Stretch marks are a common problem after one has gone through a pregnancy. They are caused when the skin is stretched because of rapid weight gain. When this happens, the skin becomes weaker and causes layers of skin to separate. Stretch marks then form by leaving the skin grooved and discolored. Stretch marks are also partly a genetic trait passed from mother to daughter. Another reason why one may have stretch marks is because of a change in hormone levels. One of the hormones that increases during pregnancy is glucocoticoids. These hormones circulate through the blood stream and secrete through the adrenal glands.
As these hormones increase, the possibility for stretch marks also increases. You notice stretch marks as wavy streaks of skin that are think, glossy, and have a different texture than the normal skin. They sometimes start out as red streaks, but over time this fades. Unfortunately, 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks.
There are several methods for treating stretch marks, or keeping them from developing, at different times during your pregnancy as well as afterwards. When you are pregnant, stretch marks will not be as dominant if you exercise regularly and remain healthy throughout their pregnancy. This also includes drinking plenty of water throughout your pregnancy. This will strengthen the skin. Massaging the skin in the areas where there is rapid weight gain will increase the circulation throughout your skin and stimulate new tissue growth at a faster pace.
Certain oils and creams can also be used to treat stretch marks while you are pregnant. It is important to find which creams are safe during your pregnancy for stretch mark removal, one popular cream is cocoa butter. Other popular creams include the ingredients of horsetail, ivy, lady's mantle, centella, and comfrey. Collagen elastin and elastic fibers are produced by these ingredients in lotions, which causes cell regeneration. If you prefer to use oil, frankincense, vitamin E oil, sandalwood, and lavender oil are the best to loosen your skin and decrease the amount of stretch marks that develop during pregnancy. Another ingredient to be used during pregnancy is alpha hydroxy acids, or AHA. Alpha hydroxy acids, fruit acids, also catalyze cell regeneration and improve skin texture.
If there are stretch marks after the pregnancy, stronger creams can be used to remove them. Often times, these stretch marks will fade if given a certain amount of time. However, prescription creams are available as well and chosen by many women. The stronger creams normally boast the ingredients of Tretinoin or Retin A. These ingredients move are massaged into the dermis area of the skin to stimulate collagen growth. When using these creams, it is important to know if you are allergic to any of the ingredients because many women experience reactions with these creams. Other types of creams use different concentrated ingredients to treat different depths of stretch marks as well. Elicina cream, glycolic acid and retinoic acid are all different types of prescription creams that can be used to help with the reduction of stretch marks.
There are also stretch mark therapy treatments available that combine skin rebuilding nutrients. These include collagen, elastin, vitamin A, aloe vera, Emu Oil, oleic, and linolenic acids to name a few.
For those who have deeper stretch marks or who wish to take stronger action in removing the scars, laser therapy is available. A surgeon will use a variety of lasers developed to stimulate cells to regenerate, fade the color of stretch marks, as well as produce collagen and stimulate the skin where the stretch marks existed. When looking for the right laser treatment, it is important to note there are many different laser treatments available so you might consider consulting with several different doctors before deciding on the best treatment for you.
The most effective treatment available is known as abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty is basically a tummy tuck that removes the excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, as well as the stretch marks.
Depending on the severity of the stretch marks and the type of treatment chosen will affect how long the treatment will take. When creams, oils, and even laser treatment are the options then it could take anywhere from 3-6 months for the stretch marks to truly improve and fade. Creams usually cost around twenty to sixty dollars, depending on the type and the prescription. Laser resurfacing costs anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. Deep peels can cost a minimum of five-hundred dollars and up to three-thousand dollars.
While stretch marks are a normal part of pregnancy and how a woman's body changes, there are always ways in which they can be removed or avoided either by continuously trying to improve the skins texture during pregnancy, or through several different types of creams or procedures after pregnancy. While stretch marks are a cosmetic change that occurs during pregnancy, thanks to technology they don't have to be permanent.