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Do C-section Scars Go Away?

Reviewed on 2/24/2021

Do C-section scars go away?

C-section scars are scars on the abdomen made by a doctor to help deliver a baby. C-section scars do not go away completely, but you can minimize their appearance with nonsurgical and surgical methods.
C-section scars are scars on the abdomen made by a doctor to help deliver a baby. C-section scars do not go away completely, but you can minimize their appearance with nonsurgical and surgical methods.

C-section scars do not go away completely. They can fade on their own with time or with treatments, but a visible line is often left.

If a C-section scar bothers you because of cosmetic issues, here are a few ways that can lessen its appearance.

Nonsurgical methods

  • Scar massage: If you want to try simple methods initially, you can try massaging the scar. Use your index finger and other fingers and dry massage the scar for about five minutes a day. You can also use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil or even silicone gel for the massage. Scar massage can increase blood flow to the skin and it stimulates cell growth, which is a process that can help fade the scar.
  • Silicone sheets: Applying silicone sheets directly on the scar has been shown to soften and flatten the scar. This is more helpful for those who tend to develop keloids or hypertrophic scars. Keloids are abnormal, raised scars that extend beyond the incision and do not shrink on their own. Hypertrophic scars are another type of abnormal, raised scars that stay within the incision border and can shrink a bit on their own.
  • Laser therapy: Laser therapy involves using beams of light to improve skin condition. The therapy is targeted toward the scar and can destroy scar tissue and minimize the scar. You will need several sessions spanning  three to six months. To get better results, start the session soon after your stitches are removed.
  • Steroid injections: Medications known as steroids can be injected directly into the scar. This can also flatten and improve the appearance of larger scars. You will need to visit the doctor at least once every month.

Surgical methods

  • Scar revision: During a scar revision surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged part or scar area (extra skin of the scar) and joins the remaining skin back together. This is a type of cosmetic surgery that leaves behind a thinner scar and is most suitable for treating thicker scars.
  • Abdominoplasty: This is popularly known as a tummy tuck. You can consider this surgery if you have loose skin that hangs from the scar. The surgeon removes the extra fat and skin and stitches the remaining skin back together. Go for it only if you have a large scar deformity as the surgery will give you a lighter, smaller and thinner scar. This surgery is not for smaller scars.

What are the types of C-section incisions?

The look of the scar depends on the type of C-section incision. The surgeon can make any of the following type of cut on your lower abdomen for the C-section

  • Horizontal incision: This is also known as the bikini cut. A horizontal cut is the most common incision for a C-section. This leaves a horizontal scar that remains hidden beneath your clothes, underwear or swimsuit.
  • Vertical incision: Mostly adopted for emergency C-section surgeries and problematic vaginal deliveries, the vertical cut is made in the middle of the lower abdomen. The incision takes more time to heal than the horizontal one.
  • Inverted T- or J-shaped scars: You may have a “T-,” “J-” or an inverted “T-” shaped scar on the uterus. These scars are rare. These cuts are made in f complicated cases, such as placenta previa (where the placenta is located lower than normal). It reduces the risk of on-table bleeding in these cases.

Remember to take care of your C-section wound as instructed by your doctor. Infections due to negligence in wound care can lead to a bigger or thicker scar. Do not use an abdominal truss or binder unless advised by the doctor.

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References
Medscape Medical Reference

Mayo Clinic


Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery


Midwifery Today with International Midwife


Lasers in Surgery and Medicine


The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology


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