Stretch Mark Removal After Pregnancy
Stretch marks after pregnancy are a reality you have to live with. Stretch marks have become relatively common these days. They have become nearly synonymous with pregnancy and childbirth. Knowing a bit about stretch marks can help you better understand ways for stretch mark removal.
Once you see the stretch marks, you must be worried about how to get rid of stretch marks or drastically reduce their appearance when you are pregnant.
What Causes Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks, also called ‘striae gravidarum’ in pregnancy, are basically a type of scar. They are generally pink in color and appear on your stomach. They appear as indented streaks, especially on the surface of your skin. But most people are worried about stretch mark removal especially after pregnancy.
It all depends on how these marks are caused and where they are located in your body. When stretch marks first show up, they might be itchy.
For many women, stretch marks have become a part of life. For some, they appear during puberty, pregnancy, or on your weight-loss journey. So it is no wonder there are so many women today who search for ways to get rid of them. So what are the ways to get rid of stretch marks?
What Causes Stretch Marks?
When the outer layers of your skin weaken, the skin literally stretches in patchy or linear arrangements. This stretching actually tears away from your supportive structures in the inner or middle layer of tissues of your skin that result in scars.
The stretched skin is generally thinner and more translucent. Hence the color, texture, and integrity of your skin appear different from the surrounding normal skin.
Stretch marks usually happen during growth spurts, like when you have a rapid gain in weight or during pregnancy. Surprisingly, more than 90 percent of pregnant women get stretch marks by the time they reach the third trimester. Usually, these scars are noticeable on your belly, breasts, buttocks, and thighs. But you can be lucky enough not to get stretch marks and get them with the same level of severity.
A study suggests that some women are genetically more prone to getting stretch marks than others especially during and after pregnancy. So in case anyone in your family gets them during their pregnancy, there is a good chance that you might also have them. A hormone called cortisone is responsible for weakening your skin’s elasticity, making stretch marks more likely to appear.
Is Pregnancy Stretch Marks Removal Possible?
Many dermatologists say stretch marks are permanent scars under your skin. Because of that fact, the idea of a stretch mark ‘removal’ surgery does not exist. However, multiple procedures can help minimize their appearance.
The purpose of most of these stretch mark treatments is to get the color to fade into the background.
Stretch mark removal procedures aim at fading aways the scars on your stomach. The treatments stimulate collagen growth in the area, thus reducing the appearance of your stretch marks.
Many believe that stretch marks are not removed. Like any other kind of scar, stretch marks are permanent. You will not be able to get rid of them completely.
This might not be very pleasant for you to hear. It might be hard for you to accept that your body has changed forever. But the change has occurred due to something as unique as childbirth.
But here is some good news for you. Most of these stretch marks that appear during pregnancy generally fade away naturally and even disappear on their own after childbirth. Moreover, you can explore different treatments after discussing them with your dermatologist.
But do not worry. You should hope for stretch-mark-free, smooth skin. There are several therapies available today that can heal your pregnancy stretch marks in no time.
Methods for Stretch Marks Removal
Experts say treating early stretch marks is more effective than treating ones that have become old. So if possible, try to start your treatment early. It is never too late to start.
It is true that there are a lot of at-home remedies and skin care products available. But in-office treatments to remove stretch marks are more effective and can remove older scars. It is a good idea to discuss with your doctor the best treatment plan for your skin.
Options that you might explore:
1 Chemical Peels
Stretch marks originate below your skin’s surface. Hence there is no way to remove these marks completely. However, chemical peels can diminish their appearance. Creating a smoother, softer surface to your skin surface. At the same time, the exfoliating effect of chemical peels will effectively address your other skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and other shallow imperfections.
These stretch marks do not signify a serious medical issue but can be a significant cosmetic concern. Hence chemical peel can make you feel your best.
Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that gradually induces new collagen formation. As a result, it can eliminate unwanted stretch marks. This procedure will improve your skin texture and restore your skin’s youthful appearance.
Microneedling is more of a skin care method that helps reduce wrinkles and scars. The treatment uses fine needles to puncture your skin. These tiny injuries heal over time and can rejuvenate your skin.
A recent study in 2021 found that microneedling can improve your early and late stretch marks in about 3-4 weeks. Compared to microdermabrasion, microneedling seems to work better. Moreover, microneedling has a shorter period of recovery than laser therapy.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive painless procedure to reduce the appearance of white stretch marks. This treatment targets your upper layer of skin and works by stimulating the skin to tighten collagen and elastin fibers.
