What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are small, depressed streaks that show up in the skin, generally not in the early stages of pregnancy but in the later stages. They most often show up on the abdomen and are the result of the skin stretching and expanding due to the growing infant.
While the belly is where most stretch marks appear because that is where the skin gets pulled the most, some pregnant women also develop them on their breasts, buttocks, hips and thighs. Stretch marks come about during pregnancy because changes are occurring in the elastic supportive tissue that can be found beneath the skin.
They change color over time, dependent upon your skin tone. They will fade but in many cases, it can be very challenging to get them to disappear all together.
How to treat them
It is not so much a question of how to prevent pregnancy stretch marks, but what to do about the ones that you already have. Give them some time to fade as they should become less noticeable over time.
If you still find that they are a source of concern for you, then book an appointment with a dermatologist to find out what treatments are available for you. Be aware that most of the treatments are modestly effective but not 100 percent effective.
For those new mothers who are not breastfeeding, one way to improve the look of stretch marks is for the doctor to prescribe tretinoin cream (also known as Retin-A). This cream can be taken on its own or the dermatologist may also prescribe other types of creams as well. Studies have shown that the 0.1 percent tretinoin cream may help to visibly reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Laser stretch mark removal is another way to deal with stretch marks following pregnancy. After your delivery, laser therapy is a safe means of improving the look of the stretch marks on your body. There are different kinds of lasers that can be used, dependent upon the color that the marks are exhibiting.
For instance, there is one laser that reduces the look of stretch marks that are dark in nature while another one helps to further fade the color of stretch marks that have already faded somewhat. There is even a new kind of laser treatment that will stimulate new collagen to be produced in the skin and will help to restore the elasticity in some of the most depressed stretch marks.
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