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  • How Can You Improve Your C-Section Scar's Appearance?

    Birth scars, such as a C-section wound, are permanent, so it’s okay to want it to look its best.
    by Rachel Perez .
How Can You Improve Your C-Section Scar's Appearance?
  • One of the most common questions new moms have when they know they need a C-section (CS) is will the surgical scars ever disappear?

    CS scars are surprisingly small, about four to six inches long made horizontally just above the pubic hairline. This bikini-cut incision is preferred by some because it can allow the mom to have a vaginal delivery in the future. It is rare for doctors to make a vertical CS incision from below mom’s belly button to the pubic bone unless the situation calls for it.

    How to help improve your C-section scar's appearance 

    No matter what cut you get, however, the CS incision wound will leave a permanent scar, but it can become less visible over the years. It may look red and pink for several months and will eventually turn into a pale, flat, thin line. CS scars can end up bigger and thicker and even become raised. The key is to treat your wound correctly and early.

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    Treat your C-section wound properly

    You need to gently wash your wound using a washcloth or sponge daily, or every time your wound’s dressing gets wet or dirty. Pat the wound dry or let it air-dry for at least 15 minutes before putting on a new bandage. Some doctors will instruct you to use antiseptic to keep your wound clean and anti-bacterial ointments to help prevent infections. Waterproof bandage dressing and antiseptics that come in a spray bottle make caring for your CS wound more manageable. (Click here for more postpartum recovery essentials from fellow moms.)

    Do not rub or scratch the wound, especially when it’s healing, and even when it’s itchy as it may lead to infections. Wearing an abdominal binder (but not too tight!) or high-waisted panties may help keep your hands from tinkering with your healing wound. (Click here for tips on C-section postpartum care.)

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    Numbness, initial redness, swelling, itchiness are normal at first, but symptoms such as high fever and random redness and swelling around the incision or discharge from the wound are not. See your doctor immediately as these could indicate an infection. If blood soaks through the bandage or your incision comes apart, head to the hospital urgently.

    Your diet affects how your scar heals

    “Aside from eating a well-balanced diet and food that are rich in iron and calcium, take plenty of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to speed up the healing of the incision,” advises Dr. Teresa Bongala, an obstetrician-gynecologist in this previous article of SmartParenting.com.ph. Drinking plenty of fluids is also essential. Probiotics and antioxidant-rich foods can also help protect your wound from getting infected.

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    Take it easy, even when your skin scar has healed

    The wound’s scab will naturally come off after about two weeks, but even if the visible scar on your tummy has healed, remember to take it easy at least for the first six weeks until three months postpartum. That means no climbing the stairs, difficult chores, heavy lifting, even strenuous exercises, and sex at least in the first six weeks after giving birth. Walking helps speed up recovery, but don’t overdo it. (Click here to check what else avoid doing on the first month after giving birth.)

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    Your anti-scar treatment options

    Ask your dermatologist for topical medicines that can help improve the scar’s appearance. Effectivity varies, but popular anti-scar treatments that a lot of moms recommend are Dermatix and Contractubex. Non-invasive oil body wraps, using oils that promote skin health such as olive oil, shea butter oil, and tea tree oil, can also help improve the appearance of scars.

    If you’re still not happy about your CS scar, laser treatments can make it go away. But it takes six weeks to a few months for the laser scars to completely heal.

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