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Get Rid of Stretchmarks With These 5 Tips

Pregnancy Jeanne Sager Jun 18, 2014

stretchmarksAh, stretchmarks. The bane of every pregnant woman's existence. The angry red stripes tend to show up on women's bodies in the third trimester, meandering across the belly, breasts, and thighs in some 80 percent of pregnancies.

If it's happened to you, you probably have one big question in mind: how do I get rid of my pregnancy stretchmarks? Is it even possible to get your belly (and breasts and thighs ... ) back to the way they looked before you had a baby?

More From The Stir: Preventing Stretchmarks in Pregnancy: 4 Tips From the Experts

It turns out there are several things moms can do -- some while still pregnant, others after. 

Where did you get stretchmarks during your pregnancy? Have you decided to get rid of them or embrace them?

 Expert Tips to Get Rid of Stretchmarks

Images via © iStock.com/Mehmet Hilmi Barcin; iStock.com/shank_ali

Image via © iStock.com/Rinelle

1Start Early

You may not be thinking about your stretchmarks when you have a new baby at home to care for, but if you want to get rid of them ... you should! The best success in treating what doctors call triae gravidarum comes when they're still red or pink.

Image via © iStock.com/mustafabilgesatkin

2Opt for a Topical Tretinoin Cream

According to Dr. Eric Newman, MD, a resident at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, these creams are not recommended for pregnant or nursing moms, but once baby's out or weaned, they will help to "rebuild collagen in the dermis." They're not a quick fix, he warns, but will "decrease the appearance of newer stretch marks over time."

Image via © iStock.com/rusak

3Try Laser Therapy

According to Dr. Newman, "laser therapies stimulate the growth of collagen or elastin by using various wavelengths of light that may be personalized with your doctor." Studies on this are out, but most practitioners will not use a laser on a pregnant or lactating mom.

Image via Target

4Try a Hyaluronic Acid Gel or Cream

Dr. Newman says there's a high success rate for products such as Mederma or Dermazan when used over a period of a few months.

Dermazen is not recommend for pregnant or breastfeeding women; however, Mederma does have products for both.

Image via Steve Johnson/Flickr

5Exfoliate

This won't get rid of your stretchmarks. But if you're nursing or still pregnant and want to make your skin look a wee bit better, it can help! "Exfoliation such as microdermabrasion can help to reduce the amount of dead skin cells in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin," Dr. Newman explains. "As a result, exfoliation may enhance the glow and texture of the skin where stretchmarks occur."

Just don't expect it to last forever. "Exfoliation does not affect the elastin and collagen in the dermis, the next deeper layer of skin," Dr. Newman warns. "While exfoliation has the ability to enhance the appearance and smoothness of the skin, it will not completely get rid of or prevent stretchmarks."

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