If you've had a C-section or are planning to have one soon, it's advised you get clued up on how to look after your skin and scar after the procedure.
We asked Douglas McGeorge, Founder of Science of Skin and one of the leading surgeons in the UK, all your cesarean scar-related questions, giving you more headspace for your little one!
1) “I had a C-section last week. There is an 'apron' of loose, saggy tummy skin hanging over the top: is this permanent?
The 'apron' of skin will go in time. It will shrink down, it may not completely settle for everyone but allow lots of time for the tissues to get back to normal and heal. In regards to hygiene, bathe very carefully using non-perfumed products.
2) How long will my cesarean scar hurt for?
Most scars should stop hurting around the six-month mark. Sometimes if there has been nerve damage it can take longer for the body to heal. Massage helps to stop the pain from nerve damage and if your scar is still very sore and red - Solution for Scars has been designed and developed to treat symptomatic scars that are sore and uncomfortable - so that might help as well.
3) The area still feels numb, will this feeling eventually go away?
A: This is something that unfortunately can occur with a C-section. The 'numb' sensation will continue to improve over the first year and the quality can improve for another year. Sometimes, however, it may never recover fully, but usually, protective sensation will return. Massage can help any discomfort and pain as the tissues settle back down.
4) What can I do to make my c-section scar heal quickly?
A: Scar management is really important to get the very best possible result from your scar. When your wound has fully closed and stitches have been removed start to gently massage in a scar treatment like Solution for Scars. This has been specifically designed to be used from the moment your scar is still red, pink, irritable and sore. It contains very effective but gentle green tea extracts that work to reduce redness and irritation and therefore stop you itching or disturbing your wound as it heals - giving you the very best chance of achieving a less noticeable scar from your C section.
5) My C-section scar opened up a bit during healing and is now a bit of a lump, help!
Massage again will help this to smooth out. Using a scar cream like Solution for Scars will take any redness away if there is any. Try massaging it everyday in the morning and at night for about 3 minutes - it may seem like a long time - but you should be able to feel results. If it's still bothering you or is particularly annoying a revision can be considered to give you a better result through plastic surgery.
6) Can you ever get rid of a scar completely?
Unfortunately, despite what some may claim, you can never get rid of a scar completely. The very best result for any scar is a flat silver / white thin line that is barely noticeable - but you will still have a scar. It's the symptoms of scars that you want to tackle so that you have the very best chance of not disturbing the wound - use a product like Solution for Scars that can help manage the healing of your scar to get the very best outcome possible for you.
7) Are there any particular clothes that can make the C section scar worse?
This is really down to what you feel most comfortable in. I would advise my patients to wear clothes that are loose fitting directly after surgery so as not to disturb the wound. After your scar starts to heal, if it is symptomatic (red, sore and itchy) make sure you manage it with a cream like Solution for Scars, and chose materials that are breathable and not irritating the scar directly.
Now read: 10 tips for a faster recovery after a c-section