Keloids – are you at risk?

Keloids are raised, thickened scars that form when the skin heals from an injury. They are more common in people with dark skin, especially those of African, Asian, or Latin-American descent. They can be caused by various factors, such as burns, cuts, piercings, acne, or surgery. Keloids can be itchy, painful, or cosmetically bothersome. They can also grow larger over time and affect the normal function of the skin.

One of the common treatments for keloids is steroid injections1. Steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that can reduce the production of collagen and proteins that make up the scar tissue. By injecting steroids directly into the keloid, the scar can become softer and flatter over time. Steroid injections can also help relieve the symptoms of keloids, such as itchiness and discomfort.

Steroid injections are usually given by a doctor or a dermatologist in a clinic or hospital setting. The procedure involves inserting a thin needle into the thickest part of the keloid and injecting a small amount of steroid solution. The injection is painful and may be repeated at intervals of 3 to 6 weeks until the desired result is achieved. The dosage and frequency of injections depend on the size, location, and severity of the keloid.

Steroid injections are not a cure for keloids. They can only improve the appearance and symptoms of the scar, but they cannot eliminate it completely. Some keloids may recur or grow back after the treatment, sometimes bigger than before. Steroid injections may also cause some side effects, such as skin thinning, color changes, spider veins, or tissue atrophy (indentations in the skin). These side effects may be temporary or permanent, depending on the amount and duration of steroid use.

Steroid injections are often used in combination with other treatments for keloids, such as surgery2, cryotherapy2 (freezing), laser therapy2, or radiation therapy2. These treatments can help remove or shrink the keloid tissue and prevent its recurrence. However, they do require one or more visits to a clinic and may also have their own risks and limitations.

Cost may also be a factor when deciding a course of therapy for a keloid. Most health insurance policies do not cover keloid therapy or treatment. For in-clinic treatments, out-of-pocket costs can range from $250 to $2500 depending on the type, size, and location of the keloid, as well as the number of sessions required.

Newer non-surgical, non-injection, @home treatment options have become available as a first line therapy in recent years to help prevent or treat existing keloids. These include advanced silicone sheet-based technologies from Neodyne Biosciences or CicaLux Inc. (See Fig. 1). These over-the-counter devices range from $70-$150.

Figure 1: 3-yr old c-section Keloid treated by CicaLux.

It is important to consult with a doctor or a dermatologist before choosing any treatment option for keloids.

Learn more:

What Does Transgender Top Surgery Involve?

When an individual identifies with a different gender, to the gender they have been born with, this is referred to as gender dysmorphia.  The majority of transgender individuals will begin their journey to change to the gender they identify with by having counselling and hormone therapy. The hormone therapy will help to either feminise or masculinise the anatomy and facial features of the transgender individual. Male to female transgender individuals (MTF) identify as female and female to male transgender individuals (FTM) identify as male. When hormone therapy has not resulted in the change desired transgender individuals may choose to have surgical procedures to change their anatomy. 

MTF and FTM Top Surgery

Top surgery is sought after by MTF and FTM individuals who want to physically look more like the gender they identify with. MTF top surgery is a breast augmentation procedure. This is normally performed with breast implants, although fat transfer, also called autologous fat grafting, is opted for by individuals who do not want to have breast implants. 

FTM top surgery is also referred to as transgender mastectomy or just double mastectomy and involves the removal of breast tissue and excess skin to create a flat, masculine looking, chest. Top surgery should always be performed by a plastic surgeon or a surgeon that has a history of special training and experience performing top surgery for transgender individuals. 

Scars From Transgender Top Surgery

As with all surgery, scars are inevitable.  Taking care of yourself and your incision scars by wearing compression garments has been shown to help reduce swelling and reduce the appearance of scars. Scar treatments can also help to significantly improve the appearance of scars by supporting the healing process. There are various scar treatments on the market including topical silicone gels and silicone gel sheets. 

Following scientific research into the best ways to support the healing process, CicaLux Energized Scar-Care is different as it uses a combination scar therapy device. The device consists of the CicaLux silicone sheet over which a disposable CicaLux tape is applied, the combination ensures the scar stays moist and also helps to limit tension as the scar heals. Additionally, the tape adds helpful pressure on the scar tissue.  The CicaLux Energized Scar-Care combination scar therapy device also comes with a unique CicaLux stone that can be placed into the silicone sheet and increases the blood flow by providing infrared heat. Massaging the scar with the CicaLux stone has also been shown to improve the final appearance of the scar. This combination therapy when used as instructed should help to make the scar tissue softer resulting in  a flatter, thinner, paler, less noticeable scar, once healed.

