HOME » Scar Information » C-section Scars

C-section Scars

Learn About Pregnancy Related Scar Treatment

C-section Dog Ear Scars: As the skin of the abdomen retracts after childbirth, the skin on the edges of the C-section scar may become excessive and may lead to a condition known as a 'dog ear.' In this condition, excess skin and fat is found on the lateral edges of the C-section scar, leading the area to look bulgy in tight clothes and workout gear. Dog ears on a C-section scar can be corrected with surgery, liposuction, or laser, depending on its severity. If the surgical dog ears are excessive, Dr. Karamanoukian will discuss options for dog-ear excision alongside a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck. During these abdominoplasty procedures, the surgical scar can be corrected and the excess skin to the belly button can be removed and tightened. 

Dark and Discolored C-section Scars: Some C-section scars can become dark in color when compared to the surrounding skin. These scars are likely hyperpigmented as a result of a post-inflammatory state that stimulates melanin production. When the scars become dark, they do not spontaneously regain their normal color. For dark C-section scars, we would recommend a combination of topical creams including Melarase AM and Melarase PM, followed by light chemical peels to help reduce the pigmentation. 

Hernias and C-section Scars:

A hernia can occur with any surgical incision that crosses the fascia of the abdominal wall. A C-section incision can result in a hernia if any intra-abdominal contents work their way through the incision line and into the subcutaneous soft tissue of the abdomen. Early warning signs of a hernia include a bump underneath the skin, pain or discomfort with strenuous activity, and an uneven scar line. Hernias can extend throughout the whole length of your C-section scar or can be segmental. If not repaired properly, a C-section scar can become quite problematic, Hernias can enlarge over time, sometimes consuming the normal appearance of the abdominal wall with a large bulging growth. 

Hernias of a C-section incision line can be corrected surgically and Dr. Karamanoukian works hand-in-hand with trained gynecologists to reduce the hernia and address any gynecologic issues simultaneously. If you prefer to have Dr. Karamanoukian work with your ob-gyn, we can facilitate the communication between the surgeons so that your care is optimized. 

Hypertrophic C-section Scars: 

C-section scars are often located in the hair-bearing area of the pubis and can sometimes become thickened and hypertrophic. There are many causes of the hypertrophy, but many experts agree that the thickness of the skin and the density of hair follicles may contribute to the process of scar thickening and hypertrophy. Linear thickening of a C-section scar can encompass the entire incision line or can be segmental. In practice, we have seen many patients with hypertrophic scarring in only partial segments of their scar. Regardless, there are many different options for surgical scar revision and laser treatment for C-section scars. 

If you have a lot of ingrown hairs and inflammation around your hypertrophic C-section scar, you may need to undergo some type of depilation of the hair follicles that are causing the ingrown hairs. In our office, we specialize in medical and scar-corrective laser hair removal on the C-section scar and surrounding area using the Yag laser. The Yag laser for laser hair removal is safe and effective for all skin colors and for sensitive scars around the pubis. Some patients will also want to complete the hair removal procedure around the C-section scar and the entire bikini line in order to reduce excessive hair. 

Indented C-section scars: Some obstetricians use emergency techniques to perform your C-section and may not spend the time to perform a tailored layered closure of your incision after childbirth. If this occurs, your C-section scar may become indented or distorted, leading to an unsightly cosmetic appearance. Indented C-section scars are usually bumpy and uneven with areas of indentation, tethering, and pulling. Since the pubic mound is an area that is dynamic with movement of your torso, the indentation and tethering of your scar may pose functional and cosmetic problems. Our top Los Angeles scar surgeon can help you restore normalcy to your scar by carefully releasing your scar tissue and resuturing the area if need be. Some patients will also require laser therapy only to help release the scar. 

Keloid C-section scars: Ingrown hairs, abnormal scar formation, family history, and poor wound healing can all contribute to the formation of keloids on a C-section scar. Keloids can grown beyond the original 'footprint' of the original C-section incision. If the incision was placed on hair-bearing skin, there is an additional burden caused by ingrown hairs and accessory glands that can contribute to the formation of a keloid. If you have a keloid scar at the site of your C-section, there may be associated pain, swelling, and itching on the area of your scar. These symptoms, along with the thick scar, can cause problems and may limit your normal quality of life. C-section keloid scars can be corrected with a combination approach which may include injections, lasers, and topical treatment with Plato's Scar Serum. Some patients may also benefit from laser hair removal to reduce ingrown hairs and excess sebum production along the C-section scar. 

TIming of Treatment: 

Timing is an important part of C-section scar treatment. Our Santa Monica plastic surgery office treats new and old C-section scars. Old scars can be improved with a combination of laser, injections, fractional RF, microneedling, and topical scar therapy. Newer scars should undergo these same procedures in the early phase of wound healing to avoid progression of the scar and abnormal hypertrophic scar formation. Old scars can be treated electively to modulate scar density and visibility, while new scars often require early and immediate scar treatments to avoid worsening of a scar. If you have a personal or family history of scar formation, you may consider early laser treatments to help reduce scar growth. Many of these early scar treatments employ topical scar gels such as Plato's Scar Serum twice daily and vascular lasers such as Pulsed Dye Laser. 

FAQ: C-Section Scars

Q: How long after my C-section should I begin treating the scar? A: Scars can begin to form immediately after surgery. If you have a history or keloid scars or are beginning to notice hypertrophic changes in your C-section scar, we would recommend early treatment. If you are breast feeding, Dr. Karamanoukian will custom-tailor a scar revision protocol that is non-medicine based to minimize interference with your lactation. 

Q: What can I do if my C-section scar is itching? A: Itching and burning of a scar is often caused by a localized inflammatory process.  In our office, we begin treatment for painful, itching scars by using pulsed dye lasers and other non-ablative techniques to help reduce the inflammatory process and reduce symptoms. The lasers will help reduce scar severity and visibilty. In addition, patients are advised to begin twice daily topical application of Plato's Scar Serum to help smoothe down the skin. 

Insurance Coverage for C-section Scar Removal:

Our Los Angeles office specializes in scar revision. Pregnancy-related scars such as belly button scars and C-section scars are very common and are often related to the peri-gestational changes that occur before and during childbirth. We are often asked whether C-section scars can be eligible for insurance coverage. Standard health insurance companies are reluctant to pay for scar revision procedures, whether or not they are related to your pregnancy. That being said, insurance coverage varies by region and by carrier.  Our office will help you navigate the difficult terrain of obtaining insurance pre-authorization if applicable. 

© Copyright 2015. KeloidExpert.com. All Rights Reserved.
Go Top