Stretch marks occur when you happen to gain or lose weight too quickly for your skin to keep up with, and is common for both men and women. It occurs because the skin is unable to reconcile with the drastic changes in the body (for example, like those seen usually during pregnancy). The elastic fibers under the skin break because of these changes and therefore result in those ugly stretch marks that prevent you from wearing your favorite outfits.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are silvery lines (a little lighter than your skin color) that form on your skin, usually because of sudden growth or shrinking of the skin due to pregnancy, weight gain/ loss, or puberty. These are very common in both men and women, but women tend to get affected more by it, as pregnancy and stretch marks go hand in hand for over 60% of the population in India.
There are various studies that prove genetics play a role in you getting stretch marks, so the odds of you having them if your mother had them, are pretty high.
You may observe the appearance of stretch marks in various parts of the body – stomach, thighs, hips, butt, breasts, upper arms, and lower back.
Causes Of Stretch Marks During & After Pregnancy
Being a mom is a tough job – not only do you lose your sleep, but your body undergoes a massive change as well. Stretch marks are one of those unsightly changes in this process. They are caused because of softening of the skin fibres due to an increase in pregnancy hormones. Your body tends to grow at a rapid rate during pregnancy, and the skin fibres are too slow to accommodate to this growth, leading to tearing of the dermis layer of the skin and hence allowing deeper layers of the skin to show through.
Therefore, stretch marks eventually fade into a silvery-white appearance, because of the pale fat beneath the skin. They are more severe if there are high levels of cortisone circulating in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands, which are converted into cortisone. This hormone is responsible for weakening the elastic fibres of the skin, making them prone to stretch marks.
You can see these marks appear on your belly, thighs, and breasts as lines (pink or purple-tinged).
So how do you know if you are prone to having stretch marks?
- If you are a young mother in your teens
- If, during your pregnancy, you have gained a lot of weight
- If, before the pregnancy, you already had pre-pregnancy stretch
- If you have hereditary tendencies
There is a possibility that these marks don’t show up during pregnancy, but they might appear after a few weeks past your delivery.
Also Read: What Causes Stretch Marks?
How To Remove Stretch Marks After Pregnancy?
Laser Treatments For Pregnancy Triggered Stretch Marks
With advancements in science, it is easy to get rid of any problem in today’s age, and that includes stretch marks as well. Secret RF stretch marks treatment is a simple procedure for skin tightening and rejuvenation by making use of minimally invasive microneedles to infuse radio frequency (RF) energies into various depths of the skin in a controlled manner.
The laser produces RF energies through a focused tip of a microneedle, which helps in reducing the trauma to the surrounding layer of the skin and also decreases the downtime. The depth of penetration of theese needles varies, based on the type of treatment and the targeted area.
It is a quick 45 minutes to an hour process, which is carried out after properly assessing and examining the depth of the stretch marks.
Also Read: Laser Stretch Mark Removal Treatment
How To Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks and pregnancy are pretty much common, both usually come together. Sadly, there is nothing we can do about it. So, do not let the creams and lotions in the market that claim unbelievably drastic results, fool you into believing that stretch marks can be prevented.
All you can is to include the following in your routine to maintain a healthy skin –
- Keep your skin hydrated and drink minimum 8-10 glasses of water every day
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid fluctuations in your diet plans
- Eat a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals (vitamin A and C especially)
- Aim for slow and gradual weight gain during pregnancy
Do Stretch Marks After Pregnancy Ever Go Away?
Although getting rid of stretch marks can be challenging, but in the majority of cases, stretch marks usually tend to become considerably less noticeable after about 12 months of the birth of the baby.
We cannot prevent the occurrence of stretch marks, but there are a few effective ways to handle them. Keeping your body hydrated and maintaining a good diet goes a long way, and for any additional help, a good dermatologist is always your knight in a shining armor anyway.