Stretchmarks occur when you lose or gain weight very quickly, causing the elastic fibers under your skin to break. This is very common during pregnancy, when women can gain up to 30 pounds in just a few months. We also produce more cortisone in our third trimester, and this prevents the body from producing collagen that can help firm and support the skin.
In most cases, pregnancy stretchmarks appear on the belly and breasts. However, they can also appear on the buttocks, thighs, hips, back and arms. While they initially look red or purple, they do fade into very faint white lines.
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Can creams prevent or fade stretchmarks?
Stretch mark creams have limited effectiveness. You can use them during pregnancy to prevent them from appearing, but don’t be surprised if you develop them anyway. Stretchmarks can be hereditary – if your mom got them, there’s a good chance you will too.
If you do use a cream after giving birth, look for ingredients that boost collagen, hydrate, and control inflammation. Apply it when the stretchmarks are red and purple. Once they become white or silver, over the counter products can do very little to help.
What treatments can remove stretch marks?
The most effective way of treating all stretch marks is laser. The lasers break down scar tissue and prompts the body to replace the “damaged” tissue with healthy, stronger skin. Over time, the area looks firmer and smoother.
The Clifford Clinic uses two kinds of laser treatments for stretchmarks. The edge fractional Co2 laser can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, but with less pain and inflammation than older fractional lasers. This is very important when treating stretchmarks, because the skin on the abdomen, buttock, breast and thighs are more prone to irritation and redness.
For purple or pink stretch marks, The Clifford Clinic uses the pulse-dye V Beam laser. It’s able to break down pigmentations. It is a relatively quick and painless procedure and has no down time – a big plus for busy new moms!
Trained, licensed and experienced
The best and safest route is to go to trained, licensed and experienced medical professionals. Dr. EE of The Clifford Clinic has helped many of his clients control their acne during pregnancy. He makes sure that all his recommendations have been clinically proven and cleared for use during pregnancy and lactation. You can also discuss the recommendations with your oby-gynecologist! That way you will feel 100% sure that your acne treatment during pregnancy is both effective and safe.
This depends on your case, but on the average patients have 5 treatments which are spaced about 6 weeks apart. Each session will prompt the body to produce new collagen, so the skin becomes tighter and smoother over time.
You may see redness and a few brown scabs in the first three days after your session. However, since this procedure is performed on areas that are usually covered with clothing, this shouldn’t interfere with your every day schedule.
The Clifford Clinic always prioritizes your health and comfort. If you have just given birth, do get clearance from your oby-gynecologist before beginning any kind of skin treatment. However, lasers are generally safe for lactating mothers because aside from any mild painkiller you take before a session, it does not use any drugs that can enter your blood stream and be passed on to your baby.