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Stretch Marks During Pregnancy: What Can I Do?

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

As pregnancy progresses, you may begin to notice stretch marks. While some women regard stretch marks as “tiger stripes” of motherhood, other new mamas are insecure with this change. We will be discussing stretch marks and solutions to improve their appearance.

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, or striae, are indented streaks that appear on the skin. Often, stretch marks occur on the abdomen, breasts, hips and buttocks. Stretch marks are not painful, but some people do not like the appearance of stretch marks on their skin.

Stretch marks are very common during pregnancy, as it is estimated that up to 90 percent of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy.

In addition to pregnancy, there are some other factors which increase your risk of developing stretch marks. First, women with a family history of stretch marks are more likely to develop them. Additionally, rapid weight gain or rapid growth during adolescence also increases the likelihood of stretch marks.

How Do I Get Rid of Stretch Marks?

There are many home remedies that are used to remove stretch marks. Unfortunately, these are rarely successful. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, popular home remedies such as almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil or vitamin E are not effective in fading stretch marks. Additionally, tanning does not improve the appearance of stretch marks. In fact, tanning may make the stretch marks more noticeable.

There are several treatments that dermatologists may recommend. First, there are medications. Studies have supported the efficacy of hyaluronic acid and tretinoin in making stretch marks less noticeable. However, as with all medications, it is likely best to avoid these when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Dermatologists may also recommend certain procedures to remove stretch marks. These include chemical peel, laser therapy, microdermabrasion, radiofrequency and ultrasound treatment. Often, dermatologists combine one of more of these treatments depending on your clinical presentation.

Takeaway Message:

Stretch marks are very common following pregnancy, with up to 90 percent of women developing stretch marks. While common home remedies are not generally effective, there are medical treatments that dermatologists apply to improve the appearance of stretch marks. It is important to consult with a board certified dermatologist when seeking this treatment.

Did you develop stretch marks during pregnancy? What were some treatments that you found to be effective? We would love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below.

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