Stretch marks (striae) are indented streaks that often appear on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs. Over time, they become less noticeable. Stretch marks are particularly common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester, and they go for stretch marks treatment after pregnancy. Treatment, as recommended by Dr Sachin Sharda Dermatologist, can make stretch marks fade, but it won’t completely remove them.
Stretch marks aren’t painful or harmful, but some people feel distressed about how they make their skin look. If you want to flaunt your skin while wearing a beautiful blouse or a nice saree after pregnancy, then you should know ways to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy and if you can’t then you must know how to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy.
What Causes Stretch Marks
Stretch marks (or “striae”) are caused when extreme changes in the shape of your body result in tearing of the lower layers of your skin. Skin is composed of multiple layers. The topmost layer of your skin is called the epidermis. Beneath the epidermis is the layer of skin known as the dermis. It is in the dermis where stretch marks form. Because the tearing that creates stretch marks occurs in the dermis, it does not bleed or scab like an external would, but the damage is visible in the form of stretch marks. Over time, the tears heal and form scars. This is why stretch marks appear initially as some hue of red but will fade and become white over time.
Who is Most at Risk
Although anyone can develop stretch marks at any point in their life (men and women), certain lifestyle events are more likely to result in developing them and are higher risk. These are:
- Pregnancy – More than half of all women get stretch marks while pregnant, so your concerns are justified.
- Weight lifting and bodybuilding – Because rapid muscle development can lead to stretch mark scarring, bodybuilders must take preventative measures to prevent skin from stretching and scarring
- Dieting and Weight Gain/Loss – When the body expands rapidly due to weight gain, skin must stretch to compensate for the body’s growth
- steroid use: Prolonged use of corticosteroid creams and lotions can decrease levels of collagen in the skin. Collagen strengthens and supports the skin, and a reduced amount can increase the risk of stretch marks
- Medical conditions like- diabetes, obesity, Marfan syndrome, Cushing Disease where a sudden change in weight occurs.
Stretch Marks Treatment and Prevention
- Treatment for stretch marks can be costly and is not always effective.
- Creams, gels, lotions, and cosmetic surgery have all been proposed as treatments for stretch marks, although there is little medical evidence to support the effectiveness of such treatments.
- Current treatments are not uniformly delivering long-lasting improvements for all skin types.
How to Prevention Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Stretch marks cannot always be prevented. However, the following steps may help to reduce the risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid dieting.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Consuming a suitable amount of vitamins A and C can help support the skin, as well as the minerals zinc and silicon.
- Aim for slow and gradual weight gain during pregnancy.
- Keep your skin well hydrated. Moisturize skin well.Drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
How to Remove Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
Laser Stretch Mark Removal
During the laser stretch mark removal procedure, a beam of light energy heats the tissue in a controlled manner. The rise in temperature stimulates neocollagenesis, a process in which new collagen is produced by the body. By producing new collagen the skin regains its youthful appearance and heals the torn tissue.
Laser stretch mark removal is highly effective in most cases. As with any other technique, success is dependent on the prevalence and age of the stretch marks in question – older and more serious stretch marks are more difficult to treat. Patients often require as many as 8-10 treatments to remove stretch marks. In the most serious cases, even a series of laser treatments may only reduce the visibility of stretch marks rather than remove them completely. Each case is unique.