When the birth of a baby includes a Cesarean section, often called a C-section, it has the results of most other types of surgery: there is a scar on the outside of the skin. While many surgeons have perfected the art of minimizing the size and width of the scar, it is something that makes many moms self-conscious. The placement of the incision may be covered by a bikini or one-piece bathing suit, but is still noticeable and often disconcerting to the mom.
There are a number of ways to reduce the appearance of C-section scars. When they are long and wide, revision surgery can be done to reduce the width of the scarred abdominal skin. Some patients may be willing to take the step of having a second surgery; however, their insurance companies may not. Even with revision surgery, there will still be a scar, although it will be smaller.
Laser treatment is sometimes used to burn and remove scarred skin in an effort to reduce original scarring. Numbing cream is applied afterwards for some time until a new skin layer forms and the pain goes away.
Silicone sheeting is another way to reduce C-section scars; it usually has positive results over abdominal skin, reducing the change in color. Silicone-based scar treatment creams like Scarfade are also effective at removing scars and making them less noticeable. They cause a shift in skin regeneration and slow down the growth of collagen, which reduces scarring.
In some cases, the C-section can result in a keloid scar. Keloids are thick red scars that develop beyond the original surgical incision, growing over normal skin. They are formed by an overproduction of collagen and fibrous tissue. Their presence after surgery is unpredictable. They do not shrink or go away by themselves. In most cases, keloids will grow back after scar revision surgery, sometimes more aggressively than before, so this method of scar removal is not usually recommended. Silicone scar gel has a positive effect on keloid scars, however, causing them to shrink and fade. This is usually noticeable within the first two weeks of usage.
Whether a C-section scar is thin and pale or thick and red, scar removal creams can be used once the surgical incision has healed. They can also be used after scar reducing surgery and laser treatments to diminish the scar even further.