Stretch Mark Removal
Stretch Mark Removal
Will stretch marks go away after the baby is born? The good news is that stretch marks fade naturally over the first six months after you have your baby. If you followed the tips on how you can prevent stretch marks you may actually be happy with the results of the natural fading. There are several scar serums that will, if used faithfully within the first months after pregnancy, help your scars heal even more.
Not everyone is happy with natural fading as a stretch mark remedy, and many women seek more permanent stretch mark removal options.
Fortunately there are several options available for stretch mark removal and reducing, although results vary as do the costs associated with them. Stretch marks pose absolutely no health risks and don't interfere with your body's ability to function and therefore stretch mark removal is considered a ‘cosmetic procedure’. In all but extreme weight loss cases, most insurance companies won’t cover the cost of cosmetic surgeries.
Before going through any medical procedure, please research the risks and outcomes carefully. Surgeries, by their very nature, are an invasive procedure. Always go to a specialist and check their references. There have been many women who have gone to ‘discount’ surgeons, or traveled to other countries to have surgeries done at a lower cost than they could at a certified specialist, with disasterous results. There are a number of reports of mis-aligned belly buttons, a minor complaint compared to extensive scarring, infections, and even death that others have experienced.
Surgical Stretch Mark Removal
Stretch mark surgery (commonly referred to as “plastic surgery”) is the best permanent stretch mark removal solution.
Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a ‘tummy tuck’, will remove skin under the belly button (which happens to be where the majority of stretch marks occur during pregnancy), and, as a result, removes the stretch marks completely. Plastic surgery can be performed any where there is excess skin (thighs, upper arms, etc.) As with any surgery, a tummy tuck will leave scarring of its own, which will fade the first year after surgery. The surgical incisions are usually made low in the abdomen so that they can be covered by bikini bottoms or other clothing.
Most insurance companies do not cover the cost associated with a plastic surgeon performaing a stretch mark removal surgery. The cost of the surgery varies on where you have the surgery done (some doctors and hospitals charge more than others), and the details of each surgery, but a good estimate of cost would be somewhere between $4000 - $7500.
Recovery time varies from person to person and is dependent on factors such as the amount of sugery done and the overall health of the patient. Most patients do not require an overnight hospital stay. For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you are likely to feel some discomfort which can be controlled by medication. Most people who undergo a tummy tuck are back at work within a week. A support brace is worn to help healing that usually limits activity more so than the pain.
Laser Surgery For Stretch Marks
Many people gravitate towards laser surgery for stretch mark removal because it is an outpatient procedure that has little or no recovery period involved and cost considerably less than a traditional tummy tuck. However, since laser treatments don't actually remove stretch marks (laser surgery reduces the pigmentation of stretch marks but not the scarring that causes the marks) Laser surgery for stretch mark removal doesn’t actually work.
The laser used in stretch mark “removal” responds to dark colors only, making laser surgery most effective in the early stages, when stretch marks are dark red or purple.
If your stretch marks have already faded, laser surgery is probably not the stretch mark removal procedure you’re looking for. People with fair complexion and shallow stretch marks respond best to laser treatments.
Blue Light Therapy for Stretch Marks
Blue light therapy is probably most often referred to as a way to remove tattoos. Although that may be what it is best known for, blue light therapy was created to treat a variety of pigmentation conditions, such as freckles and hyper pigmentation, varicose veins, spider veins and rosacea. Blue light therapy works be applying a photosensitive gel to the skin, and then a series of intense light bursts are emitted or ‘zapped’ over the area with the tattoo or pigmentation. Similar to laser treatments, blue light therapy may be able to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but will not remove them.
Stretch Mark Chemical Peel
Skin peels are chemical peels that are applied to an area (usually the face), to chemically “burn” then peel off the top layer of skin to treat acne, pimples and fine lines. After a chemical peel the skin looks (and feels like) you’ve experienced a sunburn. Chemical peels are being widely used in spas, salons and can be purchased over the counter.
The prime reason for the widespread fame of skin peels is that it provides immediate results making skin look younger, healthier, and firmer. Some folks are now using skin peels to reduce or erase stretch marks, too. However, since the peels do not remove the actual stretch marks, subsequent peels may need to be done every six months or so to maintain the smoothness of the skin.
Exfoliation for Stretch Marks
Exfoliation is a process using a safe abrasive (ground apricot seeds or sand, for instance) that helps remove dead skin cells. The soft new skin that appears after exfoliation may improve the appearance of the skin. Similar to skin peels, exfoliation does not remove stretch marks, but may improve their appearance for a period of time after treatment.
Creams and Ointments
Creams and ointments (such as scar serums) may help to reduce and fade the appearance of stretch marks, especially if used regularly for the first few months after baby is born. By keeping the skin mosturized and flexible, creams and skin serums can help the skin naturally repair the scarring caused by stretch marks.