I have read so many places on this board where women had terrible problems with their episiotomy or tear healing after childbirth. I thought I'd share a bit of my own experience, and what the younger OB generation is saying to treat them.
Those sitz baths they give you at the hospital are useless. When you get home, as often as needed, soak in a warm, clear bath in the tub. Don't use any soap or anything that could irritate the incision. This did SOOOOO much for the pain, and speeds healing because they are cleaned much better. Then make sure your stitches and the whole area is completely dry before putting any clothes back on. The best way to do this per my OB is with a hair dryer. Just make very sure you keep it on a low enough setting and far enough away that you don't burn yourself. After going to the bathroom, use a betadine wash in a squirt bottle then gently pat very dry with gauze. The key to speedy healing it to keep your stitches clean and VERY dry. For pain, you can use a topical number, but the best thing I found was an ice pack. I'd put ice in a rubber glove and wrap it in gauze or a cloth, stick it in one of those giant diaper pads that I brought home from the hospital, then wear the hospital disposeable undies. I slept this way every night for 3 or 4 weeks.
Your's may not be that bad. I know some people who don't have much trouble recovering, but it's not uncommon, so I thought I'd share my experience.
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005