FTM Transgender Mastectomy

Double incision top surgery – This method is often recommended to individuals with larger breasts, typically cup size C and above. When the breasts are a certain size this will mean more limited choices and the surgery recommended is likely to be a bilateral mastectomy, with nipple grafts. This involves 2 incisions that can be either curved or straight and are positioned above and below the pectoral muscle.  Nipples are removed and repositioned once adequate breast tissue has been excised. This procedure often causes a reduced nipple sensation and has a higher risk factor as nipples may not survive the graft and the risk of infection is also greater. This procedure can also be performed without repositioning the nipples if desired.

Inverted-T top surgery – This is another option recommended to individuals with a significant amount of breast tissue and excess skin, who are concerned about losing nipple sensation. As with double incision top surgery 2 incisions are positioned above and below the pectoral muscle. Another incision is made around the edge of the areola and a fourth incision is made vertically between the bottom of the areola and the lower scar below the pectoral muscle.  The areola can be reduced if desired and due to the nipples not being removed, sensation is normally maintained.

Periareolar top surgery – This incision option is normally offered to individuals that are smaller busted, typically cup size A and B with high skin elasticity. The first incision is positioned around the outer edge of the areola, the second incision is positioned in a bigger circle a little further out.  Breast tissue is then removed and the skin between the areola and the second circle is excised. The skin is restitched to the edge of the areola which can also be reduced if desired. Once healed the scar should be difficult to detect and nipple sensation should not be affected.

Keyhole top surgery – This method is only suitable for individuals with very little breast tissue and high skin elasticity. Only one incision is made in a semi-circle around the bottom of the areola. Liposuction is used to remove excess breast tissue and a semi-circle of skin might be excised before the edge of the areola is restitched to the skin. This method is also referred to as scarless top surgery as the scar once healed will be difficult to detect and nipple sensation should remain the same. The optimum result of all FTM top surgery should be a nicely contoured masculine chest with nipples that sit in a pleasing position.

MTF Transgender Breast Augmentation with Breast Implants

Transgender women more than often desire breasts, hormone therapy can help small breasts to grow, however most transgender women are not happy with their overall size and shape. To achieve a fuller bust and more cleavage, breast implants can be used to augment the breasts that have developed. Breast implants can also be placed in transgender women who have decided against having hormone therapy, although the results may look less natural. Another option is to have tissue expanders which can be gradually filled with saline to increase their size and either sealed once the size desired is achieved and left in place or replaced with a second procedure with silicone breast implants. When breast implants are not wanted it may be possible to enhance breast size and improve shape with fat transfer also known as autologous fat grafting or autologous fat breast augmentation.

Breast Implant Placement Options

Submuscular placement – Many surgeons prefer to use this placement option due to the extra layer of cover the pectoral muscle provides over the breast implant. This placement option is also associated with lower rates of capsular contracture (excessive thickening and tightening of the scar tissue capsule that forms around the breast implant).

Dual Plane placement – This option is also used when there is sufficient breast tissue to cover the lower pole (portion) of the implant. As only the top section of breast implant is covered by the pectoral muscle the breast shape will appear more natural and the breast implants will have more movement and the breasts may also feel softer.

Sub glandular placement – This method of placement is only possible when there is sufficient breast tissue to cover all of the implant. When this is the case this placement is less painful and often considered to provide the most natural breast shape, unless this is not desired. The breasts may also feel softer, than with the submuscular and dual placement options.

Breast Incision Options

Inframammary (natural crease) incision – A curved incision is made in the inframammary crease. This option makes all placement options easier as it provides greatest access and is often preferred by surgeons due to lower rates of infection and capsular contraction.

Periareolar (nipple) incision – This option may be offered if the breast shape that has developed following hormone therapy is generally acceptable. An incision is made in the lower outer edge of the peri-areolar  and the implant is put through the gap.

Transauxillary (underarm) incision – This is the least preferred option due to higher infection rates and limited access. Breasts that have developed following hormone therapy need to be a reasonable size and shape to enable a pleasing result.

Breast Implant Options

Breast implants come in a puzzling choices of different shapes, volumes and profiles, as well as different filling options. Your surgeon should be able to recommend the shape, cc volume and profile of breast implants that will give you the result you desire. 

Both silicone filled and saline filled breast implants have an outer silicone shell and come in both anatomical and non-anatomical shapes, with profiles from low to extra high (extra, extra high may also be available depending on the manufacturer). As a general rule low and medium profile, non-anatomical implants will provide a more natural breast shape as they will produce less volume in the upper pole (upper part) of the breast and tend to look less round in shape. High profile non-anatomical breast implants tend to provide a fuller, rounder breast shape. Extra high profile implants will almost certainly provide a full, round breast shape. Anatomical implants are shaped to create a more natural breast shape and the profile is normally chosen based on individual anatomy and the cc volume desired. 

