Stretch marks are an unavoidable and common side effect of pregnancy. They appear due to your skin stretching to accommodate the growing belly.
Many women wonder how to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy… but why?
The reality is that it’s impossible to eliminate stretch marks completely and that these stretch marks are a beautiful symbol of the life you carried for 9 monhts.
Still, there are a few things you can do to make these stretch marks less noticeable.
Today, I am going to share with you a few effective methods.
But first, let’s take a look at what pregnancy stretch marks are and why they occur.
What Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are long, narrow lines on the skin that develop during pregnancy. They’re caused by your skin stretching to accommodate your baby. Stretch marks can fade over time, but they may never completely disappear.
Stretch marks during pregnancy are very common. They usually develop in areas where you gain a lot of weight, such as your stomach, breasts, and hips. Stretch marks can also form on the thighs and buttocks.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks occur due to rapid weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and in some cases, muscle growth. They are basically a side effect of your skin stretching too much and tearing.
The hormone cortisol – which increases during pregnancy – may also play a role in the development of stretch marks.
Can Stretch Marks Go Away After Pregnancy?
After your baby is born, the stretch marks may gradually fade into paler scars and become less noticeable. However, they will never completely disappear, though various treatment options are available to make stretch marks less prominent.
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting rid of stretch marks after pregnancy, but some methods are more effective than others.
Some popular methods include using creams and lotions, laser therapy, and chemical peels.
Let’s take a closer look at the various methods.
Microneedling is a skincare method that involves using very small needles to prick the skin.
It is a minimally invasive procedure where tiny needles are used to create controlled injuries on the skin. The micro-injuries stimulate collagen production and improve the appearance of stretch marks over time.
Though the jury is still out on whether microneedling can completely get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy, some studies have shown promising results.
For example, a large 2008 study conducted in South Africa and Germany on 480 patients found that stretch marks lessened after one to four treatments.
Generally, the side effects of microneedling are mild and temporary. They may include:
Radiofrequency is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses radiofrequency waves to heat deeper skin layers in an attempt to activate your body’s natural wound healing process and stimulate the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that helps keep your skin looking youthful and elastic.
Although the aforementioned studies are small and not definitive, they do provide some evidence that radiofrequency may help reduce stretch marks.
A 2012 study found that using radiofrequency in combination with ultrasound led to a decrease in the appearance of stretch marks.
Another study found that radiofrequency and multipolar-pulsed electromagnetic fields reduced the length and width of stretch marks.
However, these studies need to be replicated on a larger scale before any conclusions can be drawn.
Prescription creams with Tretinoin
Prescription creams with Tretinoin are often used to improve the appearance of stretch marks. The cream is applied directly to the skin and helps to rebuild collagen, which can improve the overall appearance of stretch marks over time.
Though prescription creams containing Tretinoin are effective in fading stretch marks, they should not be used if you are breastfeeding.
Olive oil or almond oil
There is no scientific evidence to support the use of olive oil or almond oil for treating stretch marks. However, some people say that it works for them.
It is possible that the oils help to moisturize the skin and improve elasticity, which could reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The oil will help to improve blood circulation and keep the skin hydrated.
In addition, wrapping the area with a cloth after massage will help to trap the heat and improve absorption.
Chemical peels are a cosmetic treatment where acid is applied to exfoliate the skin. This can be done to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles.
There are different types of chemical peels, but glycolic acid peels are one of the most popular because they stimulate collagen production in the skin.
Chemical peels are a popular option for getting rid of stretch marks after pregnancy. However, there are some risks associated with the procedure.
Side effects include a colour change of the skin, abnormal skin pigmentation if you have a history of brown discolouration or if you are on birth control pills, scarring and cold sores.
Laser therapy is a common and proven treatment for stretch marks reduction. It works on both older, deeper marks as well as newer marks.
Laser therapy is a process that uses laser energy to remove, vaporize and break down affected skin tissues. This in turn encourages new cell production, which can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Creams with cocoa butter or vitamin E
Creams containing cocoa butter or vitamin E are popular amongst women who want to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy.
However, there is no evidence that these ingredients work to reduce the chance of stretch marks or minimize them once they have appeared.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that dermatologists use to improve the tone and texture of the skin. It can be used to treat sun damage, age spots, acne scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, and other skin-related conditions.
Two studies found that microdermabrasion is relatively effective at reducing the appearance of stretch marks. The first study, which was published in the “Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy,” found that subjects who underwent four microdermabrasion treatments saw a significant reduction in the appearance of their stretch marks.
The second study, which was published in the “International Journal of Dermatology,” found that subjects who underwent eight microdermabrasion treatments saw an even greater reduction in the appearance of their stretch marks.
Topical gels or creams with hyaluronic acid
There is some evidence that topical gels or creams with hyaluronic acid may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks after they form, but no large-scale study has yet shown that these ingredients actually help lessen your chances of getting stretch marks or minimizing them once you already have them.
How Can I Remove Stretch Marks After Pregnancy Permanently?
As previously mentioned, stretch marks after pregnancy will fade over time, but they never completely disappear. Some women find that their stretch marks gradually turn white or grey over time. There are a variety of treatments available that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but there is no permanent solution.
How Do You Use Aloe Vera For Stretch Marks?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in the desert regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas. The gel from the plant is used in various products due to its moisturizing, healing and soothing properties. Aloe vera gel is used to treat various skin conditions and is used to soothe the skin.
Though aloe vera is often used as a home remedy for stretch marks, there is limited research on its effectiveness.
However, many people claim that it can help reduce the visibility of stretch marks.
To use aloe vera for stretch marks, you can apply it directly to the affected area or drink it in juice form.
Stretch marks after pregnancy are a normal part of the postpartum journey, and you should not be ashamed of them!
Although you cannot get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy permanently, there are many ways to make them less noticeable. It is all about finding out what works best for you.
Regardless, remember not to be hard on yourself. Look at your stretch marks as a symbol of the beautiful baby you have given birth to.