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The Skinny on C-Section Scar Treatments

Jun01

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Of all the postpartum fallout to my body, my c-section scar is actually pretty low on the list of things that bother me. It looked hideous at first, of course, but eventually shrunk and faded and settled down somewhere below my pubic bone. Underwear and bathing suits keep it more than adequately covered.

But it’s still there. And I did wonder if there was anything I could do about it.

Thanks to this column, I’ve actually been sent a couple scar treatment products to try out. Let’s talk about them!

Bounce Back ArchivesAfter my first section, I used every cream and oil known to man. StriVectin, cocoa butter, Vitamin E, you name it. Whatever impulse buy they offered at Babies R’ Us next to the breast pump accessories. The problem was me — if I didn’t see results, I got bored or distracted and forgot to keep at it. But despite my ADD-like care, the scar faded nicely on its own, so I just sort of wrote off all the scar treatment products as high-maintenance placebos.

Mederma sent me a tube of cream while I was pregnant the second time, and after Ezra was born I tried to remember to use it. TRIED TO. The directions state that the cream should be applied three times a day for eight weeks for new scars, and three times a day for three to six MONTHS for existing scars. As a repeat c-section patient, I technically had both. But it didn’t really matter in the end — I simply could not every consistently remember to apply the cream more than once or twice a day, if I was lucky. Some weeks I forgot about it completely, what with the caring for a newborn and toddler and not always being in the mood for leaving greasy stains across my panties.

A few months ago, once I was definitely out of the realm of “new scars,” I got a package of ScarAway’s option for c-section scars. These are thin silicon sheets that you put directly on the scar and…sort of forget about, more or less. The sheets are removable and washable, and you’re supposed to wear each sheet for a minimum of 12 hours a day (maximum of 23 hours) for seven days. I wore it at night and removed it before my shower in the morning. Depending on how it looked, I’d either wash it and let it dry for a few hours, or I’d just put it on after getting dressed for the maximum 23-hour wearing period.

It was really easy and surprisingly comfortable — my only complaints would be that 1) the FAQ doesn’t address what you’re supposed to do about scars that reside below the border of your pubic hair (I shaved), and 2) the one-shade-fits-white-girls-only “flesh” color of the sheets. (The sheets matched my skin color pretty well, which I really liked. So wouldn’t it be great to maybe offer a range of shades for other ladies? Or at least clear?)

But really, what’s important is that holy crap, it actually totally worked! Without a bajillion applications — in fact, I saw a noticeable difference after just two weeks (the instructions say four). And “noticeable” as in “even my husband noticed, so it wasn’t just all in my head or anything.” I’m on the last and final scar sheet now, and my c-section scar is shorter, flatter and paler than ever. (It’s so small now, in fact, that it’s impossible to take a good non-obscene “after” picture. Y’all are just going to have to take my word for it.)

And even though I started this column out by claiming that the scar never really bother me that much, turns out I still much prefer the new and improved and semi-erased state. So if your scar bothers you (but not “three-times-a-day-for-three-to-six-months” bothers, or “$100-tube-of-overpriced-moisturizer” bothers), slap on a ScarAway sheet and see what happens.

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About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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9 Responses to “The Skinny on C-Section Scar Treatments”

  1. Jessica Jun 01 at 8:10 pm Reply Reply

    I wonder if it would work on stretch marks… because my LANDS my stomach looks like I lost a battle with a panther.

  2. Sarah Jun 01 at 8:41 pm Reply Reply

    I’m going to get one of these ScarAway things. I HATE my scar and it’s daily torment I think would be lessened if it wasn’t so angry looking.

  3. Jaymee Jun 01 at 10:35 pm Reply Reply

    OMG!! I LOVE YOU RIGHT NOW!!!! Actually I love you all the time, but right now I love you an extra extra large amount! I’m getting this right now!!!

  4. Delora Jun 02 at 12:05 am Reply Reply

    Does the package say how soon you are able to use it on a c-section scar? After 6wks, completely healed, 6mos, etc?

    I’m 4mos out, and it’s still red and burns slightly in one spot. I think I had pulled a stitch and it took longer to heal in that spot. Had been using tea tree oil on it, which helped promote healing and prevented infection, but stopped a few weeks ago as it no longer seemed to be making a difference.

  5. Portia Jun 02 at 1:37 pm Reply Reply

    Love, love your column! I didn’t think my scar bothered me that much but lately I’ve been thinking it would be nice to see this scar fade. I’m African-American so I take it this product might look a bit strange on me (have to warn the hubby in advance so he doesn’t freak). I’m six months out from my C and my scar is still red and somewhat itchy so maybe this will help. I just went on Amazon.com to buy this product. I’m going to give it a go. Thanks for the advice!

  6. Wallydraigle Jun 02 at 3:25 pm Reply Reply

    What about keloid scarring?

    With my first C-section, the incision healed beautifully and started to disappear pretty fast. And then around 4 months, it started turning all ropey and itchy. I walked around in public looking like I was groping myself because the itching was impossible to ignore. And oh, was it UGLY. Angry and red and ropey.

    When my second baby was born–also via C-section, grr–, my OB cleaned up the old scar tissue for me, and the incision site looks great now. I’ve been doing scar massage every single morning since I could stand to touch it, and I THINK it’s doing better that last time, but I’m not certain because it was less than four months ago. I know for it to be really effective, I have to do it more than once a day, but having two kids 16 months apart means I really treasure my free time, and I don’t really care to spend it rubbing my abdomen with painful vigor.

    Also, if we have more kids, it’s now a given that I’ll be having C-sections, and this scar massage business sucks a lot. I’m wondering if there are any alternatives.

  7. Sarah Jun 06 at 9:11 am Reply Reply

    Your post inspired me to start blogging about my scar! Thanks! http://healingcesareanscars.blogspot.com/

  8. Dawn Jun 08 at 4:29 pm Reply Reply

    Thanks for this post. While my scar isn’t the end of the world and is low enough that it’s not seen by anyone who shouldn’t be seeing it, I was wondering if it would ever fade. I gave birth in Jan. so I look forward to trying this out! Thanks for always knowing what’s on our minds! :)

  9. NinaN Jun 27 at 2:11 am Reply Reply

    I ♥♥♥ my scar!!!! I had two c-sections 15 months apart and I am really hoping I can avoid it this time. But, I was sad when I saw how much my scar had faded. I love it; it’s where my baby girls came out of me. I wouldn’t want it to go away completely.

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