As someone who specializes in cosmetic surgery, obstetrics, and gynecology, I have encountered thousands of patients over the years who present with the concern of post-pregnancy stretch marks on their bodies. Most pregnant women around the world spend most of their pregnancy worrying about the appearance of stretch marks and scars after the successful delivery of their babies.
While there are many home remedies available for reducing or preventing the appearance of scars and stretch marks after pregnancy, complete prevention might not be possible for all new mothers. However, it is important to note that the advancements in medicine and cosmetic surgery over the past couple of decades have enabled us to devise medical and surgical treatments to decrease the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
About Stretch Marks and Scars
What Are Stretch Marks?
Known in medical terminology as striae gravidarum, stretch marks are a unique kind of scar that appears on the body of a person who has recently undergone significant changes in their weight. While stretch marks are most commonly associated with pregnancy, you can acquire these stretch marks throughout your life, including years of growth like puberty and periods of significant weight gain.
How Do Stretch Marks Form?
As explained by their name, stretch marks or scars tend to develop in your skin as it stretches over a brief period. When your skin stretches due to your growing pregnant belly, rapid growth in puberty, or sudden weight gain, it puts stress on the supportive tissue in the deeper layers of your skin.
Excessive stretching due to the aforementioned causes leads to tearing of the middle and bottom layer of tissue in your skin, therefore creating a discolored scar.
Stretch marks are one of the most common occurrences in pregnant women, appearing in more than 90 of all pregnant women by the third trimester of the pregnancy. They might appear as your skin stretches or after delivery as your skin starts to heal.
What Do Stretch Marks Look Like?
Stretch marks look like discolored regular streaks on your skin. They look like linear indentations that can be colored white, pink, blue, red, black, or purple. The way these scars appear on your skin depends on multiple factors, including the reason behind their formation, the location on your body, and their age.
Stretch marks are not usually painful or harmful. Besides psychological distress due to their unsightly appearance, the most you will ever experience due to your stretch marks is slight itching.
Where Can You Get Stretch Marks?
While stretch marks can appear anywhere on your body, they are most likely to show up in places where excess fat gets stored during weight gain. Some of the most common places where we regularly observe stretch marks include the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, lower back, breasts, arms, and more.
What Are Pregnancy Scars?
Pregnancy scars can be a direct result of tissue stretching and tearing that occurs during childbirth. While most mothers opt for a natural delivery augmented by epidural injections, some cases cannot proceed to natural birth due to multiple reasons.
Such medically complicated cases are then delivered through Cesarean Section (C-Section), which is a process that involves a direct incision of the abdominal wall. Such a deep and large incision is very likely to leave a scar once it heals, and scarring after C-Sections is one of the major reasons why most pregnant women tend to avoid the procedure unless absolutely needed.
What Do Pregnancy Scars Look Like?
Pregnancy scars acquired through a C-Section are often deeper and more prominent as compared to stretch marks. Most women who present with cosmetic concerns in my private practice are those who did not anticipate childbirth to leave them with permanent marks on their bodies.
While these scars tend to heal with time and lighten up to match the surrounding skin over the abdomen, there are a few remedies that can help accelerate the process and assist you in achieving the perfect post-childbirth figure.
Importance of Timely Intervention
In my clinical practice, I have encountered hundreds of patients who wanted to look their best immediately after childbirth and presented with pressing cosmetic concerns related to stretch marks and childbirth scars. In my experience, nothing helps such women better than timely intervention.
It is important to remember that the formation of scars and stretch marks after childbirth is a normal healing response of the human body. A good parallel would be cutting your skin on a sharp object and seeing a raised scar in its place once it heals.
While this process is normal, it is essential to note that it can also be permanent. Without timely intervention, stretch marks and scars would become a permanent part of your skin, and while mild cosmetic improvement is seen in a few years after birth, the best time to act is immediately after you start noticing these marks and scars appearing on your skin.
You should note that the best time to think about getting rid of these stretch marks and scars is either before getting pregnant or after childbirth. Most home remedies to prevent the appearance of these marks like Retinol lotions and creams are teratogenic (forbidden for use in pregnancy due to mutagenic potential for the developing fetus), and therefore can only be used once you have successfully given birth.
Common Medical and Surgical Treatments
Here are some home remedies and professional medical and surgical treatments you can consider to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks after pregnancy. Also read our post, “The Truth About Scar Removal Surgery.”
Topical Creams and Lotions
Before turning to designer treatments and expensive procedures, many women try topical creams and lotions that contain active ingredients like Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Hyaluronic Acid (HA), Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E, etc.
All these substances are world-famous for their healing properties and might help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks if used timely. Ingredients like Olive Oil, Almond Oil, and Cocoa Butter are also great for moisturizing your skin, even if they don’t fully remove your scars.
