As we reported earlier, Thalia delivered her brand new baby boy Matthew via cesarean section.
Of course, we’re thrilled to hear that both baby and mami are healthy. But the news did spark a discussion in the Latina office about the best way to heal a cesarean section scar—especially because we have an increased chance of developing postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (a darkening of the skin) and keloidal scarring (shiny, raised scars that keep getting bigger with time). So we emailed Dr. Jeffrey Yager, a plastic surgeon who specializes in treating Latino patients, for his advice:
If the scar is darker than your skin but flat:
Apply a hydroquinone cream (your doctor can give you a prescription for Tri-Luma, or a cream, like Obagi Nu-Derm, obagi.com).
If the scar is flat and red:
Vitamin K creams can help, as well as laser treatments. “But make sure your physician has experience in treating Hispanic skin,” says Dr. Yager. Laser treatments can make scarring worse if done incorrectly.
If the scar is raised above the rest of your skin (called a keloid):
Get a steroid injection, which helps to flatten it.
If the scar is vertical (and you have a little extra skin post-pregnancy):
Consider a tummy tuck, which moves the incision to the bikini line, and also gets rid of some stretch marks and tightens the waist.
In general, you’ll want to start treating your scar as soon as the wound is healed. Massaging the scar for a few minutes every morning and evening helps to loosen the built-up collagen and shrink scar tissue. Also, applying a silicone-based patch (like ScarAway, $27, drugstore.com) can help to fade it. Expect to see results after a few months.
Most importantly: Keep your scar out of the sun completely, or always apply a heavy layer of sunscreen on top of it. UV rays make scars worse!