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How to Treat Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

Now that the hard part is over, it’s time to think about making your body your own again. During pregnancy, the majority of women develop stretch marks on their stomachs and breasts. While these scars are permanent, there are a number of very effective methods to drastically improve their appearance.

Let’s discuss what pregnancy stretch marks are, what causes them, and how to treat them.

What Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, or striae, are a type of scar on the skin. When they first appear, stretch marks are very dark in color, often purple or red. They can be raised above the skin and slightly puffy and itchy. Their appearance usually improves over time, however. The color will gradually fade from red to a pale color, and the marks flatten or appear slightly depressed below the level of the surrounding skin.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are caused by a tear in the deeper layer of skin, often from abrupt stretching of the tissue. This rupture of the collagen and elastin leaves a permanent scar when it heals, and from the surface, this creates a visible stretch mark.

How Common Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks during pregnancy are incredibly common. Around eight out of ten pregnant women are affected by stretch marks. They usually appear on the stomach, or sometimes on the upper thighs and breasts, as the pregnancy progresses.

 

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How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

Stretch marks are permanent, but there are many methods of minimizing their appearance to the point that they are no longer a nuisance. These approaches are particularly effective when started early in the stretch mark process.

Different Types of Stretch Mark Treatments

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is considered one of the most effective treatments for improving the appearance of postpartum stretch marks. It uses light to reach deep into the skin’s sublayers to repair and regenerate skin cells. It promotes collagen production to rebuild damaged tissue, resulting in smoother skin with improved color and texture.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to improve skin tone and texture. Studies have shown that microdermabrasion is effective at reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a cosmetic procedure that exfoliates your skin. Glycolic acid peels specifically stimulate collagen production in your skin, making them particularly effective in treating stretch marks.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is one of the most effective ways to treat abdominal stretch marks. During a tummy tuck, the majority of the skin below the belly button is removed, including the stretch marks in that area. If stretch marks are above the belly button, they will be pulled down and repositioned to the lower stomach toward the suture line to create a smoother appearance.

Breast Reduction or Lift

A breast reduction or lift can minimize the appearance of stretch marks on breasts. They both involve removing a portion of the breast skin and repositioning the breasts into a higher position. This makes the breasts appear firmer and the skin appear tighter, helping to disguise the appearance of stretch marks.

Other Skin Removal Procedures

Following weight loss, many women tend to develop stretch marks across the upper arms, thighs, lower bank, and butt. These areas can be treated with other skin removal surgeries, like an arm lift, thigh lift, or lower body lift.

arm lift -skin removal procedure

Arm Lift – Skin Removal Procedure

Home Remedies to Treat Scars and Stretch Marks

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water is always essential, but it is especially helpful when dealing with stretch marks. The water you drink provides your skin with the hydration necessary for it to remain healthy.

When skin cells have enough water, they’re able to function seamlessly and repair themselves more effectively. Your skin will be able to recover from pregnancy stretchmarks more easily when you’re hydrated. It’s recommended that you drink at least eight cups of water every day to keep your skin cells healthy.

Use Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is most commonly used to treat sunburns, but that’s not all that is great for. It promotes healing in general and soothes your skin. The most effective aloe vera is fresh gel from the aloe vera plant, not the kind that is typically found at the store.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is associated with an increased risk of stretch marks. It should be avoided not only to help heal your current stretch marks but also to prevent them in the future.

Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for many reasons, including repairing stretch marks caused by pregnancy. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a great way to start. Try to avoid eating fried foods, processed foods, and junk foods. Meat and fatty foods are great in moderation.

Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Exercise to Improve Skin and Muscle Tone

Exercise is an effective method for repairing stretch marks. Even lighter exercises, like walking, can strengthen the muscles of your thighs, hips, and belly. Strengthening those muscles helps to tighten loose, stretch-marked skin and triggers faster healing.

Honey Scrub

Raw honey has antiseptic properties that are known to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. You can create a honey scrub by mixing honey with salt and glycerin. Apply the scrub to your stretch marks and leave it on until it dries. Once it’s dry, you can rinse it off using warm water.

Lemon Juice

Lemons are well known for lightening the pigmentation of skin. This property is helpful for stretch marks, as skin discoloration usually accompanies them.

Lemon juice is naturally acidic, making it a useful tool in healing pimples, acne, and other skin conditions. It’s able to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and speed up the healing process.

Exfoliate Once Per Week

Exfoliating helps remove the top layer of dead skin cells and promotes growth and healing in the deeper layers of skin where stretch marks form.

Natural products like baking soda or witch hazel are excellent choices for exfoliating. They’re gentle on your skin, and won’t cause dryness, irritation, or inflammation. The best time to exfoliate is in the morning after your skin has completed its natural reparative process. Make sure to exfoliate the skin on your stomach, thighs, hips, and breasts.

 

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Recovery Time and Aftercare

Most people find that they only need six to eight weeks to fully recover from a breast procedure like a breast lift or reduction. For tummy tucks, people have reported that it took about four weeks to recover from a tummy tuck.

Dr. Mazaheri and his knowledgeable team will guide you through the process of your recovery and the aftercare that is necessary to ensure that you heal seamlessly.

Schedule Your Consultation with Scottsdale’s Premier Plastic Surgeon

Reclaim your body after pregnancy. Schedule a mommy makeover, breast procedure, or tummy tuck consultation today with the premier board-certified plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, Dr. Mazaheri to significantly improve the appearance of your stretch marks. In your consultation, you’ll discuss the best treatment for you and have any questions you may have answered. Our reliable team at Dr. Mazaheri will be there for you the entire time, from the initial consultation to your recovery.

FAQs

  • How Do Plastic Surgeons Remove Stretch Marks?
    The surgeries plastic surgeons perform to treat stretch marks involve skin removal.
  • Will a Tummy Tuck Get Rid of Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
    Some stretch marks can be permanently gotten rid of if they’re located on the skin that is being removed during the tummy tuck. Otherwise, they can be disguised so their appearance is vastly improved.
  • Is it Possible to Get More Stretch Marks After a Tummy Tuck?
    No. However, they cannot prevent more stretch marks in the future if weight is gained after the procedure.
  • What Are Some Effective Ways to Remove Stretch Marks on a Pregnant Woman’s Stomach and Legs?
    Some effective methods include light therapy, laser therapy, and microneedling.
  • My Sister is Suffering From Post-Pregnancy Stretch Marks. What Can She Do to Reduce These Stretch Marks?
    Surgery and other home remedies can be effective in reducing stretch marks.
  • How Do Celebrities Get Rid of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
    They typically use surgeries and treatments listed in this article.
  • Do All Pregnant Women Get Stretch Marks on Their Belly?
    The majority of women develop stretch marks on their belly during pregnancy.

Dr. Mehdi K. Mazaheri, MD, PC

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon | Profile | Posts
Dr. Mehdi K. Mazaheri

Dr. Mazaheri is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. After more than sixteen years of education and advanced training, Dr. Mazaheri opened his Scottsdale practice in 2003. He is a thorough and experienced surgeon with a strong focus on achieving patient needs. Dr. Mazaheri’s areas of specialty include breast and body contouring procedures such as breast augmentation, mastopexy, tummy tucks, liposuction and other body sculpting procedures. He and his friendly staff will only recommend procedures that will help you achieve your desired results. Focusing on your needs both before and after a procedure is Dr. Mazaheri’s top priority.

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