How To: Get Rid of Preganancy Stretch Marks

bellyYou love your baby.  You really, really do.  But when you look down and see those pale wriggly bands stretching across your belly that came courtesy of your pregnancy, it’s hard not to get dramatic, wailing, “Why, why, why?”  Or you love the weight that you finally took off after months of hard work and hard starving, but absolutely LOATHE the stretch marks that are working their way down your formerly chunky arms.  What to do, what to do?  You’d think after all these years of people having babies and losing weight, someone would have come up with the perfect cure-all for stretch marks.  They haven’t.  That’s annoying for any woman, but doubly so for women of color.  Any kind of scar or mark is difficult to get rid of on dark skin, and some of the most popular options available may not work on darker skin tones.  If you’re suffering from stretch marks, and are looking to check out some remedies, there are some things that you can do both before and after you get them.

What They Are

Stretch marks form because increased levels of glucocorticoids (the hormone released by the adrenal glands) are released during events in life that result in growth spurts like pregnancy, weight gain and adolescence.  When this hormone is released, it prevents the fibroblasts in your skin’s dermis from producing the elastin and collagen that your skin needs to keep the skin that’s being stretched nice and smooth, leaving you with stretched and “crepe-y” skin.

Can You Prevent Them?

Not if your mama had them!  Ok, it’s not a foolproof scientific fact, but chances are if your mother had stretch marks, you’ll probably get them, too.  You’ve no doubt heard that rubbing creams and oils like shea or cocoa butter directly onto your tummy when you’re pregnant can help prevent stretch marks.   The jury’s still out on whether that’s true across the board.   There are some that believe that the women who have success oiling their tummies during their pregnancies wouldn’t have gotten stretch marks anyway.  If you’re using a cream, remember that your goal is to use something that will ostensibly aid in collagen production.   Choose moisturizers, oils or creams that contain collagen builders like Vitamin A and E.  Ultimately, who gets stretch marks and who doesn’t will depend on individual hormone levels, skin and body type.

What If The Stretch Marks Are Already Here??

If you’re already stricken with the dreaded marks, there are a few options you can look into.

Microdermabrasion:   With microdermabrasion, blasts of small crystals are shot onto your skin, creating a deep, exfoliating effect that removes the top layer of dead cells from your skin. You’ll generally need about 6 treatments for stretch mark removal.  Microdermabrasion seems to be the most effective on stubborn, older stretch marks, and is safe for use on dark skin tones.

Lasers: Laser use is tricky on dark skin.  The wrong type of laser can cause discoloration and scarring on darker skin tones.  One of the most frequently used lasers for stretch mark removal on dark skin is the excimer laser, which works by stimulating melanin production in light colored stretch marks so that they grow darker and match the skin around them.   Doctors will also use longwave lasers like the YAG laser on darker skinned patients, since the melanin in our skin interferes with the shortwave lasers used by many doctors and clinics to remove stretch marks.   Choose your practitioner wisely, and ask a million questions, and demand before and after pics of their patients. [pullquote_right]Choose your practitioner wisely, and ask a million questions, and demand before and after pics of their patients.[/pullquote_right]

Creams: Many creams formulated to remove stretch marks are topical Vitamin A creams like Retina-A, which are formulated to increase collagen production in the affected area.  These tend to work best on recent stretch marks vs. older ones, and there’s a high risk of developing skin sensitivity issues.  Tretinoin, the acidic form of Vitamin A, has been shown to help some patients by rebuilding collagen to even out the appearance of your skin.  It can cause hyper-pigmentation if applied incorrectly, so make sure you use it under a doctor’s guidance.   Popular creams include Strivectin and Bio-Oil.

When in doubt, cut it out

The only permanent way to remove stretch marks is to cut them out via surgery, usually with a tummy tuck.   This method is usually recommended for women who are finished having children so that there’s less of a chance of the skin being re-stretched.


Stretch Marks: Causes and Treatments

Does Microdermabrasion Have Additional Risks for Dark Skin Types? Doctor Answers, Tips

Author: Sakai Blue

Sakai Blue is a UK-born, New York-based writer with an extensive background in TV and advertising. She writes and produces television promos, and writes beauty, health, home design and finance articles for various online sites. She can always be found with her Macbook Pro in hand, and her Final Cut Pro running.

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  1. Dermalmd Stretch Mark Cream is one of the best way to get rid of stretch mark naturally. I also used this product many times, works great on new and old stretch marks, fades them within a week and makes them nearly invisible if you continue use.

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  2. I had stretch marks after my second kid. My sister recommended me to use a cream that she said was very effective to remove my stretch marks but it didn’t work at all. Going to the doctor is not an option for me because it’s very expensive. One day I found a method people were talking about Dermelastic serum on social networking site. First few days I used and thought like that it will not help. But it totally worked and I have no problem with stretch marks at all now. If you’re curious about the method I used, you can check it out yourself.

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  3. My daughter tired several different creams to Stretch Marks and none worked until dermelastic serum! Her stretch marks are almost completely gone-they are barely visible. I would recommend this product to anyone serious about getting rid of their stretch marks!

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  4. After having two children dermelastic serum help to Get rid of old scar tissue plus the stretch marks! Put it on daily and see the results! Definitely an awesome product!

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  5. I have been using dermelastic Serum for a few days and I have noticed a difference in the look of my stretch marks they appear to be getting lighter I use it twice a day

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  6. After giving birth I have earned my tiger stripes! They are hard to get rid of but dermelastic Serum is working amazing! Id love to see the end result I’ll def be returning for more!

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  7. claims that dermology is effective in getting rid of stretch marks on dark skin. Can this cream be recommended?

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  16. From the moment I found out i was pregnant I slathered on cocoa butter every night, when i got out the shower and when my belly felt itchy. I have absolutely NO stretch marks and for all that dedication I’m happy:)

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  17. I’ve been using bio oil to prevent them, and help get rid of the light ones i have on my butt. so far i’ve seen a slight difference with using it for a couple weeks, next I’m going to try mederma or the belli minimizing stretch marks cream.

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    • if you google Derma Eraze you can find a reputable company that will remove stretch marks upto 30%- 70% they have been in elle magazine and black hair very impressive results

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  19. Review of Dermefface FX7 Scar Reduction Therapy
    People have scars. But it’s the physical kind that they try to hide with make up and clothing.

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    Recently, the Skinception line of skin-care products has ventured into the market with a new product that capitalizes on their obviously considerable knowledge of natural active ingredients and patented peptides. Case in point, their anti-wrinkle cream, eye cream, anti-stretch mark cream and rosacea treatment.

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    The beta glucan is an obvious choice because of its long history as an anti-irritant. But it’s also an effective moisturizer and proven to stimulate natural production of collagen. Beta glucan also promotes health of macrophages – the cells that destroy bacteria and remove dead or damaged skin cells.

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  20. During my last pregnancy I could not have lived without the Stretch Mark Cream from Apothederm.
    It was very effective for my past stretch marks and the new marks I got. I would recommend it!

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  21. I had a baby March 12, 2012 and I have stretch marks on my tommy ,can i get rid of them by applying Coa-Coa Butter thats suscibed for stretch marks??

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