Hansaplast Redutor de Cicatrizes

C-Section Scar: Recovery, healing & looking after your scar over time

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Scarring is a natural part of the healing process after a cesarean section has taken place. If the skin is not able to replace the destroyed, highly specialised tissue, it repairs the wound with a fibrous connective collagen tissue to ‘bind’ the broken skin together. Even after a C-section scar has healed, the body continues to direct collagen to the injury site, leading to a “maturation” phase where the scar can change in size and shape over time.

While most C-section scars can’t be removed, there are steps that you can take to ensure optimal healing of your wound and reduce the visibility of your cesarean scar with the Elastoplast Scar Reducer Patches XL.

C-section recovery

While in hospital, your wound will be covered with a dressing for at least 24 hours. The average hospital stay after a caesarean is around 4 days and during this time there will be some discomfort around the scar for which you will be offered some painkillers.

Once discharged from the hospital, it typically takes around 6 weeks for the c-section scar to heal and for you to resume normal activity.

Even after this period the scar may have red and purple colouring, however with time this will fade to a white line. You can learn more about stages of healing here.

*This study was commissioned by Elastoplast and conducted by OnePoll between January 21st-30th 2020. It polled 1000 women who've had a C-section birth. Participants were recruited online and were incentivised to participate.

According to this research, 80% of women agree seeing their scar in the mirror causes them negative feelings, from embarrassment and failure to sadness. Over a third (35%) admitted they felt a dip in self-esteem post-surgery, and 40% felt pressure from social media to bounce back in an unrealistic time frame.

C-section scar healing

While usually a safe procedure, a C-section is still a major surgery so it is very important to look after the incision to ensure it heals properly. To learn more about optimal C-section scar healing, read our tips below. We also advise speaking to your midwife for personal recovery advice.

  • Clean the incision daily: Keeping the scar area clean helps to prevent infections. Be sure to treat the area with care and pat dry gently with a towel. Use Elastoplast Wound Spray as per your doctor's instruction.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing: tight-fitting clothing will irritate the C-section scar so it is best to stick to clothing that does not cling to the skin, such as loungewear and pyjamas.
  • Take painkillers when needed: Take paracetamol or Ibuprofen to alleviate some of the pain. Obviously be sure these are not taken too frequently (check the instructions on the box) to avoid any nasty side effects.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects: The recommendation is to lift nothing heavier than your baby, otherwise you risk damaging or re-opening the C-section scar.

C-section scar appearance

There are two types of c-section incisions, horizontal (classic cut) or the vertical incision (bikini cut).

Typically caesareans will be done horizontally as they tend to be less painful and the c-section scar becomes less visible as it heals.
Close up of woman’s caesarean scar
Elastoplast Scar Reducer Patches can be used on a caesarean scar if it is raised and coloured.

In rare cases, the C-section scar may be vertical, starting from just below your belly button. These are usually only done for emergency c-sections as it allows the surgeon to deliver the baby faster. 

Once healed, a typical caesarean scar is between four to eight inches in size. However, this length can vary depending on the placement of the incision and the space required to birth your baby.

Over time the redness will diminish and the scar should gradually fade, but often these scars are hidden by pubic hair (if the c-section incision was a bikini cut). Caesarean scars on darker skin may leave a white or brown mark once faded.

A C-section scar can be flat or raised, depending on how your body heals. Hypertrophic scars do not extend past the area of skin damage, whereas keloid scars spread beyond the boundary of the original wound due to overproduction of collagen. Learn more about scarring here.

Is your C-section scar itching?

If you experience some itching on or around your caesarean scar, don't worry. This is normal as part of the wound healing process. Itching could be caused by pubic hair growing back if it was shaved before surgery.

Do not scratch the wound as this can cause infection. Some mothers have found that massaging or gently pressing something over the scar reduces the itching sensation. This can also help diminish the visibility of the scar as massaging the affected area increases blood flow, which increases the rate of cellular growth.

When to seek medical advice

After the C-section, the wound will feel sore and it can be normal to see some bleeding for up to six weeks. However, you should speak to your midwife or GP if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • severe pain around the scar
  • pus oozing from the wound
  • heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • pain when urinating
  • leaking urine
  • permanent numbness around the incision
  • chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • swelling or redness in your lower leg
  • pain in your breasts

These symptoms may indicate infection or a blood clot, requiring urgent treatment.

How to reduce C-section scars

Elastoplast Scar Reducer Patches, available in XL size for caesarean scars, provide a simple and safe solution to help heal new and old C-section scars. Clinical studies have shown Elastoplast Scar Reducer Patches XL help caesarean scars become flatter, lighter and softer, meaning women can feel more confident in their own skin.

For scar treatment, use Elastoplast Scar Reducer Patches and Elastoplast Scar Reducer Patches XL to reduce the visibility of raised and coloured scars. as part of your C-section recovery. These discreet, transparent scar reducer patches are made of flexible and breathable material.

How to get rid of scars

In the event of severe scarring, there are a number of medical procedures that can be performed by dermatologists, surgeons, and other medical experts for general scars. More invasive techniques can involve corticosteroid injections, radiotherapy, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, or surgery, among others.

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