Scar Treatments

Regardless of the procedure, scars may be a concern. Ensuring you follow all post-operative instructions and use scar treatments (as soon as your surgeon advises it is safe to do so) is important to help support healing and prevent the formation of a Keloid (darker, thicker and wider scars) or Hypertrophic (raised) scar.  Per numerous scientific studies to better understand how to support the healing process,  the medical community agrees  that there is not one single therapy approach but rather a combination  scar therapies is best to improve the final appearance of a scar. CicaLux Energized Scar-Care is a combination scar therapy device inspired by this research and unmet need. 

Risks and Complications

Take your time to find your surgeon and remember there are serious risks and complications associated with all surgery. Prior to having top surgery, you should seek specialist counselling and support. The benefits of top surgery have been well researched and the majority of transgender individuals do not regret having gender confirmation procedures. 

Check your plastic surgeon is qualified and registered with one of the worldwide professional bodies.

About the author:
Annabelle has had 3 breast augmentation procedures to achieve the size and shape she wanted and went from a 32A cup to a 32F cup. She has also had 3 rhinoplasty procedures and abdominal liposculpture and writes regular blog posts about advancements in plastic surgery. Her mission is to make it safer to find a qualified plastic surgeon online. Her cosmetic surgery website features a consultant register and the qualifications of every consultant listed are checked on a rolling 3 month basis. 
This sponsored article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical.


For before and after Top Surgery scar results – click here!

The Best and Worst Gifts for a C-Section Parent

There are as many gift guides out there for people who’ve just had c-sections as there are stitches in the cesarean scar, but I figure we could all use a laugh these days so here are my top and bottom gifts for the post-cesarean parent in your life.

1. CicaLux Energized Scar Care – CicaLux triple action scar care is one of the best gifts you can give someone who had a cesarean delivery, period. I don’t know what you used to treat your c-section scar, but I promise it wasn’t as good as CicaLux. (For the record: I used a ouija board and tree sap and it did nothing but bind me for life with an angry ghost named Calliope. Come to think of it I might have googled “scare treatment”…but I digress.) Gift the best hypertrophic scar and keloid treatment on the market and, much like me and Calliope, you’ll be bonded for life with your pal. CicaLux uses compression, infrared heat and hydration to create a super effective (and reusable!) treatment that will leave the scars in your life like a ghost pre-ouija: nearly undetectable.

2. A Skateboard – Hear me out. How funny would it be if you gave a new parent a skateboard? I had a c-section and I’ll be honest, I would laugh until my stitches popped and then maybe carry a resentment against that friend for centuries? “Who is Sheila again?” “Skate gate.” “Riiiight.” Better yet, get her this $5,000 skateboard I found on the outrageous Goop Gift Guide. They’ll think you’re a lunatic and you’ll be out $5,000. Lose, lose!

3. A Banana – Joke title; real suggestion. Families with new babies need lots of help with meals. One of the ways in which I was most grateful for help as a new mom was meal drop-off. Ask your pals for some restaurant suggestions, pick up a “take and bake” meal, and drop it off at their door. Also great: a GrubHub gift card. And particularly helpful when it comes to food is multifunctional feasts; food you can eat with one hand (while feeding your baby with the other) that also aids with constipation.The anesthetic and pain meds can bind them up so be a true friend and help them out. How about this basket of pears? Or a dried fruit and nut tray? A basket of shitake mushrooms? These incredible chocolate caramel-covered apples! Sorry, what were we talking about? Bananas.

4. Not Visiting – Surely we’re not visiting new babies in 2020, but even pre-COVID it can’t be stressed enough: brand new parents do not want to entertain you. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Even if you think you’ll be no bother as you sit quietly in the corner with your popcorn, staring teary-eyed at the new baby, you are intruding. Could it be that a Zoom call is an even bigger pain? Sure, maybe you’re the kind of parent who walked home from the hospital and plated a six course meal for your guests, and if that’s the case can I be your child, but the rest of us had a hard time putting sentences together due to sleep deprivation while we changed our bandages and the baby’s diapers, struggled to walk, attempting to shower, expressed milk, and maybe dealt with postpartum depression. Send a congratulatory text and wait for the invitation.

5A Vibrator – This started as a joke, but now I think I might be a genius. You really have to set this one up and it has to be for the right friend. Tell them you have something coming in the mail that’s great for self-care. (See what I did there?) There’s no way they’ll see it coming. (I can’t stop.) Check out these 11 Reasons You Should Be Having More Orgasms that sync in tandem with your post-surgery/new baby body and mind. Stress relief? Check. Pain relief? Check. Brain stimulation? Check. Youthful appearance? Check. Yep, I’m a genius.

