Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. Your body is adapting and changing in order to grow a human life. However, this process can come with some undesirable side effects including stretch marks. Pregnancy causes your body to rapidly grow and change shape, putting excess strain on your skin. This can lead to stretch marks on the belly, breasts, arms, thighs — practically anywhere. So how can you remove pregnancy stretch marks?
The first step is understanding what causes those pesky “tiger stripes.” Skin contains collagen which determines the skin’s firmness and elasticity. As your body grows and changes, strain is put on the skin to stretch and adapt to your new shape. If the growth is too rapid (as it often is during a pregnancy), the middle layers of the skin will tear, causing red marks to appear. If left untreated, these tears will scar, changing the color of the marks from red/purple to white/silver.
If you have pregnancy stretch marks, it is best to treat them as early as possible. Stretch marks are most responsive to treatment when they are still red or purple. Recent stretch marks are more likely to fade since they have not yet scarred. After pregnancy, your body will shrink (especially in the stomach area), meaning that there is less strain being placed on your skin. Applying a stretch mark cream will help to plump up the top layers of skin and reduce the appearance of these stripes. Over time, creams can help to fade the discoloration and smooth your skin.
Those looking for a faster result may try laser treatments. Although significantly more expensive, laser therapy can be very successful at removing stretch marks. By targeting the middle layers of skin, the laser promotes skin cell turnover and the formation of new, healthy layers of skin. Treatments vary, but patients will likely require multiple (sometimes up to 10) sessions to remove the scars.