About half of all pregnant women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. Which women develop stretch marks is determined in part by genetics – if your mother had stretch marks, you will most likely have them too. The amount of weight a woman gains and the rate at which she gains it also influences how pronounced the stretch marks will be. That said, not all stretch marks appear the same on everyone. They can be pink, reddish-brown or purple before they fade to a silvery tone.
There are a lot of products that tote promises to prevent or treat stretch marks, but most of them are ineffective. The consensus amongst doctors is that there is really no way to prevent stretch marks except by moderating weight gain. Working with a doctor to moderate your weight gain in a healthy way, for you and your baby, may decrease the significance of your stretch marks.
There are products, however, that are can be effective in treating stretch marks once they appear. It is most important to treat them as soon as possible, while they are still in their pink/reddish stage, before they have faded on their own. It is equally important to know that they will fade on their own over time, usually a period of six months. However, if you feel that they will not fade to your satisfaction, you might try one of these treatment options.
• Retin A and Glycolic Acid: Most likely work by increasing collagen production in the skin. Retin A is not safe to use while breastfeeding.
• Laser Treatments: Restore skin’s elasticity and reduces pigmentation of the marks. Which of these treatments is right for you depends on personal preference and budget. Laser procedures are quite expensive, and insurance companies generally do not cover these expenses as they are considered cosmetic.