6. Self-Care Gift Basket – If a vibrator isn’t quite your friend’s speed, gift a basket with items to help them feel comfortable and cared for. You can go for a subscription service like Bump Box, or make your own. A few suggestions from my mom friends: a nice water bottle to stay hydrated, a super comfy robe or pajamas, cozy socks, dry shampoo, a back scratcher, and c-section recovery briefs from Belly Bandit will all bump the comfort level up.

7. DIY Tattoo Kit – I took a dive back into the ridiculous Goop Gift Guide for this one. (I’m not a Gooper, per se, but I can’t look away.) A DIY Tattoo Kit seems like a terrible gift idea for anyone, but especially for a new c-section parent. Yes, you’ll already be giving them CicaLux to make their scar less scary, but you might have a pal like me who will say, “I’m Getting a Tattoo to Highlight My C-Section Scar.” If that’s the case might I say your friend sounds really good looking, and this very well might be the perfect gift.

8. A Bed Rail – My sweet Jack was only about seven pounds when we came home from the hospital and still I wasn’t able to pick him up at first post surgery, so you can imagine how hard it was to get out of bed. A bed rail is yet another great suggestion from a fellow mom. (Spring for the one with the organizer pouch!)

9. Gold Dumbbells – This gift idea is so bad it can truly only be justified for the evil genius’s worst enemy. Imagine giving someone who’s had a cesarean section a set of dumbbells cast in gold costing $107,000. (Evil laugh.) Impossible to pick up, the perfect put down. Don’t take too long healing before you start losing weight, foe! I pity the foe! (Sorry.)

10. Help Without Asking For It – This is another great suggestion from a mom friend. Outside of pandemic-times and outside of the “don’t intrude” new baby window, parents need lots of help inside the home. When you come over to see the baby, why not get to work? Don’t ask what needs to be done because the answer is everything. Cesarean sections make all housework nearly if not totally impossible. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, windows, toilets…clean it all. Your friend will be grateful and there is really no gift better than being of service and asking for nothing in return.

So there you have it! The best (and worst) gifts for a new c-section parent. I hope this helps you treat a friend to some much needed TLC… Tender Loving CicaLux. Happy scar treatment to you and to all a better 2021!

Glennis McCarthy is a comedian and writer from Durango, CO who has written for Showtime and has been profiled in the NY Times despite having never gone to college. She is the creator of Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy and Dance Dance Party Party.
This sponsored article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment.

“I started with a scar that was red, itchy, and slightly raised to now having a scar that is practically invisible…”

My name is Karly Louise Smart, I’m 35 years old and currently live in South Wales in the UK and am a specialist in c-section recovery and postpartum weight loss… I am a mother of 5 beautiful children 4 of which were delivered vaginally and the 5th via emergency c-section after which I contracted sepsis.

Tell us about your c-section journey

My c-section recovery seemed a little more challenging than others as I contracted sepsis in my scar after my operation. I also kept getting reoccurring infections in the scar up to 6 months after my operation. My scar in general started to heal pretty well after the 6-month mark as I ensured I supplemented my body with nutrients and foods that would help with healing and scar tissue. It was when researching that I found CicaLux therapy on Instagram. At this point my scar was still itchy and I would experience issues such as raised lumps and ingrowing hair at the scar site.

How was your recovery journey with CicaLux?

I was so excited when I received my product through the post. I was surprised at how well it was packaged and how easy the instructions were. The first day I used it (see photo) I found it to be very discrete and easy to wear while carrying on with my daily routine. I would wear my therapy as much as possible and make it a habit of putting it on after the bath every night (7pm) and then taking it off the following day at bath time again. I found this helped me keep in a good routine and also helped me ensure it was washed correctly too. I found that it was easy to wear even with 2 toddlers jumping all over me. I even found it effective when my monthly period came around as the heated stone would help ease some of the cramping pains I experienced.

After the treatment, I was shocked. I found my scar’s redness had disappeared and the itchiness too. I feel confident that if anyone needs help with the appearance of their scar I would recommend CicaLux therapy straight away.


My scar after 57 days of CicaLux therapy. The treatment is usually 60 days long but I was too excited to wait the extra few days I had to post the results!


Do you think that c-section recovery is talked about enough?

For me c-section recovery and the issues we face as women are not talked about nearly enough. I also feel there is a gap where health care providers should discuss c-sections In detail (from the risk factors having a c-section can pose later to recovery in general not enough is done in this area).

Your advice to other c-section mothers?

