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Over the years, an increasing number of women have been opting for C-section as the preferred method of delivery; not always by choice, but often out of necessity when things aren’t quite right for a vaginal delivery. Though relatively safe, the scarring that occurs as a result of this procedure often raises a big concern among women. Can C-section scars be removed? Are there safe ways to achieve this? There are indeed measures and treatments which aid the healing process.
C-section scars can generally be covered by clothing or other types of garments. However, to have it more substantially removed, one can try out a few options that are available.
One option that can be considered for C-section scars removal is non-invasive cosmetic or plastic surgery. Depending on the extent or nature of scarring, specific procedures can be done to remove it. Typically, there are two types of scars- horizontal c-section scar and the other being vertical c-section scar. They are removed using laser treatment witha tummy tuck or liposuction added on if one wants to get rid of the excess fat or saggy skin as well.
How long does it take for the scars to heal?
The human body has its own mechanism of regenerating new cells. Especially in case of wounds or cuts where over a period of time they heal and almost leave no trace of any scar. Similarly, C-section scars, without having to resort to cosmetic procedures or creams and other such products, heal naturally on their own.
Generally, laser procedures take about 6 weeks to a few months for the scars to completely heal. Apart from letting the scar take its natural course of healing, one must also take personal care and ensure that instructions laid down by the doctor are followed to the T. Any strenuous activity is not advisable post-surgery or during treatment.
If one is not too keen on laser treatments, there are topical creams and sheets that can be applied to the scars. Usually, these external applications take two to 8 months depending on how well the incision is healing.
What will fasten the healing process?
It has to be understood that the scars will not magically disappear at the snap of a finger. No two bodies are the same and the response and recovery time may vary as such. It takes time, much patience and dedicated care to see results. This goes a long way in speeding up the healing process.
Apart from cosmetic procedures, there are also a few remedies that can aid in diminishing and healing C-section scars. And these are pretty simple and easily found.
1) Aloe vera gel: Aloe Vera is known to have amazing healing properties especially when regularly used on wounds and scars. Using fresh aloe gel off of the plant is highly recommended for quick and visible results. Otherwise, reliable brands selling packaged organic aloe vera can also be used.
2) Coconut oil: One of the oldest and widely used methods of skin care, coconut oil has been a staple beauty ingredient since ages. Warm coconut oil when regularly applied to the scar works wonders.
3) Vitamin E oil: Easily available at chemist shops in the form of capsules, it can be used and massaged on the affected area for desired results.
4) Oil wraps: Many have testified about the benefits of using oil for scar removal. The oil must be warmed and massaged into the affected area, bandaged and left overnight. Here are a few oils that can be used for this treatment:
- Olive oil
- Shea butter oil (Alternately one can also use the cream version)
- Tea tree oil
The compounds present in these oils soften the skin, causing the scar tissue to lose intensity and start healing. Another benefit of using the above remedies is that they also help in minimizing stretch marks brought on by pregnancy. Take care that the incision has dried up and there are no signs of infection before starting this treatment.
You could also try cosmetic products that experts recommend to be used on scarring due to C-section deliveries. They can be bought from local chemist stores or online.
Mederma is one such product that should be applied to the scar at least three times a day. Take care that post application, the skin does not come in direct contact with harsh sunlight.
Another product that can be used is called ‘ScarAway’ which consists of gauze-like sheets that have to be put over the scar, leaving it on over a 12-15 hour period for at least a week. The ScarAway strips are primarily made up of silicon which is known to act faster in healing scars. User instructions printed on the manual should be carefully followed.
C-section scars can also be treated with ScarAway Diminishing Gel. It has been found to aid in scar removal effectively.
All said and done, the thumb rule is to supplement these measures by maintaining:
- A balanced diet,
- Performing light exercises such as walking
- Avoiding heavy lifting or housework which demands too much attention.
Signs that show the scars are not healing
Even after following doctor’s instructions and using the right products, if there seems to be no change at all, look out for these external and internal signs to gauge what possibly might be hampering the healing process.
- Infection in the form of pus formation, itchiness, looks swollen
- Having a fever above 100°F
- Pain in the scar area
- Fresh or dried blood
- Foul smell around the incision area
- Ruptured incision
- Abdominal pain especially around the incision area
Apart from these tell-tale signs, lack of a healthy diet, excessive exertion of the body muscles may also act against the scar healing process.
Trying to fit in extra care steps to try and remove a c-section scar can be a bit challenging, especially as a new parent. With the right treatment, scars left behind by c-sections can be removed gradually. Be persistent, follow instructions provided to you by your medical practitioner or by the manufacturer of any product you choose to use, and allow enough time to see results.