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There is something that bothers every pregnant woman. Long before we even get pregnant, we are plagued with stories of stretch marks during and after pregnancy. They are so common now that most women consider stretch marks one of the pregnancy signs.
But even though they are very common, there are still a lot of questions surrounding them. Why do people get them? And why is it that not all pregnant women get them? Do they even go away after birth?
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are present as narrow lines on the skin’s surface that look like striations. They appear raised and may cause a bit of itching. The color of stretch marks is usually dependent on your complexion, but it could be anywhere between pink and brown.
Stretch marks are normal during pregnancy. In fact, according to studies, eight out of every ten pregnant women get stretch marks. They usually show up as your pregnancy progresses and your baby bump increases. The common places for stretch marks to show are on the stomach, the upper thighs, and the breasts. Sometimes they also occur on the buttocks.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks come from a sudden stretching of your skin. So if you are going through any condition that will stretch the skin, such as rapid weight gain or pregnancy, there is a high chance that you will get stretch marks.
As we mentioned earlier, stretch marks are very common among pregnant women. They appear to result from your body expanding to better accommodate the baby growing in your womb. However, although most pregnant women get stretch marks, there are still a few who do not get stretch marks, even after they have given birth.
The question now becomes, why don’t these women get stretch marks, and are there factors that predispose some women to stretch marks? Some of the reasons people get stretch marks include:
A recent study showed that you are more likely to get stretch marks during pregnancy if someone in your bloodline has stretch marks. So if your mother regaled you with tales of how she got stretch marks while she was pregnant for you, there is a higher chance that you will get them too.
- Pregnancy Weight Gain
Weight gain during pregnancy is another factor that might be causing your stretch marks. During pregnancy, your body changes to accommodate the baby in your womb, which means you will gain some weight. Depending on how much weight you gain and how quickly you gain them, you might develop stretch marks.
Stretch marks are also due to your body losing some of its elasticity. Research has shown that your hormones might reduce the elasticity of your skin during pregnancy, leading to stretch marks.
We can say for certain that stretch marks do not pose any health risks. They are not a cause for major concern. However, they can be a serious blow to the confidence of some people who have them. This is why most people look for ways to get rid of them.
Do Stretch Marks Go Away After Pregnancy?
Most women assume that their stretch marks will go away after getting rid of the baby weight. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Your stretch marks are permanent and won’t go away even after giving birth.
The good news, though, is that stretch marks fade over time. They might not go away completely, but with a little help from you, they can become smooth, and the color is not so obvious. However, there are important factors to consider here:
- Your stretch marks can be improved with the right treatment, but they can’t fade away.
- If you want to fade your stretch marks, you should start as early as possible. It becomes more difficult to fade stretch marks as the days go by, and eventually, it becomes impossible to get rid of.
- Ensure you talk to a dermatologist. Do not start any form of treatment if your dermatologist doesn’t approve.
What Are The Treatment Options Open To You?
Before you start a treatment plan for your stretch marks, you should know what works for others might not work for you, which is why you should ensure that a dermatologist is aware of the treatment plan you want to undergo and has given their full permission. Some of the treatment options open to you are:
- Laser Therapy: They have shown great promise in reducing stretch marks. They do this by increasing the rate at which your skin produces collagen. They are expensive and are not a one-time treatment, so you might need multiple appointments before you start seeing changes.
- Chemical Peels: These are cosmetic peels that your dermatologist or plastic surgeon applies. These peels are usually good for scars because they stimulate collagen production and restore the elastin fibers of your skin, making them good for any form of scars.
- Microneedling: This uses very thin needles to puncture the skin over a series of meticulous sessions. When the punctures start healing, the skin rejuvenates and gets its elasticity back. This method has shown considerable promise in fighting stretch marks.
- Microdermabrasion: This method is minimally invasive. It is done to renew the texture and tone of the skin. It helps reduce a lot of scars by gently sanding away the skin’s surface.
- RF waves: These waves penetrate the skin and cause the body to produce collagen and heal better. It also helps tighten the skin. However, not many studies have been done on the efficacy of this method. Ensure you consult your health care provider before you try it.
- Gels and creams: There are topical means of fading stretch marks too. Gels and creams with hyaluronic acids help fade stretch marks if they are started early enough. Creams that contain Tretinoin also work well on early stretch marks. However, consult your dermatologist to ensure that this is safe, especially if you are still pregnant.
We want to tell you that your stretch marks will disappear after pregnancy, but this is not the case. It is still impossible to completely get rid of stretch marks. This should not be a bother as stretch marks do not pose any health risk. However, if you are bothered about your stretch marks, the methods mentioned in this article might help you fade them to the point that you are comfortable with.