After countless amounts of research into recovery from a c-section I would give this advice to any woman due for a c-section or recovering from one.Ensure you give your body the full recovery it needs after your c-section, flood it with nutrients from foods and supplements… Eat high protein foods which will aid scar recovery… Incorporate omegas and vitamin D3 into your diet. Take anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric, ginger and rooibos tea regularly. And above all, take it easy, don’t push things too far you’ve been through a major operation. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time <3

To see more scar results with CicaLux – please click here 

Scar treatments and the process of wound healing following plastic surgery

Plastic surgery, otherwise referred to as cosmetic surgery, is growing in popularity. Numerous plastic surgery procedures are now safer, with more reliable results and higher patient satisfaction rates. The media have highlighted the role social media has played in the rise of plastic surgery and research has also shown that the popularity of selfies, has made many individuals more self-conscious of how they look in photos. In addition, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic there has been a significant increase in the need for video calls and online webinars, which has been suggested as one of the reasons the demand for plastic surgery continues to increase, despite the ongoing pandemic. 

Worldwide, including the UK, USA and Australia, any registered surgeon can perform plastic surgery. Normally referred to as cosmetic surgeons, with the exception of surgeons that focus solely on ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery and oncoplastic breast surgeons, the skill of surgeons that have not completed specialist plastic surgery qualifications is questionable. With regards to any type of plastic surgery procedure I would always recommend checking that your surgeon is registered with a recognised medical body as a plastic surgeon, proving they have completed specialist plastic surgery training and assessment. 

Check worldwide professional bodies for plastic surgeons.

One of the main considerations for plastic surgeons is where the incisions are placed. All surgical incisions will leave a scar and ensuring they are located where they will be naturally hidden and are as fine, flat and close to the nearby skin colour, as possible, is the goal of all surgeons. There are various treatments and products that claim to help support the healing process and improve the final appearance of the scar when used after the stitches have been removed. The processes that occur during wound healing are commonly separated into three stages, known as, inflammation, proliferation, and remodelling. 

Supporting wound healing for a better scar

The most important factor that can negatively impact wound healing is prevention of an infection. Keeping the wound clean, and changing the dressings when they become saturated, is essential to keep out bacteria which could lead to an infection. Scar treatments should not be used until the stitches have dissolved or been removed, as advised by your surgeon. The application of scar treatments during the remodelling phase combined with the correct massaging techniques has been shown to decrease scar formation and improve the final scar.

Numerous external factors can affect the healing process and the resulting scar. These include, but are not limited to, health conditions such as diabetes, medications, alcohol dependence and smoking prior to the procedure. In addition, good nutrition and taking supplements have been linked to faster healing and less noticeable scars. For the purpose of investigating scar treatments, I will only be referring to healthy, non-smoking patients, without alcohol dependency.

Precise techniques during the creation of and the sealing of the incision, are essential to reduce skin tension which can cause raised, wide, uneven scar formation or even contribute to the development of keloid scars. Regardless of how skilled your surgeon is, the way you care for the skin as it heals is important. 

‘Studies have shown that maintaining hydration and allowing healing to occur in a moist environment can be beneficial for healing and reducing scar formation.’ 1

Among the various choices of scar treatments, many plastic surgeons now consider silicone gel sheets the ‘gold standard’. This article investigates if a combination approach could be equal or superior to the benefits provided by silicone gel sheets alone; when applied to a post-operative scar following the removal or re-absorption of dissolvable stitches. 

Scar treatments for a better scar

One combination that has been shown to help reduce the formation of wide, irregular, raised and discoloured scars is the use of micropore tape and silicone gel scar treatments. The micropore tape helps to reduce tension on the scar for the first three to six weeks and is followed by the use of silicone gel sheets for twelve hours a day, for up to six months. This combination is the standard scar treatment regime recommended by numerous surgeons. Gentle scar massage with petroleum jelly is also advised to aid the formation of a supple, softer, flatter and finer less noticeable scar. This is often recommended in between application of silicone gel sheets for twelve hours a day. 

Research into the effect of onion extract contained in a product called Contractubex® has demonstrated improvements with the final healing and look of the scar. Another new topical silicone based gel called PracSil, which contains pracaxi oil, has also been shown to aid healing and the final appearance of the scar. However, evidence is still not clear into whether this added ingredient has an active effect on scar formation or if the improvements are due to the moisture provided by the application of the silicone gel.

Another relatively new product is CicaLux Energized Scar-Care – a combination therapy device that provides moisture, pressure and heat to the scar tissue.  This scar treatment comprises a CicaLux silicone sheet, CicaLux Tapes and a CicaLux stone. The silicone sheet works in the same way as other medical grade silicone gel sheet scar treatments, by reducing transdermal loss of water, decreasing itching and scar discolouration. 

