Stretch marks, known as striae, are exactly what they sound like – marks that appear when your skin is stretched or shrunk quickly. The abrupt change can be due to various factors such as a growth spurt, rapid weight change or pregnancy.
While stretch marks are not exclusive to pregnancies, up to 90 per cent of women will develop stretch marks during their pregnancy. Besides, women who experience visible changes in their physical appearance during pregnancy are more likely to experience them again in future pregnancies or while consuming hormonal contraceptives.
That said, stretch marks have always been a concern to women due to their appearance. However, most stretch marks fade and take on a lighter colouring over time. For stretch marks that develop during pregnancy, they may need a little more tender loving care.
In this article, we’ll be sharing what you need to know about pregnancy stretch marks and how you can remove them after pregnancy.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are scars that appear when your skin is stretched or shrunk quickly. This causes the collagen and elastin content in your skin to burst, causing stretch marks to appear while the skin heals itself.
Depending on your skin tone, stretch marks may appear differently on your skin. They can be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark-brown indented lines. They may also feel slightly raised and can be itchy at times.
Over time, the stretch marks may fade and the narrow bands start to sink beneath your skin. If you run your finger over a mature stretch mark, you may feel a slight depression in your skin.
Why do stretch marks form during pregnancy?
When your body expands rapidly, your skin is stretched beyond its limits to support the new mass. This causes the supportive structures in the middle or bottom layer of your skin tissues to be torn apart, thus creating visible scars – stretch marks.
Pregnancy stretch marks typically appear in the third trimester, when the baby’s growth spikes. They usually develop on the mother-to-be’s tummy, thighs, buttocks, hips, and chest.
While stretch marks are harmless, they can be unsightly to many women after their pregnancy. Luckily, there are ways to minimise the mark formation during pregnancy as well as diminish the stretch marks.
Can stretch marks be removed?
The skin is an amazing organ, especially when it comes to natural healing and regeneration. Like most scars, the skin will react accordingly to restore the skin’s condition. However, the same cannot be said for larger skin damage such as stretch marks. It’ll need more assistance in restoring stretched skin to its former condition.
Is it too late to remove old pregnancy stretch marks?
Removing old pregnancy stretch marks require more time and concerted effort as proper treatment is required to heal the underlying tissues further inside the skin. Getting rid of old pregnancy stretch marks can be frustrating but you can consult Eeva Medical Clinic to understand your options.
Types of pregnancy stretch mark removal
Now that you’ve learned some of the things you should know about pregnancy stretch marks, it’s time to understand your options in removing stretch marks. Like any scar, stretch marks are permanent, but treatment can make them less noticeable and help alleviate the itch. Here are some ways to remove stretch marks.
Studies have shown that topical creams, lotions and gels available in the market can help diminish stretch marks. However, do note that no one product may work the same all the time.
Consider using creams that contain hyaluronic acid or retinoids such as tretinoin, to diminish early stretch marks. It helps to rebuild the protein in your skin (collagen), making the stretch marks less noticeable.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before opting for this treatment as certain ingredients can be harmful to your baby. For better results, use the product on early stretch marks and massage it into your stretch marks. Apply the product regularly for visible long-term results.
Similar to topical treatments, home remedies can help diminish stretch marks during your early trimester and make them fade more quickly. Some of the ingredients you can use are:
- Sugar – Exfoliate the area using a homemade sugar scrub containing almond oil or coconut oil along with some lemon juice.
- Coconut oil – Regular application of virgin coconut oil to your stretch marks can improve your skin’s appearance and diminish the redness.
That said, there’s no clinical evidence to prove that these remedies can help remove stretch marks. Besides, this type of treatment is slow to show results and not exactly cost-effective.
If topical treatment and home remedies yield less effective results in removing pregnancy stretch marks, aesthetic procedures can help to achieve the desired results. They often include laser treatments, microdermabrasion, and injectable skin treatment.
This treatment involves the use of light energy in concentrated amounts to remove the outer layer of your skin to encourage natural skin rejuvenation. While it can’t remove your stretch marks completely, laser therapies can help smoothen the skin and diminish its appearance.
This treatment helps to diminish pregnancy stretch marks by targeting the epidermis and stimulating the skin to tighten the collagen and elastin fibres. It uses exfoliating crystals to exfoliate the epidermis and reveal new skin underneath.
Injectable skin treatment
Like skin boosters, our injectable skin treatment involves a combination of western and eastern technology to remove stretch marks from your skin and repair your skin’s DNA. It can also be enhanced with a laser treatment to encourage skin tightening.
Opting for an aesthetic procedure can be overwhelming for some, but it’s one of the best options to remove your pregnancy stretch marks. Healing pregnancy stretch marks may take a lot of time and patience. With advanced technology, we can speed up the process using non-invasive methods. Be sure to consult medical professionals like Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic to clear your doubts.