hard to explain..I hardly noticed they were on me. hope that helps”
Compression Therapy for C-Section Scars
reduce the tension on your c-section scar
Next to silicone strips compression is another scar treatment for which clinical evidence exists it actually works (although in lesser amount). Compression garments administer constant pressure on the scar tissue which is thought to reduce the production of collagen.
Some women use specialized compression belts also called c-section compression binders for extra comfort, pain reduction, and reduction of tension on the wound and scar tissue which will minimize scarring and speed wound and scar healing. Abdominal binding belts also ease movement e.g. while getting out of bed.
A compression binder review from Amazon:
“I would recommend this product to anyone. This is my 3rd c-section and I know just how painful recovery can be. I brought it with me to the hospital and it worked out wonderfully! If you have a c-section you won’t be sorry purchasing this.”
Abdominal Binders After C Section
recovery belly belt, belly binding belt, swelly belly band..
Some more benefits of wearing these is that they stop itching of the abdominal incision, speed up your c section recovery, reduce swelling, protect the wound, and offer comfort when wearing a seat belt. The AbdoMen belt is also available in a c section recovery kit.
Benefits of a Belly Binding Belt
Some more info on belly binding belts for post c section recovery in this short video.
C Section Recovery Kits
Various c section recovery kits and products are available. Worn during late pregnancy these belts and binder add to the best c-section scar treatment. They help reduce stretch marks and offer comfortable support to both lower back and tummy. The 100% Cotton Bikini Belt can be worn immediately after cesarean delivery.
The self help massage guide demonstrates massage techniques to avoid adhesion and a problematic scar. The dry skin brush reduces swelling and ingrown hairs in your incision. Our Recovery Belt features a unique Extra Support Strap that can easily be fitted at the back for lower back support or on the front to protect your incision.
Soft and supportive light weight cotton blend materials. Available in 5 sizes for maximum comfort. The belt easily adjusts with long hook & loop closures that allow ultimate adjustment. Check out Amazon for the most popular c-section recovery products.
C-Section Scar Pain
Some women experience pain in their c-section scar. This can vary from tingling to real pain as well as a numb feeling. Where some women loose sensitivity on the skin located around the scar tissue others experience extra sensitivity.
Sometimes scar contractions can cause pain and discomfort. This can be solved by massaging the scar tissue because massage loosens the tissue, boosts circulation and thus makes the tissue softer.
C-Section Scar Massage
Scar massage should be started out very carefully and only when the wound has closed completely. When the skin has regrown you can start out with gently massaging the tissue in a circular motion.
Start massaging about 10 to 30 seconds a few times a day. Make sure the new skin and tissue doesn’t get damaged. When the scar tends to get redder stop the massage. Later on the massage can be expanded.
“Massage helps break down the dense bands of collagen that attach to underlying tissue, a common reaction to cesarean sections, appendectomies or hand wounds,,”
source: Robert Bernard, M.D., a plastic surgeon based in White Plains, New York, and president-elect of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Best C-Section Scar Treatment Tips
Protect Your Scar From UV Radiation
UV rays are detrimental to scar tissue. Always avoid exposing your c-section scar to UV rays from direct sunlight and or tanning beds. Use a high SPF sunscreen, also when wearing thin clothes because many fabrics do not prevent the sun radiation from coming through.
Start Treating The Scar ASAP
The fresher a scar, the more efficient treatments will be. So after the wound is closed scar treatment can be applied immediately. But never before the wound is healed completely. Proper wound care will also benefit scar appearance. Keep the wound moist and clean.
Initially Focus on Non Invasive / DIY Methods
Over time scars will improve. Make use of non invasive methods and avoid the more intrusive methods as steroid injections and surgery as much as possible. The scar has to heal again and new scar tissue will come into existence.
Take a Look Into Supplements That Speed Healing
Not all, but certain supplements that are claimed to enhance the surgical healing process actually work. Vitamin C is one of these proven effective dietary supplements. Here’s more info on how to improve surgical healing with supplements.
Excercising After A C-Section
After your c-section it is time to gradually pick up exercising but some precautions have to be made. The wound or scar is still fresh so too much tension should be avoided at any cost. On the other hand not doing enough isn’t conducive either.
carolweez Jan 6, 2013 @ 11:16 am | delete
My sister had C section twice already. Her scars have not healed very well, so I will be forwarding the link of this lens to her as I think it is a great resource for mums like her. Thanks for putting this together.
maraya Aug 13, 2012 @ 7:59 am | delete
My sister is using invicible scars to fade her scar. It helped me out for my dark spots and reportedly it’s a great scar reducing cream. Hope it gets her rid of the scar that raised after her c section
VspaBotanicals Aug 3, 2012 @ 1:51 pm | delete
When i have my c-sections, i used an ointment that my grandmother handmade for me. I can’t remember the ingredients, but she did say that one of the ingredients happened to be aloe vera. It was very soothing.
Bellah212 Mar 11, 2012 @ 8:29 pm | delete
I ceaser five weeks ago and it got infected. What antibiotic should i take to heal up the wound and what type of cream should i use to dress it?
Beas Mar 13, 2012 @ 1:54 pm | delete
Topical antibiotics should only be used for a few days in a row. A great, natural alternative are Medihoney dressings. A wide array of studies as well as real life examples shows these medical devices to be able to cure wounds that can’t be healed otherwise. Such as MRSA infected wounds. They cure and prevent infections and speed the healing process without side effects. Here’s some more info on wound healing with honey.