Many of the skin changes that occur as a result of pregnancy can be treated with a mommy makeover. The best thing to do, however as a preventative measure, is to control these changes while you are pregnant to limit the damage done to your skin.
Limit Weight Gain
First and most important, is to limit your weight gain to a healthy level and rate. Your skin responds to the stresses applied to it. It can gradually stretch without getting stretch marks as long as the weight gain is not too much and does not occur too quickly. No one can tolerate a rapid weight gain of 50-60 pounds in a short period of time and not wind up with stretch marks. It is also not healthy for you or your baby. Gaining weight this fast results in tearing of the undersurface of the skin causing stretch marks to form. The only way to get rid of stretch marks is to remove the skin by surgical excision.
Gently rubbing of the skin with a good moisturizer frequently can also help to reduce the damage to the skin during pregnancy. Be sure to check with your obstetrician before taking any medications or applying lotions to your skin while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Stretch marks (striae) and loose skin on the abdomen can be removed with a tummy tuck as long as they are limited to the lower stomach between the umbilicus and the pubic hairline. More stretch marks are removed from the abdomen with a full tummy tuck than with a mini, while even more can be eliminated with an extended tuck such as a fleur-de-lis procedure or a circumferential tuck, which also acts as a buttock lift.
Breast Stretch Marks
Those on the lower aspect of the breasts can be removed with a breast lift, which also raises the nipple and areola while making the breasts appear more youthful. Those which cannot be removed on the upper aspect of the breasts often appear less noticeable because the skin is pulled tighter with the procedure; especially if implants are placed at the same time.
Stretch marks and loose skin on the upper inner thighs can be eliminated with a thigh lift (thighplasty) while those on the upper inner arms can be taken out with an arm lift (brachioplasty). Stretch marks in other areas are difficult to deal with as there is nowhere to hide the scars as we can do with the above procedures to some degree; more so on the breasts and abdomen, less so on the arms and thighs.
Unfortunately, no one has been able to come up with a reliable procedure to remove stretch marks without leaving a scar. There are no effective creams or lotions to improve stretch marks so don’t waste you time and money on them. Although some companies claim that their lasers will improve the appearance of stretch marks, I have yet to find one that is very effective and reliable.