How to Care for Abdominal Scars During Pregnancy

Abdominal scars during pregnancy can cause some complications. Keep reading the following article to find out how to treat them early.
How to Care for Abdominal Scars During Pregnancy

Last update: 19 July, 2022

Scars on the abdomen can be annoying and have an impact on the aesthetic aspect, but they can also lead to complications in pregnant women. Therefore, in this article, we’ll explain some considerations that you should take into account for the care of scars during pregnancy. Are you interested?

What are scars?

Scars are the inevitable and normal result of the process of tissue repair after an injury. In general, these can be burns, cuts, punctures, or inflammatory processes, such as acne.

In scarring, the original tissue is replaced by a fibrous type, which is strong but different in appearance. This happens because the collagen fibers that compose it are thicker than those of healthy skin and are arranged randomly.

In addition, scar tissue undergoes a remodeling process along tension lines, and during this process, it can develop adhesions to deep tissues. This is why it’s so important to provide proper wound care in order to avoid abnormal scarring.

Types of scarring

As mentioned earlier, scars are areas of tissue that are more fibrous than the original skin, and in some cases, can develop erratically. Here are three possible types of scars:

  • Keloids: These are hard or soft, benign growths that form when scar tissue overgrows. They rise more than 4mm above the skin and grow beyond the limits of the original incision or wound. They can even grow and evolve over time.
  • Hypertrophic: These are raised growths, rarely more than 4 mm above the skin, and are pink or red in color.
  • Atrophic: These are sunken scars, also known as icepick scars. The scar forms under the surrounding tissue and a dimple is created.
A scar on a child's elbow.
Keloid scars form in people who are predisposed to developing them. However, good external care can improve their appearance.

What care should be offered to scars on the body?

Although the tissue repair process is spontaneous and genetically programmed, with some specific care, it’s possible to improve the results of scars during pregnancy or at any time.

1. Massage new scars

During the process of scar proliferation, massage plays a beneficial and important role. On the one hand, it stimulates collagen synthesis and on the other hand, it prevents the formation of adhesions to the deep planes. In turn, the mechanical stress that this technique provides contributes to reorganizing the collagen fibers.

2. Control of scars during pregnancy

It’s important to take into account that, in case of pre-pregnancy scars, it’s a good idea to request a professional revision in order to rule out the presence of adhesions. If they’re present, the physician will attempt to partially or completely remove them.

Scar adhesions are similar to the cords of fibrotic tissue that develop within scars when they haven’t been properly cared for. Although they can form in any part of the body, they’re more frequent in the abdomen, and this area deserves special attention in mothers-to-be. Therefore, whenever there’s a history of surgery, such as cesarean sections, it’s important to give the scars the attention and care they need.

3. Nourishment of the fibrotic tissue

Pregnant women may experience pain and itching in the scar area or even restrict certain movements due to the discomfort caused by the scars. Creams or oils are useful to prevent scar tissue complications and restore the natural look and feel of the skin.

The choice of the appropriate cosmetic product will depend on several factors, such as the type of scar to be treated, the reaction of the skin, or the components of the cream.

Scars on the pregnant abdomen

According to a publication by the American Academy of Dermatology Association, many scars can fade over time, except for keloids or depressed scars.

However, the most important guideline for good scarring is prevention. Those who have risk factors for the development of abnormal scars should avoid elective surgeries and treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne.

As pregnancy progresses, previous scars may begin to cause discomfort or itching. Itching is the consequence of the distension of skin tissue and often manifests around scars.

Moisturize your skin every day!

Regular application of anti-stretch mark oils or creams helps stimulate the skin’s production of elastin and collagen. In addition, they provide other benefits to this tissue:

  • Nourishment and hydration
  • Increased flexibility of the skin surface
  • Repair of damaged collagen fibers

The most important thing is to maintain consistency in the application of cosmetic products on scars during pregnancy. In fact, it’s advisable to use them at least twice a day and to prioritize some components such as rosehip, hyaluronic acid, and Centella Asiatica.

A woman with a C-section scar holding a baby.
After the cesarean section, you should check your wounds with your doctor. This way, they’ll be able to detect adhesions and resolve them in a timely manner.

Scars after childbirth

When there are scars from previous surgeries, these can be used to make new incisions in future cesarean sections. If the adhesions have been treated correctly, there will be no discomfort or complications to solve later.

Therefore, it’s best to consult with the professional after the surgeries to check the condition of the scars and analyze the need for physiotherapy sessions.

About the care of scars during pregnancy, we can say…

As you’ve seen, scars during pregnancy aren’t dangerous or life-threatening, but they can cause certain limitations and complications at some point in life. Therefore, it’s best to perform the necessary controls to detect adhesions and manage them in a timely manner. Especially before a new pregnancy.

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