The Skinny on C-Section Scar Treatments
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!
The Usual C-Section Scar Treatments
After 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.
ScarAway Sheets: A Winner!
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.
Published June 1, 2010.
Last updated January 4, 2018.