Home Remedies to Treat C-Section Scars

Was this helpful?
59
closeup of woman's hands using cosmetic cream in bathroom
Getty

A scar can be the telltale sign of a C-section delivery. It often is raised and discolored. Sometimes it's painful. No treatment can restore your skin to the way it looked before surgery. But you can treat a scar at home to improve how it looks. 

Your C-section incision is about six inches long. Your doctor has to cut through your skin, fat and muscle. A scar forms over the wound after it heals. Your scar may be thicker than the rest of your skin. It also might appear pink, red or shiny.   

Several things affect wound healing and how noticeable your C-section scar is likely to be. They also affect how well it responds to treatment. They include:

  • How long the incision took to heal

  • Your age

  • Your genetics (how you scar is something you inherit from your parents)


Products to Make Your Scar Less Visible

Scars often fade over time, but they never go away completely. If your C-section scar bothers you, some simple home remedies for scars during and after the healing stage will help improve its appearance. Try using these common products:

  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline): You want to keep the incision moist and covered. That's the best way to help reduce scarring after a C-section. A number of scar creams can do this. However, research suggests you can do just as well if you put petroleum jelly on your scar and keep it covered. Petroleum jelly keeps the scar from getting too large, deep or itchy. It’s also important to apply constant pressure to the scar with a bandage. This helps keep the scar flat.

  • Silicone gel: Putting a sheet of silicone gel over your incision site is also effective. These sticky, clear sheets help keep the scar moist and covered. This leads to scars that are softer, thinner, and less red. After the incision heals, cover it completely with the sheeting. You can leave it on all day, but remove it when you take a bath or shower. You can reuse the same sheet for several weeks. It probably will take at least two months before you see a difference. Silicone gel may be especially helpful for raised scars. You can buy silicone sheets at most drug stores.

  • Vitamin E or onion extract: Vitamin E or onion extract may help the scar less noticeable. Studies have shown that these substances reduce or prevent raised scars by blocking the growth of scar tissue. Vitamin E and onion extract may not work as well for raised scars that form in places other than your incision site.

  • Honey: Honey may reduce skin inflammation. According to researchers, honey seems to help new tissue form. It may also reduce scarring or prevent scars from becoming raised. However, experts say more study is needed on these possible benefits, so you should check with your doctor before you try it.

Techniques to Reduce Scarring 

Besides applying products, there are other things you can do to ease scarring. They include:

  • Massaging your scar: Once your incision has healed, gently massage the area. This can help soften the scar. Massage can break down the scar tissue that forms below the skin. When you massage, use a mild moisturizing cream. Massage it around your scar a few times each day. It may take 4 to 6 weeks to see improvement.

  • Limiting time in the sun: A scar that's healing will get darker and more noticeable if it gets sunburned. So keep your scar out of the sun for least six months after your C-section.

  • Not waiting: Time matters when it comes to scars. To make your scar less visible, treat the wound as soon as it heals. If you wait too long, a doctor may have to use a more invasive procedure to treat its appearance. That would be the case with older scars too.

Was this helpful?
59
Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Aug 5
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  1. Can a plastic surgeon remove C-section scars? The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Jun 2012. http://www.surgery.org/consumers/plastic-surgery-news-briefs/plastic-surgeon-remove-C-section-scars-...

  2. Pregnancy: Labor and Birth. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Sep 2010. http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/childbirth-beyond/labor-birth.html

  3. Making scars less visible. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/for-kids/about-skin/scars/making-scars-less-visible

  4. Scars. U.S. National Institutes of Health. May 2014. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/scars.html

  5. Vaseline versus expensive scar remedies. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Jun 2011. http://www.surgery.org/consumers/plastic-surgery-news-briefs/vaseline-expensive-scar-remedies-103455...

  6. Scars. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. http://www.asds.net/Scars/

  7. Scar Formation. American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). http://practicalplasticsurgery.org/docs/Practical_15.pdf

  8. A prospective placebo-controlled study on the efficacy of onion extract in silicone derivative gel for the prevention of hypertrophic scar and keloid in median sternotomy wound in pediatric patients. J Med Assoc Thai. Nov 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24428092

  9. Effect of enoxaparin and onion extract on human skin fibroblast cell line - therapeutic implications for the treatment of keloids. Pharm Biol. Feb 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24074438

  10. Wound Healing Activity of Honey. Ayu. Jul-Sep 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665090/

  11. Caring for Your Incision After Surgery. American Academy of Family Physicians. Dec 2010. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/caring-for-you...