Articles

Getting Rid of Stretch Marks Following Pregnancy

Tagged: Body & Breast

Date: 14th February 2024

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 14th February 2024

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, are a type of scarring which occurs when the skin stretches rapidly, causing the collagen and elastin fibres to break. They often occur in situations involving dramatic weight changes – including pregnancy.

Stretch marks appear as parallel lines or streaks on the skin and can be purple, pink, red, brown, silver or white depending on your skin tone and the age of the stretch marks. Following pregnancy, they occur around the abdomen or belly, thighs, buttocks and lower back.

Although stretch marks are not painful, many people do not like the appearance of them, and this can affect the clothes they wear or taking part in activities where they may need to expose their skin, such as swimming.

Unfortunately, non-surgical treatments for stretch marks are rarely effective and this can mean they can continue to affect a person’s confidence for many years. 

Will I Get Stretch Marks After Pregnancy?

Not everyone gets stretch marks after pregnancy. Although they are very common, there are various factors which influence how prone someone is to developing stretch marks.

These factors are:

  • Genetics – Family history can affect stretch marks. If other women in your family were prone to stretch marks while they were pregnant, you are more likely to develop after pregnancy stretch marks as well. 
  • Skin type – If your skin is naturally elastic and you have a high level of collagen, you are less likely to develop after pregnancy stretch marks. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to know this pre-pregnancy. 
  • Hormones – Hormones can affect your skin’s structure and elasticity. As your hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, you may find your skin becomes more prone to stretch marks. 
  • The rate of weight change during your pregnancy – Everyone’s weight change varies during pregnancy. If you gain weight very quickly, or are carrying twins or triplets, you are more likely to develop after pregnancy stretch marks. 

Will Stretch Marks Fade After Pregnancy?

Stretch marks naturally change and fade over time. While they begin as dark red or purple they will develop into white or silver lines which may blend into the skin. This is because the initial inflammation and blood vessels that give stretch marks their colour, diminish, leaving a lighter coloured scar tissue.

The natural fading process varies for everyone, and it may take months or even years for them to be blended in with the skin as much as possible. Even once they have faded, they may still appear to be prominent. 

How Can I Get Rid of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy?

There are a range of treatments which can help to treat stretch marks. Many of these treatments are similar to treatments for improving scar tissue:

  • Topical treatments – Creams and lotions containing Peptides, Vitamin C or Retinoids may help to improve the appearance of stretch marks by improving the quality of the skin, increasing collagen production and skin elasticity. Topical creams and lotions won’t be able to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks completely. 
  • Microneedling – This treatment involves small needles penetrating the skin to create a controlled injury. This kickstarts the body’s natural healing process which will help to improve the appearance and texture of stretch marks. This may not remove pregnancy stretch marks completely. 
  • Laser treatment – Laser treatment will help to resurface the skin, regenerating the texture and appearance of the skin. Laser is the most effective non-surgical treatment for getting rid of pregnancy stretch marks. 

For treating extensive pregnancy stretch marks, or if you have tried non-surgical treatments and the stretch marks have not responded, surgery may be an alternative solution. 

Words from our clients:


How Can Surgery Get Rid of Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks can be treated with surgery through a technique called excision – where the affected tissue is removed, and the area is stitched back up. Rather than this being performed as a standalone treatment for stretch marks, it is usually a by-product of another surgical procedure.  

For women who have been through pregnancy, procedures such as Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) help to address loose skin and muscle damage around the abdomen – both common concerns following pregnancy. As part of this, stretch marks may be excised.

Breast Reduction and Breast Lift (Mastopexy) are also both popular surgical cosmetic procedures following pregnancy to treat concerns of oversized or sagging breasts. If you are experiencing stretch marks around your breasts following pregnancy, as well as treating your primary breast concerns, the stretch marks may also be removed.

Similarly, Liposuction can remove excess fat in various areas of the body which can occur following pregnancy. If you have stretch marks in the areas you wish to be treated with Liposuction, your surgeon may be able to excise these while making your surgical incisions.  

If you have a combination of cosmetic concerns following pregnancy, you may wish to consider Mummy Makeover surgery. This is a surgical procedure which combines a number of surgical procedures which enhance the appearance of the abdomen and breasts. For the most comprehensive treatment of post-pregnancy concerns, a Mummy Makeover is often the best solution.

It is important to remember that the placement of your stretch marks will be important. If you are interested in breast surgery, but only have stretch marks around your abdomen, the surgery will not naturally remove them. Excising tissue from any part of the body, may also risk scars appearing. Therefore, excising your stretch marks, may simply replace them with another (hopefully less visible) scar. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Exercise won’t have any impact on existing stretch marks. This is because exercise can’t change the structure of the skin. Regular exercise may help to maintain healthy skin which is less prone to developing stretch marks. It will also help to reduce a mum tum or c-section pouch post pregnancy and childbirth. 


Treatments mentioned in this article



Trustpilot

Laurel Wreath for Awards

2023

Aesthetic Awards

Highly Commended Best Clinic in London

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2020

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2019

My Face My Body

Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2018

My Face My Body

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2018

Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2017

Aesthetics Awards

Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards

0207 901 8500

Get in touch Sign Up