A cesarean section scar is an inevitable consequence of the healing process for the incision made during a c-section surgery. In this article, we’ll include pictures to give you an idea of what to expect and explain various aspects of these types of scars including the healing process, itching, infection, removal and relation to pregnancies.
Cesarean Section Scar – Cesarean Scar
A cesarean section scar is not a bad thing per se and there is no way to stop its formation. A cesarean scar forms as part of the body’s natural healing process. The body responds to the wound left by the incision by initiating a build up collagen to strengthen the site of wounding and increasing blood circulation. The buildup of collagen is manifested in the scar.
Cesarean Section Scar Pictures
If there is a perfect way to drive a point home, then it has got to be with pictures. It is thus not surprising that someone equated a picture to a thousand words. In total agreement, here are some few cesarean section scar pictures:
Cesarean 1, 2
Cesarean Section Scar Healing time
At their onset, cesarean section scars look red and swollen due to the increase in circulation that typically results in the site of incision wound. It also appears lumpy and hard as time goes by due to accumulation of collagen.
The scar will eventually mature and turn into a paler, fine line that is hardly noticeable. this might take anywhere between 6 and 12 months but some scars might remain prominent for as long as 2 years, more so if the initial wound healed poorly.
Cesarean Section Scar Pain
It is normal for the cesarean incisions wound and the forming scar to be inflamed and feel some pain during the first few days. A suddenly increasing and pulsating pain is however often a sign of infection, more so if it is accompanied by pus drainage, bleeding, or opening up of the wound. A painful scar could also signify the formation of adhesions. Talk to your doctor about it.
Keloid Cesarean Scar
Some cesarean section wounds may heal poorly resulting in keloid scars. Keloid scars are usually notable for being raised and extending the original borders of the incision wound. This makes them especially noticeable.
Black people are at higher risk of developing keloid scars. Keloid cesarean scars are usually treated using steroid injection but they can as well benefit from laser treatment, scar creams, and radiation therapy.
Infected Cesarean Scar
Deliberate effort is done during and after cesarean section to minimize chances of infection to the healing incision and scar.
To start with, liquid antibiotic liquid is injected through an IV line and the surface of the skin around the incision area is cleaned with Betadine or an antibacterial antiseptic solution. In addition, the patient is given a guideline to follow once s/he leaves the hospital to ensure no infection.
Unfortunately, 6-8 percent of c-section incisions end up getting an infection. An infected cesarean scar is notable for signs such as fever, pus discharge, bleeding, red streaks, increasing pain, and sometime offensive smell. You should seek the attention of your doctor as soon as possible if any of these signs appear.
Itchy Cesarean Scar
A cesarean scar often itches due to the shaving of pubic hair that is done before the surgery. It is also normal for the scar to itch a bit even after the pubic hair has grown back, but excessively itchy cesarean scar warrants your doctor’s observation to rule out the prospects of having an infection at hand.
It is very important however that you avoid giving in to the temptation to scratch the itching scar as this can increase the chances of getting an infection considerably. You may find that pressing something against the scar tightly offers some relief.
Cesarean Scar Removal
Nobody fancy the idea of having to contend with a prominent scar. Unfortunately, poor healing of incision wounds might leave you with noticeable scars and leave you wondering what cesarean scar removal options you have at your disposal. Luckily there are numerous ways to not exactly get rid of such scars, but to improve their appearance. Among these are:
Scar Creams: The number of creams touted to help improve scars continues to increase but no products re created equally and you should take your time to seek reviews of a product before dishing out your hard earned cash. Some of the popular scar creams out there are Scarguard, Mederma, and Kelo-cote.
Silicone gel sheeting: the use of silicone gel sheets is one the best treatments for raised scars. They help to flatten them and make them less noticeable. Rejuveness and ScarAway are some of the popular brands and are available over-the-counter.
Laser treatment: There are broadly speaking two types of lasers used for treatment of scars, ablative and non-ablative scars. The former works by removing the top layer of the skin so that the skin can start a growth of healthy skin from below and a good example is the erbium laser.
The latter targets the dermis directly without damaging the top layer of the skin and works by stimulating the production of collagen, an essential component of healthy skin. On the downside however, it is often not so effective for deep scars.
Your dermatologist or surgeon will recommend the most suitable laser treatment depending on the nature of your scars.
Surgical scar revision: A dermatologist or a surgeon can as well improve the appearance of your scar using surgical techniques such as skin grafting whereby a scar is removed and replaced by a graft of skin harvested from a healthy area of your skin such as behind the ear.
Cesarean Scar Pregnancy
If you have had to undergo a cesarean section or are considering going for it, you may wonder how it will affect your next pregnancy.
Well, according to the WebMD website, patients who have undergone cesarean section delivery can still undergo normal vaginal childbirth. You might hear this being referred to as Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC).
The only exception where cesarean scar would interfere with normal birth is if the traditional vertical uterine incision was used. This is because there is a higher risk of uterine rupture if the vertical c- uterine incision was used during the previous c-section delivery.
If a cesarean section is required a second time, the incision is made along the scar sustained from the first one. This might explain why a significant number of women report faster healing for the second c-section compared to the first.
Some patients who have undergone c-section may report pain during pregnancy. Cesarean scar pregnancy pain is often attributed to formation of adhesions. These are bands of fibrous tissue that have attached themselves to other organs, usually the uterus or bladder.
Some patients may also experience less intense pain during pregnancy due to stretching of the scar tissue as the baby grows.