Postpartum Skin Care Tips

Postpartum Skin Care Tips

The hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy and after the birth of your child can create changes in your skin that sometimes lead to unsightly problems. You can find yourself facing the acne you thought you left behind in your teen years, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, stretch marks, and other problems. If you had a cesarean, then you will also be left with a scar. Luckily, there are some natural, healthy, and easy solutions to help your postpartum skin look great and that can help reduce the appearance of any scars.

C-Section Scars

If you have a cesarean, c-section scar prevention begins with treating the wound. You should follow any instructions from your doctor, but generally you want to keep the incision covered so it will remain moist, which helps it to heal with less chance of a scar. Once the incision has healed, then you can apply a scar treatment cream. You want one with natural and safe ingredients, such as dimethicone silicone, vitamin C and licorice root extract. These ingredients have been found to promote the body’s healing and fade scars over time.

Acne and Acne Scars

The excess estrogen in your system during pregnancy often led to glowing, beautiful skin. Now, the hormonal imbalance mixed with stress, lack of sleep, and no time for your normal skin care regime might have left you with acne, which may lead to unsightly scars. The first action you need to take is to treat the acne. Make sure to clean your skin, use oil-free ingredients, and use a topical cream or gel that fights acne. If you have scars, you can treat them with a scar treatment cream that will help to even out the skin and lighten the scars. You can also talk to your doctor about treatment for acne scars, including dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, laser surgery, or acne scar surgery.

Hyperpigmentation

Many women find themselves with dark patches of skin on the forehead, upper lip, and cheeks, known as chloasma or melasma. They develop due to an increase of melanin production that occurred during pregnancy. Your body will most likely find its balance once again, no longer producing as much melanin, and those dark patches will fade. Until then, you can help by staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen. You can also use a skin lightening cream, but you want to stay away from certain ingredients, namely kojic acid and hydroquinone. These can have dangerous side effects, including hormonal imbalance, toxicity, and carcinogenic effects.  Licorice root extract is a natural ingredient that has been shown to safely lighten skin.

In addition to using special creams to help your skin find its balance after pregnancy, you should also pay attention to your overall health. Be sure to eat healthy and get as much sleep as your new baby allows. This promotes your body’s healing process and can help heal any skin problems.

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Do Scars Change Appearance After Surgery?

Do Scars Change Appearance After Surgery?

If you are planning to have any type of surgery, whether it is elective or not, you may be wondering what to expect concerning your scar. Most surgical procedures will leave some type of scar, and these scars do indeed change quite a bit after the surgery and over time.

Scar tissue is not as strong as normal skin. For several weeks after the surgery takes place, it is easy to reopen a wound through minimal accidental trauma. By the time six weeks have passed, if normal healing is taking place, the scar tissue has about half the strength it will ever gain. The scar’s final ability to withstand trauma or injury gradually increases over the next one to two years. However, it will never regain the normal strength of uninjured skin.

Read: How is Scar Tissue Different From Normal Skin?

Read: How Long Does It Take For a Scar to Heal?

Most of the collagen, which is the main component of scar tissue, has formed in the area by four to six weeks after the wound has closed and begun to heal. The scar will usually appear firm, red, and raised during this time. The rate of collagen production will change over the next several months. When healing is normal, normal amounts and types of collagen are present in the area. The redness of the scar fading and the scar itself beginning to soften are also signs of normal healing. Most patients can expect it to take at least one year for the scar’s final appearance to become apparent. In children, scars may continue to change for several years.

Read: Do Scars Grow With Age?

If you are unhappy with the red appearance of a scar, and it is a relatively new scar, realize that it will likely fade a good deal on its own (although not disappear completely; scars are permanent). Be sure to avoid exposing the scar to sunlight; use sunscreen, cover the scar with clothing, or stay indoors. UV rays do not only damage normal skin; they also damage scar tissue and can make it look darker or redder. These changes are sometimes permanent.

You can also cover a scar with makeup in some cases. If the sutures have been removed and the wound is healed, you can gently apply concealer or other makeup to conceal the scar as it heals. Remember that makeup by itself does not protect the scar from sun damage; also use sunscreen, or choose a makeup that contains sunscreen as one of its ingredients.

Scars do change in appearance significantly after surgery, as time passes and the scar begins to heal. Keep in mind that how much your scar changes, and what type of changes you notice, depend largely on how you care for the scar as it heals, your diet and lifestyle choices, and whether you are darker or lighter skinned. Be sure to exercise regularly (once you’re cleared by your doctor to do so) and eat a healthy diet; also use scar treatment products that contain ingredients known to help scars fade and soften, such as silicone and Vitamin C. Following these and other steps for scar healing will ensure that the kinds of changes you see in your post-surgical scar are the ones you want.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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C-Section Scar Treatment

C-Section Scar Treatment

Now that your baby is born, you may be looking down at your C-section scar, wondering what you’re going to do about it. Let’s formulate a two-phase plan for your C-section scar treatment.

Phase 1 for Your C-Section Scar Treatment

During the first six weeks, there are three things that will help tremendously.

1. First, don’t panic or worry. The initial wound and scar may look bad to you right now but all scars heal with time.  How your scar looks now is not how it will look six months from now. Remember that you do have some control over the scar healing process.

2. Focus your attention on observing the wound, keeping it clean and addressing any signs of infection that may occur. Watch for a sensation of heat on the wound, any swelling, redness, or pus oozing from the wound. If any of these appear, see your doctor immediately. Preventing an infection is one of the best steps you can take to make your scar look good in the long run.

3. Avoid stretching the scar. Even gentle yoga stretches will be too much stress for your new scar to handle. The stretching will potentially tear the new collagen fibers that are forming to hold together the scar. It could end up widening the scar.

These first six weeks are the time when the new collagen fibers must be built. Once your doctor tells you the scar has healed enough, you can move to Phase 2.

Phase 2 for Your C-Section Scar Treatment

During this phase, the primary methods you’ll use to control healing are massage and topical ointments.

1. Massage breaks up any adhesions to organs or the fascia underneath that may form from the surgery. These adhesions may cause lower back pain or pelvic pain. If adhesions form around the bladder, they can cause frequency of urination.

If the scar is red and tender, use gently massage strokes around the scar but not on top of it. Once it has healed more and is not red and tender, you may begin more intensive massage. To do this, press into the scar from different directions. Locate the area where the movement feels restrictive. The restrictions are adhesions.

As you gently stretch and move the tissue with rolling movements or stroking movements in all directions, you’ll feel the tissue make gains in overcoming the restrictions.

2. When you massage the C-section scar, the best type of massage lotion to use could also be one that’s scientifically formulated to heal the scar. You can begin using a topical scar treatment once the sutures or staples are removed. The four most important ingredients to get rid of scars are vitamin C, aloe vera, silicone, and licorice. Each of these will assist is accelerating skin renewal in various ways.

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