When the disposable CicaLux tape is applied over the CicaLux silicone sheet, the combination helps to reduce tension on the scar while also applying pressure to the scar tissue. In addition, the breathable cotton tape prevents the build-up of excess moisture, which can negatively impede scar healing. The CicaLux stone pops into the silicone sheet and is used to deliver infrared heat that increases blood flow, key to the healing process. The CicaLux stone can also be used separately to massage the scar, helping to further flatten and soften the scar tissue, leading to a finer scar that is more difficult to detect. 

In conclusion,  the use of combination therapy is highly recommended for improved scar outcomes, and the benefits provided by the CicaLux combination therapy device certainly show promising results. In addition to scar therapy product use, avoiding sun exposure on the scar for the first eighteen months is vital to reduce the chance of the scar becoming thicker and discoloured.


1. Traci A. Wilgus, Inflammation as an orchestrator of cutaneous scar formation: a review of the literature
About the author:
Annabelle Bough has had numerous plastic surgery procedures including breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and liposculpture and writes regular blog posts about advancements in plastic surgery. She wants to make it safer to find a qualified plastic surgeon online. Her website features a consultant register and she checks the qualifications of every consultant on a rolling 3 month basis. 
Resources: Update on Postsurgical Scar Management
Sarah Jane Commander, Edward Chamata, Joshua Cox, Ryan M. Dickey, Edward I. Lee
Semin Plast Surg. 2016 Aug; 30(3): 122–128. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1584824
Plast Aesthet Res. 2020; 7: 54.
Published online 2020 Oct 16. doi: 10.20517/2347-9264.2020.150
A comprehensive evidence-based review on the role of topicals and dressings in the management of skin scarring
G. P. Sidgwick, D. McGeorge, A. Bayat
Arch Dermatol Res. 2015; 307(6): 461–477. Published online 2015 Jun 5. doi: 10.1007/s00403-015-1572-0
Disclaimer: This sponsored article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment.

What is it Like Giving Birth during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Whether you are expecting your first or third baby, the thought of giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic might make you nervous, anxious, or terrified. Perhaps one of the most challenging parts of this situation is that scientists are still researching coronavirus. Your first baby delivery may not have happened during public health challenges. The good news is that healthcare facilities are implementing the right policies to guarantee better healthcare for pregnant women and patients.

As your due date approaches, it’s crucial to learn more about the specific healthcare facility where you plan to deliver your baby. This way, you will know what to expect. Besides, you may want to know more about the facility’s coronavirus infection control measures and how they’re likely to affect you. Here are the frequently asked questions about the delivery process during a public health crisis to help you know what it is like to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will I be tested for COVID-19 before delivery?

You’ll be tested for coronavirus as soon as you arrive at the hospital for child delivery. Note that you will be received in the healthcare facility by medical personnel in personal protective equipment. This is necessary for their protection in case you’re infected with COVID-19. The doctors are likely to test you for coronavirus 48 hours before a cesarean section or c-section procedure. So, it makes sense to stay connected with your doctor as your due date approaches.

Can my birth partner be present? 

In most healthcare facilities, your birth partner will be allowed to stay for the entire period of labor and delivery. However, they are likely to be asked to leave the hospital during your stay. They must also follow social distancing, perform good handwashing, where facial covering, and limit touching services while in the healthcare facility.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 at the time of child delivery?

If you have coronavirus when your child is born, the infant will be tested within 24 hours. This is consistent with the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, a very small number of infants have tested positive for coronavirus after birth. According to the CDC, it is unlikely they got coronavirus during pregnancy, and the chances are that it happened shortly after birth.

In case you have coronavirus, but your child doesn’t, the doctors will take all the necessary precautions like asking you to wear a mask when breastfeeding.

You are probably wondering if you will be allowed to breastfeed your baby. So far, there is no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted through breast milk. Besides, the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential risks of transmitting the virus. For example, breast milk boosts an infant’s immune system and helps protect them from certain infections.

Medical experts caution mothers with coronavirus to wear a facial covering when handling their newborns. The same goes for all family members who will come near the baby. This is necessary to minimize the chances of the infant getting infected with coronavirus. You may want to check other posts on CicaLux for post-care health tips for when you return home.

Dr. Diana Rangaves, Google Scholar, holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of California, San Francisco. She has extensive experience and expertise in all levels of content creation, SEO keywords optimization, and website content, founding Clinical Consultant Services  and

Disclaimer: This sponsored article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment

Recover from your C-Section with Yoga: 4 Tips for your Mind, Body and Soul

Have you had a C-section, but terrified about the recovery process? For any woman with pregnancy experience, your body goes through a tremendous amount of changes, which can take a toll on your mind, body and soul. After delivery, it takes a great deal of time and effort to recover, especially after a C-section. It should be noted that having a C-section is a tender and intricate procedure which leaves a significant scar – but not to worry, new scar therapy products like CicaLux can help, meanwhile the body must go through an adequate resting phase before exercise even begins. Typically, women can start moderate exercise approximately six weeks after a C-section, however it is best to consult with your healthcare provider.

