There are many women who are scared of pregnancy because of the ungainly appearance of the stretch marks that appear in the post- partal period on their abdominal area. Stretch marks are not only caused by pregnancy, they may occur as a result of excessive weight gain or weight loss over a short span of time or any damage to the elastic fibers of the skin due to rapid stretching of the skin. During the time of pregnancy the abdominal skin stretches to sustain the growth of the fetus. After stretching for a certain point, the deepest layer of the skin will tend to tear. This appears as thin streaks over the upper layer of the skin which are referred to as stretch marks. Over time they take a silver streaked appearance. Pregnancy related and other weight related stretch marks may also appears in the areas as thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms or lower back, in addition to the abdominal area. Then stretch marks may also be the result of hereditary factors or ethnic traits and men are also not free from the risk of having stretch marks on their bodies. Especially during puberty, when the boys suddenly start to grow fast, stretch marks may appear on some parts of the body. Corticosteroids and Cushing's syndrome may also be responsible in some cases for causing stretch marks. They may vary in color from pink to reddish brown or dark brown depending on your complexion. Over time most of them acquire a silvery streaked appearance.
Unlike those days when the women had no option than to bear the proof of giving birth of child in their bodies and restricted from wearing low fitted dresses, today you can choose from several treatment options for stretch marks. The result however depends mostly on your age, complexion and even your diet. In addition to application of topical ointments, you can take recourse of various kinds of surgical methods like dermabrasion, chemical peels, or laser surgery.
You can also consider a tummy tuck or abdominal plastic surgery. This procedure will help you to get a tighter and flatter abdomen and in the process, the layer of the skin scarred by unsightly stretch marks is also removed. Those stretch marks that appear below the belly button are removed by this procedure.
Microdermabrasion is a common cosmetic procedure to remove stretch marks from your abdominal skin. It is a kind of skin exfoliation through the use of small particles which are passed inside the skin by a Microdermabrasion machine. These particles practically scrub the skin and in the process, the layer of epidermal skin and scars are removed.
This process is applied for removing stretch marks as well as for reducing their density.
Use of laser beam is a comparatively new method in the stretch mark removal procedures. This cosmetic procedure brings best results if applied in early stages of development of stretch marks. The success is limited in treating the silver-gray streaks. This is due to the simple reason that laser pulsed light is more effective on stretch marks with darker hues like brown or reddish.
In laser surgery for stretch mark removal, concentrated beam of light are flashed over the stretch marks. This removes the skin layer and the stretch marks are removed with the skin. New skin tissue covers the laser burnt area. Till then the treated area may appear a little bit bruised and blistered. In most cases, the newly developed stretch marks in red or brown completely fades away by laser treatment. According to many cosmetic researches, laser therapy not only responds wonderfully the fresh stretch marks, they also stimulates the factors where skin starts producing more collagen.
For best result in laser surgery, you must go through more than one sitting. The average costs of each sitting ranges from 400 to 1500 or more in certain special cases. Each sitting lasts for a few minutes to an hour.
Stretch marks are one of the despairing corollary of otherwise rewarding experience of motherhood. The secret behind keeping your skin immune from stretch marks as far as possible is to keep it hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other forms of fluids and gorging on foods rich in Vitamins C and A and zinc. Consuming foods rich in protein can also reduce your chances of developing stretch marks during pregnancy.