Whether it’s a caesarean section or any other surgery, these procedures tend to leave scars behind. Scars may also form due to inflammation or infection, and they are often coloured and may be raised.
TYPES OF SURGICAL SCARS
As much as we may hope, most scars never completely disappear. But there are effective treatments available to minimize them. Treatments will depend on the type of scar.
1. Keloid scars
These are hard to miss, being one of the most conspicuous scars. They are raised and grow beyond the boundaries of the original skin injury. Keloids are often discoloured, red or hyperpigmented. They are due to an overproduction of cells that the body generates to repair itself. Keloids are more common in darker skin types.
These can be tricky to treat and silicon sheets or pressure dressings can be applied to prevent keloids from forming. Once keloids have formed however, doctors usually jump straight to intralesional injections to shrink the scars with an anti-inflammatory effect. Very thick or large keloid scars may need stronger injections such as 5-fluorouracil, a type of chemotherapy drug.
Redness can be treated concurrently with VBeam, a gold-standard pulsed dye laser that delivers rapid bursts of light to the skin, which is absorbed by blood vessels within the skin, causing them to collapse and reducing redness. Part of the Scar Prevention Program which also uses the Fraxel laser, this scar program accelerates the reduction and fading of surgical scars.
Scars can be revised with scar revision surgery, essentially a makeover for scars that were complicated by poor wound healing initially.
2. Hypertrophic scars
Also raised but not to the same degree as keloid scars, and these do not grow beyond the boundary of the original skin injury. They are usually red and contain blood vessels. Hypertrophic scars may flatten and fade over time without treatment, but they could take a while (a few years) to do so.
At an early stage of scar development, over-the-counter silicone sheets and gels help improve the scars by limiting the overproduction of collagen. Some scar gels contain ingredients which promote skin healing such as quercetin.
Hypertrophic scars can be softened and reduced with intralesional steroid injections.