Yoga is a fabulous way to recover after giving birth because it can play a role in your body’s re-alignment and re-strengthening of muscles. Additionally, yoga can also help your mindset, which is a very important part of the recovery process. With the right state of mind, yoga can help to calm your mental and physical state. The dichotomy of physical and mental recovery is wondrous when going through this process.

Once you have had your go-ahead from your doctor, here are some feel-good yoga postures that can help you:  

  1. Opposite Arm Stretch: This pose helps to ease the soreness from your upper body. Since you are constantly holding, picking up and possibly breast feeding your baby, it is common for you to feel tightness in your chest and shoulder area. Additionally, with the addition of a C-section surgery, the soreness may be unmanageable at times. You may begin by sitting or standing and lifting your right arm right above your head. Make sure you bend your elbow. You can then wrap your left arm up around your back to meet your extended right fingers. If your left hand is not able to meet your right hand, do not worry! Go as far as you can for the deep stretch in your back.
  2. Legs up the Wall: This is another great pose for your back and it also targets your legs. After your C-section, you were probably confined to your couch or bed, which did not facilitate much stretching. Start by lying on your back parallel to the wall to start and gently move your legs up towards the wall. Do not get discouraged if they fall at first! You should be able to feel your legs become perpendicular to the wall. The ultimate goal is to create an L shape with your body. Remember to breathe, close your eyes and relax. Stay in this pose for as long as you would like. Focus on your breath and try to calm your mind.  
  3. Downward Facing Dog: This pose is excellent for an entire body stretch! Start on your hands and knees and try to align your wrists right under your shoulders. Your knees should be right under your hips. Both of your middle fingers should be pointed directly to the top of your mat. Spread your fingers and press firmly on your mat. Your weight should be distributed evenly right across your arms and hands. Lift your knees and exhale. At first, you may bend your knees and lift your heels away from the floor. Lengthen your tail bone and lift your sits bones. Stretch your heels back towards the floor and try to straighten your knees. Try not to lock them! Keep your arms firm and your shoulder blades back. Your head should remain between your arms, do not let it hang freely.
  4. Cat, Cow: This is a gentle flow that can warm the body and bring flexibility to your back. It stretches the neck as well as the torso. It can also help to open up the chest when practiced regularly. Start on your hands and knees and make sure your wrists are right under your shoulders. Move into cow pose by dropping your belly and lifting your chin towards the ceiling. Move into cat pose next by rounding your back towards the ceiling. Do not force your body to move if it feels uncomfortable. Inhale as you enter into Cow pose and exhale as you enter into cat pose. Repeat as often as you would like. 

There should only be a few life events that will challenge you and giving birth to a child is on that list. Once you have a C-section, it may feel as if the recovery process is moving at a slow pace, but you must be gentle with yourself! With an ongoing yoga practice, you have the ability to accept your body and provide self-care at a new level. Additionally, you may find that your energy levels may increase since stretching can help to restore balance. Remember that all of our bodies are different. Find what works for you and dedicate your time to this wonderful process!

Anita Haridat has her PhD in healthcare management and her master’s degree in clinical nutrition. She is also a certified yoga instructor with her own platform, Ready to Yoga. She is an author as well as a bookworm with a passion for helping others thrive.
Disclaimer: This sponsored article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment.

5 Powerhouse Foods That Will Help You Heal After a Tummy Tuck

Right after abdominoplasty, better known as a tummy tuck, people experience mixed emotions. They’re undoubtedly feeling new and improved yet they know the healing process isn’t going to happen overnight. The process can be uncomfortable and include a lot of highs and lows. Besides needing ample amounts of rest, what you put into your body can make a big difference when it comes to healing. Choosing the right foods during this time is essential in order to help the recovery process go quicker and smoother. It’s obvious that avoiding unhealthy things like processed foods, fried foods and fatty foods is necessary but what certain foods should you eat? Here are 5 nutritional powerhouses to add to your post-surgery grocery list.


Due to their impressive therapeutic benefits, make sure to consume pineapples! Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain has shown in research to help enhance wound healing and may reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain. Pineapples can help decrease bloating if you experience “swelly belly”, the swelling of the abdominal area being swollen after a tummy tuck procedure. 

How to include into your diet: Snacks, dinner recipes, smoothies 


Consuming enough protein during the weeks following the procedure is key to the entire recovery process. Protein builds and repairs muscles, tissues and skin, all which have been damaged during the process. Tempeh is a plant-based protein made from soybeans that is packed with antioxidants and probiotics. Versatile and easy to cook, tempeh absorbs the flavor of ingredients around it well and can be made in many different dishes. 

