Stretch marks are one of the most annoying parts of pregnancy. Not only are they unsightly, they can be itchy, dry, and show up almost overnight. Many women find that they get pregnancy stretch marks not just on their stomachs, but on their breasts, hips, thighs, and arms. Because nine out of ten women will develop stretch marks during their pregnancy, many of them wonder: will they go away after pregnancy is over?
Stretch marks are caused mainly by rapid growth of the body that places excess strain on the skin. This pulling causes tears in the middle layers of skin, which appear as stretch marks on the skin. However, stretching is not the only cause of pregnancy stretch marks. Pregnancy causes a dramatic change in hormones in the body. This shift can affect the elasticity and resiliency of your skin, leaving it more susceptible to stretch marks.
In an ideal world, once hormones were regulated and the body returned to its normal size, stretch marks would fade. Yet, this is not always the case. Stretch mark retention is determined by many factors including genetics and skin’s moisture. The longer the stretch marks exist on the body, the more likely they are to scar. Scarred marks will be silver or white and are more resistant to treatment than recent, purple stripes.
Even if the marks don’t disappear on their own after pregnancy, there are solutions to help them fade over time. Stretch mark creams have been proven effective at reducing the appearance of stretch mark. By plumping the upper layers of skin, these creams help to smooth the skin while also improving discoloration. Laser treatments, although more expensive, can also be effective at lessening the appearance of stretch marks. A laser is used to target the damaged skin layers and promote skin cell turnover, replacing the scarred layers with new, healthy skin.