Stretch marks are a common occurrence during pregnancy. As your skin stretches, the elastin and collagen fibers that form the supporting layers of tissue in your skin tend to tear. The resulting scar is what you call a stretch mark.
There are many causes of stretch marks. Besides the physical stretching of your skin, stretch marks may also occur due to the increased levels of hormones during pregnancy. They attract moisture into the skin, which weakens the bonds between the collagen fibers present in your skin. As a result, your skin tears more easily when it gets stretched during pregnancy and a stretch mark forms.
Not every pregnant woman gets stretch marks, though. If your mother didn’t have them, then you might not get them either. Some of the most likely places for stretch marks to occur are your abdomen, thighs, breasts, and arms. Stretch marks are not limited to pregnancy either. They can also occur during puberty or due to rapid weight gain.
The appearance of post-pregnancy stretch marks can be pretty stressful for new moms. Don’t worry, though; stretch marks aren’t some kind of a skin abomination. They are natural and with the number of options available for stretch mark treatment, you can always get rid of them.
Treatment for Stretch Marks
While stretch marks don’t pose any health dangers, they do affect your self-esteem levels by making you extremely self-conscious. In most instances, stretch marks naturally fade over time without any treatment or medical intervention. However, if you are experiencing extensive scarring on exposed areas of your skin, you might want to opt for treatments to help diminish their appearance.
Even though it is highly unlikely that your stretch marks will fade away completely, but opting for treatment can help do the following:
- Enhance collagen production and increase elastin fibers in your skin
- Help get rid of any redness, itchiness or swelling
- Reduce inflammation especially in cases of white stretch marks
- Moisturize your dry and overly-stretched skin
If you are pregnant, you should be especially careful when deciding about a preventative treatment during pregnancy. Consult your ob-gyn before using any cream or ointment to avoid the occurrence of stretch marks.
If you are pregnant, you should be extremely cautious when choosing a type of preventative treatment. However, these treatments are usually safer post-pregnancy.
Here are a few stretch mark treatments you can opt for:
The most commonly used treatment for post-pregnancy stretch marks is a topical treatment. There are a few products that help with stretch marks such as the best moisturizer for stretch marks to help reduce the visibility and scarring of these marks.
Here are some commonly used topical treatments for stretch marks.
- Silicon gels and emollients that can be applied without a medical prescription.
- Tretinoin cream, a vitamin A derivative that can be applied topically. However, this can make your skin red and irritable. This type of retinoid typically requires a prescription from your dermatologist.
Topical treatments should be used as soon as you notice your stretch marks becoming prominent. You will have to massage on the cream or lotion gently on your stretch marks to allow it to penetrate your skin effectively.
Dermatological procedures entail a few cosmetic procedures performed by dermatologists to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. However, none of these procedures can help eliminate them completely. Here are a few procedures that people opt for:
Chemical peels are used by skin specialists to get reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Their acidic composition helps stimulate cell turnover in the affected area. It is basically a topical treatment that helps in the exfoliation of scarred and damaged skin.
This is one of the most expensive procedures to eliminate stretch marks. It requires the expertise of a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist. Laser therapy uses a laser beam that is focused on the stretch mark affected areas of your body to help in the removal of damaged skin tissue.
Another increasingly popular clinic procedure for stretch mark removal is microdermabrasion. This procedure helps in the promotion of new skin growth, which reduces the appearance of stretch marks. It basically helps exfoliate the surface later of your scarred skin, getting rid of the dead skin cells.
The Post Pregnancy Stretch Mark Treatment
The most basic, not to mention inexpensive treatment for removing stretch marks is the use of stretch mark removal creams. You can talk to your doctor about this as well and get their opinion. A lot of stretch mark removal creams contain vitamin A derivatives, which should be used only after pregnancy as they can cause harm to your baby.
Of course, not every brand of stretch mark removal cream can help, and finding stretch mark creams that actually work can be difficult. One way to determine whether a stretch mark will do what it promises to is to keep an eye on the ingredients. Products that contain Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid can be very beneficial and you can expect to see the following once you start using them:
- Reduced/faded appearance of stretch marks
- Increasingly, firm, tight, and elastic skin
- Reduced discoloration and age spots
- Smoother skin with an even tone
The best pregnancy stretch mark lotion can also prevent stretch marks from occurring in the future. While stretch mark creams that contain retinol are prohibited for use during pregnancy, there are some that can also be used safely during pregnancy.
Other options for stretch mark treatment include the use of lasers. Laser stretch mark removal is effective, but it is also extremely expensive. Opting for this treatment will cost you an average of $2,600. Since it is a cosmetic procedure, you may not get insurance coverage on this one either.
Do Post-Pregnancy Stretch Marks Go Away on Their Own?
Pregnancy, though a beautiful experience, can result in stretch marks that seem like they are there to stay. These stretch marks are formed when your skin’s collagen production does not happen fast enough to accommodate the stretching caused by the baby’s growth, and the result is — you guessed it — stretch marks.
Luckily, there are different treatments for stretch mark treatment and prevention. Many women use moisturizers as treatments for stretch marks, especially products that include Shea butter and coconut oil among their ingredients. Collagen boosters also increases collagen in the skin, which is believed to help treat these marks. A stretch mark lotion for pregnancy can help prevent the appearance of stretch marks in the first place.
While stretch marks typically do not fully disappear, they do fade a bit in around 6-12 months. Procedures like microdermabrasion and laser treatment can also help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Moisturizing consistently during pregnancy can reduce the chances of getting stretch marks, or at least the severity of their appearance.
To Sum It Up
Considering that it’s also an effective and comparatively inexpensive option for stretch mark treatment, we suggest you try out a good stretch mark removal cream before going for anything more costly. If you’re looking for stretch mark creams that actually work, we suggest you shop at ML Delicate Beauty. They are safe for use during and post pregnancy and can be used for all skin types as well.
What are your thoughts on this article? Leave us a comment below.
- Is it Possible to Say Goodbye to Stretch Marks Forever? Find Out.
- Why You Should Use a Stretch Marks Cream During Pregnancy
- How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks Using Natural Ingredients
- Stretch Marks and Your Body
Christine Wright is a trusted beauty expert and an esthetician who is loved by editors and bloggers. She is a prolific writer on the topics of natural, chemical-free skin and body care. She also does reviews on store brand beauty products, with fairness and a real point-of-view. She is well-known of creating products for specific skin types, especially to those with ultra-sensitive faces.
Opinions expressed are those of the writer.
No Bailey, don’t get discouraged. From my readers, It can take 4 to 6 weeks to see results if it applies daily or twice a day. I hope I answer your question.
I have definitely tried more than five different creams for my stretch marks. How long do you need to use the products in order to see if they are working or not? I am getting very discouraged.
Thanks Vickie Frank for you insightful comment about my article. Readers like you encouraged me to write more about skincare issues and skincare products recommendations.
Thanks Kronica Vanderbrant for your comment.
I am a passionate reader of Christine Wright. She is a very good skincare blogger and writer. I believe stretch marks are an issue for most overweight person (not only women) and other people who has a drastic change on their weight. I have seen very “flat” and “skinny” people who has this skin issue as well.
Meaning, everyone is at risk. There is nothing more pretty than a very smooth and beautiful skin. Not only I am recommending a good stretch mark removal cream to face this growing issue of people skincare, I am specially recommending this: https://mldelicatebeauty.com/collections/all/products/advanced-stretch-mark-cream-removal
because I have been using it for months and it is working for me.
Can’t wait for your next skincare article Christine.
I have been strugling with stretch marks before and after my pregnancy. I like this article because it is what I am curently experiencing. Great article!