Topical Retinol and Tretinoin
While both these forms of Vitamin A are popular skincare cosmetic ingredients, they are unsafe for use in pregnancy due to their teratogenic nature. Although these chemicals can increase the rate of cell turnover in your skin and help reduce scars, their use should not be started without expert medical advice and completely avoided if you are going to breastfeed your child.
Microneedling is a relatively new procedure that has found immense success in dermatology and cosmetic surgery. The process uses a device with a series of tiny needles that puncture the skin at the site of scars and stretch marks and kickstart the healing process by inducing collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of unsightly scars on your skin.
Sometimes microneedling is coupled with Radiofrequency, which increases the efficacy of the procedure. However, combining one novel cosmetic procedure with another results in much higher costs per session.
Laser therapy, while effective in reducing scars and stretch marks post-pregnancy, is an expensive intervention and cannot be afforded by all women. Moreover, the efficacy of this mode of therapy largely depends on how early it is conducted.
If the scars or stretch marks are still red (linea rubra), laser therapy is highly effective. It is not as effective if your scars have turned white (linea alba). Additionally, each session of laser therapy can cost up to $800 and is not covered by most insurance providers.
Arguably the most expensive treatment for scars and stretch marks, plastic surgical procedures like a tummy tuck can help you get rid of excess belly fat that eventually leads to scar formation. It also tightens your abdominal skin and neatly tucks your scars down at your bikini line, where they will not be visible to anyone. However, cosmetic surgery is unaffordable for most women and has variable results, depending on the treating surgeon.
Skinception: The Most Effective Solution
After years of clinical experience seeing patients complain of cosmetic imperfections resulting from childbirth and pregnancy, I have developed a formula that tackles the problems of post-pregnancy scars and stretch marks head-on. The Skinception line of products has been designed using the highest-quality ingredients available in the market, helping you achieve swift results with zero side effects.
Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy
When you choose Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a skilled physician and surgeon with decades of clinical experience. I have designed this formula keeping the sensitivity of post-pregnancy female skin in mind, using top-of-the-line ingredients that obviate the need for expensive treatments and cosmetic procedures to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars after childbirth.
Why Choose Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy?
Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy offers a multitude of benefits over similarly categorized products by cosmetics manufacturers that make hundreds of promises and deliver on a few. Here are a few reasons why you should choose this product over the rest.
Endorsed By Board-Certified Physician & Cosmetic Surgeon
The formulas of Skinception have been developed carefully reviewed by Dave E. David, MD. That’s me! I have over three decades of clinical experience in gynecology, obstetrics, cosmetic surgery, and aesthetics, which has enabled me to be confident in my product and the myriad of benefits it offers. Unlike most other products on the market, this product has been ethically sourced and manufactured, keeping in mind the highest standards of safety and care.
Visibly Fewer Stretch Marks
This product is guaranteed to reduce your visible stretch marks by up to 73 percent. This is a claim most products will hesitate to make since, without quality ingredients and a thorough knowledge of science, it is nearly impossible to achieve such astonishing results.
When you start your trial of the product, you can rest assured that you will experience swift results. Most women whom I prescribe this formula report that they start noticing the reduced depth of stretch marks within the first two months of use. Darutoside is one of the main active ingredients in this formula that reduces stretch marks within four weeks of use.
Risk-Free Money-Back Guarantee
If you feel unsatisfied with the results of the product, you can easily return it for a complete refund (minus shipping and handling) within 67 days of your purchase.
Skinception Dermefface FX7
No matter the origin or location of your scars, you can rely on Skinception Dermefface FX7 for a complete renewal of your skin. The product works miracles for your skin, and no patient I have recommended this product to has ever come back with a complaint; just glowing praise for the miracles it worked for them.
How Skinception Dermefface FX7 Works
Skinception Dermefface FX7 carries seven tried-and-tested active ingredients that ensure faster wound-healing, visible reduction in scars, flattening and smoothening of scars, and fading of discoloration in the areas where your skin got damaged. All-natural ingredients ensure faster results, with the earliest signs of fading scars appearing within one month of starting the use of Skinception Dermefface FX7.
Targeting Scars of Multiple Origins
Skinception Dermefface FX7 targets scars of multiple origins, including scars that might appear after childbirth, surgeries, acne, chickenpox, burns, hypertrophy, and more. No matter the origin of your scars, the mode of action of the product remains the same, i.e., targeting aberrantly healed areas of your skin to remove any signs of pre-existing and developing scars.
Additionally, the product can be used under makeup, which means that you no longer have to confine yourself to your home or avoid social gatherings due to the scars on your skin. You can let this product work its magic while you proceed with your life as per usual.
While pregnancy and childbirth scars and stretch marks are a cause of concern for new and old mothers alike, there is no better and more affordable cure for these cosmetic imperfections than the world-famous Skinception formula. Both Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy and Skinception Dermefface FX7 have been designed for use in the removal of scars and stretch marks of all origins and can be relied on for 100 percent natural, quick results.
And if you’re struggling after the baby comes, read our post, “Postpartum Sex: Why Does It Feel Different.”