C-Section Scar Care: Your Guide to Helping It Heal

C-sections have become an increasingly common method of childbirth, with about one-third of all births in the United States now performed by C-section. This procedure involves making an incision in the abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby.

While the procedure is safe, it can leave a scar that requires special care to help it heal. In this guide, we will explore the different types of C-section scars, how to take care of them, and what to do if you experience any side effects.

Are There Different Types of C-Section Scars?

There are several different types of C-section scars, including transverse, vertical, and low transverse scars. Transverse scars run horizontally across the lower abdomen, while vertical scars run from the belly button down to the pubic bone.

Low transverse scars are the most common type of C-section scar and are located just above the pubic hairline. The type of incision used will depend on various factors such as the baby’s position, the mother’s health, and the surgeon’s preference.

How Big Are Most Incisions?

Most C-section incisions are around 6 inches long and are made horizontally across the lower abdomen. However, the size of the incision may vary depending on factors such as the size of the baby, the mother’s weight, and any complications during the surgery.

What Do C-Section Scars Look Like?

C-section scars typically appear as a thin, pale line running horizontally or vertically across the lower abdomen. The scar may also be raised or indented and may appear pink or red in color immediately after the surgery. Over time, the scar will fade and become less noticeable.

How Should You Take Care of Your C-Section Scar?

Taking proper care of your C-section scar can help speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of infection. Here are some tips for caring for your scar:

  1. Keep the incision clean and dry. Avoid using soap on the incision site, as this can irritate the skin.
  2. Change the dressing as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how often to change the dressing and when to remove it completely.
  3. Avoid tight clothing. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can help reduce irritation and rubbing on the incision site.
  4. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help promote healthy skin and tissue.
  5. Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can help speed up the healing process.

Are There Any Side Effects?

While most women recover from a C-section without complications, there are some side effects that you should be aware of. These can include:

  1. Pain or discomfort at the incision site.
  2. Swelling or redness around the incision site.
  3. Numbness or tingling in the abdominal area.
  4. Infection at the incision site.
  5. Delayed wound healing.

If you experience any of these side effects, it’s important to contact your doctor right away.

What Can You Do to Encourage C-Section Scar Healing?

In addition to following the tips above for taking care of your C-section scar, there are some things you can do to encourage healing. These include:

  1. Getting plenty of rest. Your body needs time to heal after surgery, so make sure you’re getting enough rest and taking it easy.
  2. Avoiding heavy lifting. Lifting heavy objects can put stress on the incision site and slow down the healing process.
  3. Getting regular exercise. Light exercise, such as walking, can help improve blood flow and promote healing.
  4. Massaging the scar. Massaging the scar can help break up scar tissue and improve blood flow to the area.

How Long Does It Take for a C-Section Scar to Fully Heal?

Most C-section scars take around 6 to 8 weeks to fully heal. However, it’s important to note that every woman’s body is different, and the healing process can vary. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and attend any follow-up appointments to ensure that your scar is healing correctly.

What’s a Keloid C-Section Scar?

A keloid C-section scar is a type of raised scar that occurs when the body produces too much collagen during the healing process. This can cause the scar to become thick, red, and itchy.

Keloid scars can occur in anyone, but some people are more prone to them than others. If you are concerned that you may be developing a keloid scar, speak to your doctor.

Do I Need C-section Scar Creams?

While there are many creams and ointments available that claim to help C-section scars heal, there is little evidence to support their effectiveness.

Some women find that using vitamin E oil or aloe vera gel can help soothe the skin and reduce itching, but it’s important to speak to your doctor before using any new products on your scar.

Should I Give Myself a C-Section Scar Massage?

Massaging your scar can help break up scar tissue and improve blood flow to the area. However, it’s essential to wait until your scar has fully healed before attempting any massage.

Your doctor can provide specific instructions on how to massage your scar and when it’s safe to start.

Are There Any Other Ways to Reduce the Appearance of a C-Section Scar?

If you are concerned about the appearance of your C-section scar, there are several things you can do to help reduce its visibility. These include:

  1. Using silicone sheets or gels. These products can help soften and flatten the scar over time.
  2. Trying scar camouflage makeup. This type of makeup is designed to cover scars and can be an effective way to reduce their visibility.
  3. Considering laser therapy. Laser therapy can help reduce the appearance of scars by stimulating the growth of new collagen.

How can you care for yourself at home?

It’s important to take care of yourself at home after a C-section to promote healing and prevent complications. Here are some tips:

  1. Get plenty of rest.
  2. Eat a healthy diet.
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Take pain medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  5. Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  6. Take short walks to promote blood flow.
  7. Attend all follow-up appointments with your doctor.

Why is my incision itchy?

Itching around the incision site is a common side effect of C-sections and is typically caused by the healing process. However, if the itching is severe or accompanied by redness or swelling, it’s important to speak to your doctor, as this could be a sign of an infection.

When will the pain and numbness go away?

Pain and numbness around the incision site can take several weeks to resolve. However, if the pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever or chills, it’s important to contact your doctor, as this could be a sign of an infection or other complication.

When to Call the Doctor

Call Your Health Care Provider Immediately If You Experience: 

  • Fever of over 100.4° F
  • Severe headache that begins right after birth and does not let up in intensity
  • Sudden onset of pain in the abdominal area, such as tenderness to touch or burning sensation
  • Foul odor from vaginal discharge
  • Sudden onset of pain in the incision area that can include a pus discharge
  • Swollen, red, painful area in the leg
  • Burning urination or blood in the urine
  • Appearance of rash or hives
  • Extremely heavy bleeding that soaks a maxi pad within an hour, or the passing of large clots
  • Sore, red, painful area on the breasts that may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms.
  • Feelings of anxiety, panic, and/or depression

The most important thing to remember is to ask for help when you need it!


C-section scars are a common result of having a cesarean delivery, but with proper care and attention, you can help your scar heal properly and reduce its appearance. From keeping your scar clean and moisturized, to massaging and avoiding certain activities, there are many steps you can take to help your C-section scar heal and look its best. If you experience any redness, swelling, pain, or discharge from your C-section scar, be sure to contact your doctor for treatment.


  1. Can C-section scars be prevented?

There is no surefire way to prevent C-section scars, but you can help minimize their appearance by taking good care of your scar after your surgery. This includes keeping your scar clean and moisturized, avoiding certain activities, and following your doctor’s instructions for care.

  1. Can C-section scars be removed through surgery?

In some cases, C-section scars can be removed through surgery. However, this is usually only recommended if the scar is causing pain, discomfort, or is otherwise affecting your quality of life. Your doctor can discuss your options with you and help you determine whether or not surgery is right for you.

  1. What is the best way to minimize the appearance of C-section scars?

There are several steps you can take to help minimize the appearance of C-section scars, including keeping your scar clean and moisturized, massaging your scar, and avoiding certain activities. Additionally, your doctor may recommend using silicone sheets, gels, or creams to help reduce the appearance of your scar.

  1. How long does it take for a C-section scar to fully heal?

The amount of time it takes for a C-section scar to fully heal can vary depending on a number of factors, including your age, overall health, and the care you take of your scar. In most cases, C-section scars will fully heal within 6 to 12 months.

  1. What are some common side effects of C-section scars?

Common side effects of C-section scars include itching, pain, and numbness. In some cases, C-section scars may also become keloid scars, which are raised, thick, and bumpy scars that can be quite noticeable. If you experience any side effects from your C-section scar, be sure to contact your doctor for treatment.


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