How to Treat those Post-Childbirth Stretch Marks

(Last Updated On: December 8, 2018)

This is a guest post courtesy of Dr. Craig Crippen of DermMedica, a skin care clinic located in beautiful Kelowna, BC.

If you’re getting back into your routine again after childbirth, you’re probably looking forward to getting back to the rest of your life. A life that might include things like sunny days, beaches, shorts and other clothing that’s designed to show off your skin and help you feel the sun.

However, that can be a challenge if you have stretch marks that are making you feel self-conscious and not like your usual self.

Stretch marks will develop during most pregnancies. But they don’t have to stay with you forever.

There are steps you can take to rejuvenate your skin and diminish the appearance of stretch marks so that you can go out with confidence again.

Here are some of the best ways to treat those post-childbirth stretch marks.

Here are the best stretch mark creams for pregnancy

Monitor your water intake and increase it if necessary

It can be hard to focus on your own health while you’re caring for a baby, and it can be easy to let some healthy habits slide.

You may have stopped paying attention to how much water you’re getting every day. That inattention may be one of the reasons that you’ve started to notice stretch marks.

The skin needs a lot of water every day to remain supple and soft. When the skin starts to dry out, new stretch marks can form and existing stretch marks can become more obvious.

Even worse, skin that’s dried out is not capable of healing itself effectively.

That means even if any stretch mark treatments start working for you, it’s going to take them longer if you aren’t properly hydrated.

Most people need about eight cups of water a day. You may be able to get a more accurate estimate based on your body weight from a health app on your phone.

After you’ve tracked and caught up with your daily hydration needs, you can start thinking about the next set of options.

Update to a post-pregnancy skin-protection diet

You can improve the speed at which your skin heals and recovers by focusing on a special diet that gives you regular access to the nutrients that your skin needs the most. First, avoid the foods that cause it the most active harm.

Try to avoid high-fat options to prevent that congestion of the skin. High sodium intake will dry out the skin that may have improved with higher water input.

An excessive intake of sugar can also cause you problems.

The foods you should focus on eating are those that include healthy amounts of zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and silica. These are all vitamins that assist in the restoration of collagen and other connective tissue.

While they cannot heal stretch marks, they are capable of improving the overall health of your skin.

Some examples of choices you could make to increase your intake of vitamins include blueberries, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, and nuts.

Start a daily application of oil

Massaging your skin with oil is a daily habit that can help you in several different ways.

First, it’s a great way to make sure that your skin gets nourishing vitamins and minerals. Like those that are contained in oils like coconut oil.

There are many different oils that you can use — olive oil is a popular moisturizer and exfoliator.

Even better, massaging your skin in the morning has the effect of stimulating the skin in that area. The stimulating effects of simply massaging the skin are wonderful. Blood flow increases to the areas that are being massaged, and this can promote healing and reduce the damage that makes stretch marks look far more red and noticeable.

Treat skin problems directly with prescription creams and balms

If you take your skin’s luster seriously and want to dramatically reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you can go an extra step by asking your dermatologist about prescription skin creams.

These types of creams are designed to treat specific problems, and usually contain concentrations of ingredients that would not be appropriate to use unless under the direction of a doctor.

Of course, that’s also why they’re effective in cases where over-the-counter options are not.

Your dermatologist will be able to tell you more about which are the most appropriate creams for the conditions that you want to target. Some creams are advanced moisturizers that will mask the marks, and some are designed to deep heal the skin around the stretch marks.

Such powerful creams may be also known as serums or by other names.

Remember that in most cases, you will not be able to use a prescription cream if you plan to become pregnant.

Fade redness and chalky whiteness with fractional lasers

Fractional CO2 lasers are one of several clinical options that can directly target the appearance of stretch marks. Most people can safely opt for this treatment.

And it can have an impressive effect on any stretch marks on the skin.

The fractional laser works by heating up water in the surface of the skin. By focusing this heat in a very tiny area, the laser is capable of removing only the top layer of skin.

This leaves the youngest, freshest skin exposed, which is far more uniform in color and shape.

The stretch marks will be faded and barely perceptible until the skin has aged again.

Whether by habit or by determination, you have choices

Stretch marks are very frustrating when they first appear. But they aren’t the end of the world.

Even the smallest habits can make a massive amount of difference over time, and the habits you need to follow to take care of your skin are easier than most.

By staying hydrated, making the right choices with your diet and beginning an oiling routine, you can find a solution that gives you the skin you want.

Even better, the technology being developed to address this problem is getting better every year.

Fractional lasers are just the beginning of the clinical options available to treat stretch marks. There are many more options at your local skin care clinic that can improve the look and feel of your skin. 

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