[By Winifred Bell]

You had lost all that ‘horrible’ pregnancy weight gain. In fact, you are quite sure you are a couple of pounds lighter than before. So what’s preventing you from flaunting your body all summer? What’s stopping you from stepping out in your all-time fave low-waist jeans to show off your curves? Oh, I get it— darn those unsightly stretch marks running across your waist! Along with cellulite and open pores, stretch marks come out tops as one of the dastardly beauty banes of women. We might be our own worst judge but there’s no denying that squiggles and jiggly bits do not project a sexy image.There’s a variety of reasons behind these unattractive scarring of your skin, some of the commonest being pregnancy, growth spurts and sudden fluctuations on the weighing scale, be it weight gained or lost. While stretch marks might seem to appear very easily, the same cannot be said about getting rid of them. I’ve been there so I can definitely affirm to this. I can’t promise they will disappear completely but there are definitely effective ways to make them less obvious. Now isn’t that good news?

Tip #1: Ace it with vitamin A

Retinoids have long been considered one of the most miraculous ingredients for smoothing the texture of the skin, softening lines and wrinkles.This vitamin A derivative penetrates deep within the dermis and evokes stimulation right where collagen fibers are created. A published scientific study in JAMA Dermatology in particular identified retinoids as helping the appearance of stretch marks.Targeted stretch marks in patients treated with tretinoin, the first retinoid approved by the FDA to treat wrinkles, had a decrease in mean length and width compared to subjects treated with placebo.

The CHAI GOLD OIL RETINOL Vitamin A Anti-aging Neck Treatment is a body specific age-defying oil that can be applied to improve the appearance of stretch marks. Combining retinol with the essence of pure 24-carat gold and essential fatty acids harvested from natural botanicals, GOLD OIL enhances skin’s elasticity, firmness & smoothness for effective skin rejuvenation. By improving circulation and decreasing skin inflammation, pure gold helps to rejuvenate our skin from inside out, giving treated skins a silky smooth feel that you’ll appreciate.

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Tip#2: Have a good exercise regime

It might seem like exercising won’t do much, but a good workout will tone up those muscles and help to make your skin look and feel better. A good exercise regime that incorporates both cardiovascular exercises and strength training with weights will help boost oxygen and blood circulation to your skin, thus helping to rebuild it; making a significant improvement to skin tone and texture and hence the appearance of stretch marks.

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Tip #3: Zap them away

Medical intervention may not come cheap but many have found satisfactory outcome to their aesthetic woes only with laser technology. Early stretch marks that are red in color are best treated with the VBeam Perfecta Diode Laser. This special pulsed dye laser is the gold standard for redness and broken capillaries and is proven to be highly effective in improving the appearance of red stretch marks, otherwise known by the medical term— striaerubra. The VBeam laser has the unique ability to selectively target and shrink the blood vessels that lend the red discoloration to early stretch marks without adversely affecting the surrounding tissues, and depending on the severity, it will generally takes 4 to 6 sessions preferably done at monthly intervals for optimal outcome.

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Tip #4: Resurface the skin

Over time, stretch marks change in their appearance. They lost their reddish discoloration and become fainter in color, to an almost silvery white. At this point they are known as striaealba. Once they have reached this stage, stretch marks are much harder to treat. To date, stretch marks lasers that resurface the skin seem to be the only effective way to improve the appearance of striaealba.

The Fraxel laser is one of the most effective treatments for stretch marks available today, offering a new solution for improving the appearance of these annoying silvery white marks. It can stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis while resurfacing almost 20% of your skin’s surface to remove damaged tissue with each session, with expected improvement to texture, diameter and depth of the stretch marks after a series of treatments. With Fraxel, an “airbrush” of laser removes your skin’s imperfections in micro-treatment zones beneath the surface minimizing skin recovery time and risks of complications, and is one of the few lasers that’s FDA approved for use on both the face and body.

“Patients with longstanding stretch marks will typically require 4-6 sessions of Fraxel done at monthly interval for significant improvement in the quality and texture of their skin.” Explains Dr. Chua Han Boon, senior medical consultant from the SW1 Clinic (formerly from The Sloane Clinic). “You might not be able to fully eradicate stretch marks with any modalities available in the current market, but resurfacing laser techniques certainly are the most promising thus far.”

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Tip #5: Tighten and lift

As skin moves southwards and sags with aging, pregnancy and/or weight fluctuations, the appearance of stretch marks are undoubtedly aggravated. Body Shape by Thermage is a patented mono-polar radiofrequency or RF treatment that is especially good for tightening loose, saggy skins. For patients who have loose skin riddled with stretch marks, improving the tone and elasticity of the skin can certainly improve the appearance of their dermal graffiti. As a bonus, any accompany cellulite over the affected areas can be treated concurrently with Thermage Body, helping to restore your confidence and summer appropriate items that you’ve relegated to the back of your wardrobe for the longest time.

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Join Dr. Low Chai Ling and other esteemed guest speakers @ MUMMY TO YUMMY post-pregnancy fixes workshop to get the low down on stretch marks and more, with a panel of medical experts from plastic surgeons to O&G specialists giving valuable insight on the latest innovations and treatments that can help you not only restore your beauty but take it to the next level after having a baby or two.

Limited places still available, BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment, ladies!

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