How to include in your diet: Salads, tacos, stir fry, marinated tempeh, veggie burgers

Ginger root

Ginger is a must-have and is made for times like this. Not only is it an age-old remedy known to treat nausea and vomiting that can be common post-surgery, it can help aid digestive issues. 

How to include in your diet: Ginger tea, homemade ginger ale, soups, smoothies


Think zinc! Oats are a super smart addition to your diet because they’re packed with nutrients, specifically zinc. Zinc helps in the production of about 100 types of enzymes in our body and promotes the synthesis of collagen, which is a necessary element in wound healing.

How to include in your diet: Oatmeal, overnight oats, oat flour recipes

Vitamin C Fruit Smoothie

Load up on your favorite fruits that contain high amounts of vitamin C and blend them into a delicious smoothie! Strawberries, oranges, lemons, cherries, kiwis, mangoes, papayas and blackberries all are considered fruits with a high vitamin C content. Increasing your vitamin C intake after surgery is crucial as it helps rebuild collagen, softens tissue and heals wounds. 

Remember, patience is a virtue when it comes to recovery! By remaining optimistic throughout the process, following doctor’s orders and selecting the right foods- celebrating and showing off the new you will be well worth the wait.

About the author:
Suzanne Kvilhaug holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University. She is a writer and brand consultant for health, wellness, and natural product companies.
This sponsored article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment.

The Art of Traveling Pregnant During a Pandemic

Tips and Tricks to Take to Heart…and Belly

Travel is a powerful outlet. For some, it’s the ultimate route for connecting professionally. For others, the opportunity to venture out and discover new places is irresistible. Whatever the motivation may be, travel is an integral part of life. Once upon a time, travel seemed simple…then 2020 happened.

It’s fair to say that COVID-19 roared onto the global scene with a vengeance. Amongst the many disappointments this pandemic has left in its wake is a long list of unrealized travel plans. As health and safety concerns continue to grip the world, travel has understandably fallen to the wayside. So… what do you do when wanderlust comes calling during a pandemic or your job still requires you to travel? What if, on top of it all, you happen to be pregnant during this unprecedented time? 

The Pandemic Possibilities

The good news is that while questions surrounding the logistics of traveling pregnant during a pandemic are very real, so are the options for making it work. Whether it’s a trip planned in the name of pre-baby wanderlust or work responsibilities that can’t be canceled, traveling pregnant can be tricky. Successfully and safely navigating the open road or skies in 2020 means taking some new, and important factors to heart. If you’re willing to perfect the art of pandemic traveling, you might just find that this time of transition for your growing family comes with many roads of possibility.  

Track the COVID Map

As of October 2020, the CDC puts pregnant women squarely in the high-risk group for COVID-19 complications. This means it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on the COVID map before heading out of town. The map is updated regularly with current information on national hot spots, helping pregnant travelers avoid more dangerous routes and destinations.

Pandemic-Inspired Packing

Once your destination is set, make sure your prenatal medical records are the first thing packed in the suitcase. The second trimester is generally the most stable time to travel while pregnant, but adjusting travel dates isn’t always an option. In the event of unexpected pregnancy complications during your journey, you’ll need to have your documents handy and local hospitals identified at your final destination. 

Grab Those Compression Garments 

Wearing a mask while traveling pregnant in a pandemic is a must, but compression garments are just as important. During pregnancy, the risk of developing blood clots rises significantly. Time spent traveling comes with its own set of heightened risks. Keep circulation strong and your body and baby healthy during travel by investing in a quality pair of compression stocking and sleeves for the road or skies.

Pack What You Crave

In a normal year, traveling pregnant would come with plenty of fast food and favorite restaurant stops. 2020 has taken many of these savory options off the table. Instead, women traveling pregnant during the pandemic will want to make time to pack customized meals before setting off. Cater to cravings so satisfying meals are readily available when you want them. Doing this keeps blood sugar in check while reducing the risk of connecting with germs and bacteria found at restaurants that happen to be open. Consider pairing each meal with spray sanitizer to clean up surfaces before you dig in and give hands the cleansing they deserve afterward.

Scar Care You Can Count On

Your body is incredible and caring for it after pregnancy is important. Learn how Cicalux can help you care for your c-section scar on the go. Get back into the world with ease, feeling, and looking your best!


Caitlyn Knuth is a professional writer with a passion for all things wellness and travel. She enjoys sharing her adventures abroad as well as insight on health, beauty, and fitness as a way of connecting with others from across the globe.

This article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment.