Whether you had a planned C-section or things changed during childbirth and that’s just the way it went, many women find themselves with mixed feelings about their C-section scar.
On the one hand, a C-section scar can be a source of pride. You underwent major surgery to give your baby life and that’s an amazing thing.
On the other hand, some women find their scar to be emotionally triggering. This is especially true if your C-section was part of a traumatic birth.
Even still, some women have no particularly strong feelings about their C-section scar, but see it as another change to their body from pregnancy and delivery that they’d just as soon do without.
How to care for your C-section scar
To be clear, are we talking about your scar or your incision? In the earliest days, follow all of your provider’s instructions for caring for your incision. After all, you’ve just been through major surgery.
The good news is if you’re worried about your scar’s appearance once your incision has healed, following your doctor’s instructions is the best thing you can do. A well-cared for incision in the early days improves your chances of a less noticeable C-section scar later on.
Once your incision has fully healed, you may want to start moisturizing your C-section scar. (Get your provider’s okay first!) In that case, you should use an unscented, water-based lotion.
Mild to moderate scar remedies
Recent studies show silicone gels or silicone sheets can promote softening and fading of scars, particularly more prominent, raised ones like keloids.
Massage may also be effective in reducing your C-section scar appearance, particularly in the relatively early days.
More intensive interventions for your scar may include laser treatments. These are often more effective than creams or other topical treatments in reducing a scar’s appearance. The downside is that multiple treatments may be necessary and it can be a bit pricey.
More significant C-section scar treatments
What if, in addition to the appearance, your C-section scar is physically uncomfortable or even painful? In that case, you may consider steroid injections (to reduce inflammation) or even scar revision.
Scar revision is basically reopening and reclosing the wound in hopes of improved healing and/or appearance. Your doctor may also remove any damaged tissue as part of this process.
Obviously, this can be more complicated (and expensive!) than a topical cream or laser. Consult with an experienced medical provider about your concerns and treatment options if this is an avenue you’d like to explore.
Learning to embrace your C-section scar
You can definitely take steps to reduce the appearance of your C-section scar. However, it’s important to understand no matter how much money you spend or how long you wait, you won’t be able to fully eliminate it. Having realistic expectations is important.
And of course, remember that your scar is a physical testament to your fierce love for your baby. There’s something really beautiful about that.
As always, remember: this isn’t medical advice, it’s just helpful information. For actual medical advice and treatment, talk to your health care provider.