Giving birth to new life is a beautiful feeling but it can be tough to keep up with the changes your body undergoes during this process. Stretch marks after are one such thing.
Yes, they are stubborn, but with the precise pregnancy stretch marks removal treatment, they can be controlled.
With so many treatment options in the market, it is quite natural to get confused about finding the best pregnancy stretch marks removal method. You do not want to invest your money in a treatment that shows no results and can be harmful to your body.
Your worries end here. This article will share all the crucial information regarding post-pregnancy stretch marks and the best pregnancy stretch marks removal treatment.
What are Stretch Marks?
Before we get into the details of knowing the best treatment for post-pregnancy stretch marks, let us know what stretch marks are.
As the name suggests, these marks surface when there is a sudden stretching or shrinkage in your skin. The sudden change breaks the elastic and collagen proteins in the area that supports the skin.
Initially, they can be a little itchy. Also, these marks appear to be red, pink, purple or dark brown at the beginning. Over time, the skin heals and these colors fade. However, the stretch marks remain and appear like narrow bands on the skin.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Having stretch marks on your body is quite natural. These marks appear due to several natural factors:
- Pregnancy: Seeing stretch marks on your body after pregnancy is quite common. A comprehensive study reveals that around 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women see stretch marks on their bodies during or after giving birth. We will discuss this in detail in the upcoming sections.
- Puberty: When you hit puberty, your body undergoes rapid growth. The sudden growth spurt causes the skin to stretch or shrink often which leads to stretch marks.
- Rapid weight gain: As mentioned above, a sudden gain in size or weight causes the skin to stretch. Drastic weight gain will cause the skin to undergo excessive stretching. Hence, stretch marks will appear.
- Medical conditions: Having a certain medical condition that triggers sudden weight gain or loss in the body can also cause stretch marks.
Other medical conditions like Marfan syndrome can decrease the elasticity of the skin tissue, which ultimately increases your skin's susceptibility to getting stretch marks.
- Corticosteroid use: Collagen is a crucial protein that supports and strengthens the skin. Prolonged use of corticosteroid lotions and creams can decrease the collagen levels in the skin.
Stretch Marks after Pregnancy
Post-pregnancy stretch marks start appearing mostly on your tummy, upper thighs and breasts. The first sign of stretch marks is noticing little itchiness around the area where the skin starts getting thin.
They might look concerning but remember, they do not cause any medical issues. After you give birth, the marks start fading into pale scars. However, they do not vanish entirely.
You are more susceptible to getting stretch marks if the weight gain during pregnancy is more than average.
Usually, women gain around 10 to 12.5 kg of weight during pregnancy but it highly differs from person to person.
The weight gain may also depend on your original weight before pregnancy.
People might try to lose weight during pregnancy by eating less. That is not advised and can harm you and your baby. You must have a regular and healthy diet during pregnancy. If you want to control your weight after delivery, talk to your gynecologist.
Things to Avoid
Here is a list of things related to pregnancy stretch marks that you must know:
- Avoid using creams for pregnancy stretch marks removal as they contain retinoids which might not be healthy for your baby. You can use shea or cocoa butter to moisturize the skin but it will not make any notable difference.
- Home remedies will not do any good to reduce stretch marks.
- Excessive tanning is not an effective pregnancy stretch marks removal method. Interestingly, tanning makes your stretch marks stand out as these spots do not tan.
- Avoid eating less to control weight during pregnancy. Your diet must be healthy enough to be able to support the growth of the baby in your womb.
Treatment options for stretch mark removal after pregnancy
The list below contains all the available options for stretch mark removal after pregnancy. We will discuss the effectiveness of each process in the upcoming section.
- Stretch marks removal cream: These creams contain the protein retinoids and vitamin A and are useful to increase collagen. However, avoid creams with retinoids during pregnancy.
Your doctor may recommend a few creams and lotions for stretch mark removal after pregnancy specifically. Remember, these creams and lotions can only work on newly emerging marks. There is no point applying them on old stretch marks.
- Micro-needling: Micro-needling promotes collagen growth by utilizing the healing action of the body. Here tiny micro-injuries are made within the stretch marks. Your body will start producing collagen in the wounded regions for healing, which repairs the tears in the dermal layer.
Microneedling is a popular choice of treatment as it does not change skin color. Click here to book your micro-needling appointment with UnCover.
- Light and laser therapies: Laser and light therapies are excellent to reduce stretch marks post-pregnancy. These methods effectively promote collagen growth to improve elasticity and decrease stretch marks. The C02 laser treatment offered by UnCover is an excellent example.
In this process, a light beam is used to remove the outer skin layers. You can also use it to remove chicken pox marks, acne, and more. This beam makes tiny micropunctures in the skin in a grid-like pattern. Doing so leaves healthy skin bridges in the middle which boost collagen production. In this process, you can see effective results after 2 to 3 treatments spaced 3 to 6 months apart.
- TCA cross-treatment: Here, unlike the micro-needling and laser therapies, chemical reconstruction of the skin is done using trichloroacetic acid (in high concentrations). People often use it to remove several scars, including stretch marks.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) solution breaks down the extra connective tissue from the stubborn stretch marks and scars. This decreases the appearance of such marks on your body.
The Best Treatment For Post Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Now that you know all the available treatment options, let us discuss the best pregnancy stretch marks removal method.
Creams for stretch marks may seem like an affordable and natural option but there is no concrete data that supports their effectiveness. Plus, these creams do not affect mature stretch marks. You must note that it takes a while to see notable results with stretch mark creams.
The TCA cross-treatment after pregnancy is also not recommended as pregnancy hormones stay elevated during this period.
Although there are no such side effects of TCA cross-treatment after pregnancy, the skin issues would likely return soon after the treatment due to the presence of the pregnancy hormones.
Also, the additional skin sensitivity during that period can trigger skin breakouts from the chemicals used during the treatment.
Instead of investing your money here, choose treatment options like micro-needling or Fractional CO2 laser treatment. These are completely harmless and will show promising results within a few weeks.
Keep in mind that micro-needling will not cause any harm to the outer layer of your skin. It can be one of the best treatments for pregnancy stretch mark removal.
With various available pregnancy stretch marks removal treatment options, it can be tough to choose one. Pregnancy stretch marks are a little different than regular ones and should be treated while keeping specific things in mind. For example, retinoid creams should not be used while pregnant as they may affect the baby.
Remember to not waste your money and time on products and treatments that do not guarantee promising results.
Head to Uncover to explore some of the best stretch mark removal treatments we discussed in the article. Our team of experienced dermatologists will help you decide the best course of action. Click here to get started.