As a part of the treatment, tiny exfoliating crystals are sprayed onto your stretch marks. With the help of a wand-like device, the crystals are gently removed. In the process they take with them the dead skin from the epidermis layer. For effective results, you need to take a few microdermabrasion sessions to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks.
4 Radio Frequency Treatment
Radiofrequency (RF) skin resurfacing treatments are considered a valuable treatment method for stretch marks. The technology is used to deliver heat energy below the skin’s surface. It triggers your skin’s natural collagen production levels in the affected area. This results in the repair of your skin and a reduction in the appearance of stretch marks.
Laser Treatment for Stretch Mark Removal
Laser therapy is a medical treatment. The treatment uses specific wavelengths of light to reduce your pain, scarring, and swelling.
According to studies – laser therapy can lessen the appearance of your stretch marks. The therapy increases your skin’s collagen production, thickening the epidermal layer and restoring elastin fibers.
However, laser treatment can be expensive, and you might have to wait for repeated treatments before you see drastic results.
As with any other treatment, the more effective the treatment, the more costly. Laser stretch mark removal is one such treatment. It is the most effective treatment but is expensive. You should opt for this treatment when you are done having children. Different types of lasers can be used. The treatment is determined by the type of stretch marks you have – rubra or alba.
These laser treatments to get rid of your stretch marks can be expensive. You may need to visit your dermatologist three or more times for noticeable results. This is something that your insurance company will not cover, and so the costs will be out of your pocket.
If you are really serious about minimizing the appearance of stretch marks, then you can consider laser treatments for the effective removal of your stretch marks.
Fractional lasers generally work best on white marks and texture changes. Whereas pulse dye laser treatments can help to get rid of the red marks out of your dark stretch marks. Your dermatologist can walk you through the best treatments for your scars and the most effective treatment for your stretch marks.
Your doctor might recommend waiting at least six months postpartum before discussing these treatment plans with your doctor. This is because the stretch mark lines and bumps often settle or fade away to a certain degree as your body slowly recovers from pregnancy.
Home Remedies For Stretch Mark Removal
Stretch marks are a type of scarring that rarely fades enough to become invisible. But there are some remedies that might help minimize your stretch marks’ appearance and help them fade away more quickly.
You can try amazing home remedies that will help you get rid of stretch marks and flaunt flawless skin once again. These ingredients are easily available and are super easy to use.
If you are fed up with these scars and are looking for some quick remedies to remove them – here are a few solutions:
1 Massage With Oil
Oil massage your skin of the belly, hips, and bust – is perhaps one of the best ways to treat stretch marks after pregnancy. You need to massage the oil gently, as it will increase blood flow and break up the scar tissue that causes the stretch marks. You can also use other oils during your massage and give your skin the nutrients and vitamins it needs to repair itself.
2 Exercise To Improve Skin and Muscle Tone
Exercise is an effective method to repair your stretch marks after pregnancy. Even light exercise, like walking and yoga, can strengthen the muscles of your belly, thighs, and hips. If you strengthen these muscles, it will help to tighten your loose, stretch-marked skin and promote faster healing. Any exercises will help, so pick the one you enjoy.
3 Stay Hydrated To Treat Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Your doctor would recommend staying hydrated – as it is probably the best way to remove your scars. The water you drink provides your skin with the hydration necessary to remain healthy.
When your skin cells get the right supply of water, they can function properly and repair efficiently. Hence your skin is better able to recover from pregnancy stretch marks.
4 Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Do you know that moisture is the most important component of a healthy skin care routine? It has many benefits as it keeps your skin smooth, maintains your skin’s protective outer layer, and preserves your skin’s elasticity. And lastly, it helps in healing stretch marks, too.
The Bottom Line
Everyone’s body responds differently, and they heal differently, so it is important to be patient. Your recovery will also depend on how dense or severe your stretch marks were and what treatment option you decide to try. You need to note that not every procedure will work as well for you as it would for someone else. If you are concerned, talk it out in detail with your dermatologist or doctor.
Experts agree that most of these treatments will not fade away stretch marks completely but will fade them out. The main goal is to improve the color and texture of your skin and tighten the collagen in the skin. It is best to consult your dermatologist regarding your skin condition.
Having a baby is a big chapter in your life. Remember, your body has just undergone a lot, bringing your little one into this world. Those stretch marks are a symbol of what you went through, and there are no reasons to be ashamed of them.