How to Get Your Pre-Baby Body Back!
From stretch marks and varicose veins to C-section scars, plastic surgeon Dr. Elie Levine and his wife, dermatologist Dr. Jody Levine, explain how you can get your pre-baby bodies back!
Dr. Elie says that many women come to him frustrated that their belly button has changed after giving birth. "They tell me that it used to be like a vertical ellipse and now it’s horizontal, or it’s flattened out or that it used to be an innie and now it’s an outtie. There are lots of things people can do, whether it’s a year after having a baby or twenty years later, to address these changes." One possible solution Dr. Elie explains is a rejuvenation, where he removes a bit of the extra skin around the belly button.
Whether a new mom nurses or not, Dr. Elie says that changes may occur to their nipples: "Whereas they used to normally project out, now they either lose volume, or they flatten out and can even become inverted." The doc claims that this can be taken care of in less than an hour under local anesthesia in the office, with essentially no downtime, minimal discomfort, predictable results and for under a thousand dollars.
Dr. Jody reassures new moms who begin to see strands of hair fall out that hair loss after pregnancy is very common. "It’s actually normal to lose 100 hairs a day and people don’t realize it," she says. "Normally, eighty to ninety percent of the hair on your head isn’t falling out - it’s growing - but after you have a baby that switches. It’s scary, but it’s normal."
If you hate your stretch marks, you're not alone. "I’d say about ninety percent of women have stretch marks," Dr. Jody says, adding that they aren't always easy to treat. She explains that she works with a combination of lasers, including a ProFractional laser. "You’re basically drilling small channels into the skin and it causes injury to the skin. The key point is that it’s only treating a fraction of the skin, so the skin around it remains in tact, so it’s much more comfortable and it heals quicker."
For scars resulting from a C-section, Dr. Elie first recommends the three m's: massaging, moisturizing and mashing. "Massaging the scar - mechanical pressure to the scar - will help it heal better," he claims, "and the best way to do that is with some sort of petroleum-based agent, such as Vasaline or Mederma or Aquaphor. Mostly it’s just to prevent it from chaffing. I have patients start this two weeks after they have any kind of scar, I do this three times a day and it's actually a pretty aggressive massage because the objective is to really break up the scar tissue.
"The second step is moisturizing. Scars heal better when they’re moisturized, and you need to do the whole belly after having a baby." Dr. Elie says that there many inexpensive, over-the-counter products you could try, such as Eucerin. The third “m” is mashing - putting pressure on the scar - and Dr. Elie says that Spanx is great for this. "It helps to tighten and press on the scar, which helps it heal and encourage the skin area to tighten down so you don’t have a lot of extra skin afterwards."
So the second line of treatment are silicone and steroid shots. And steroid shots are more after a scar gets worse and that’s done typically covered by insurance companies and is done by either dermatologist or a plastic surgeon but something you could do this at home with either a silicone sheeting or silicone gel. We don’t even fully know why it works but it defiantly helps scars heal better. You literally put it on the scar. It comes in different sizes and shapes and you can trim it to whatever size you need the area that you want. The more you wear it the better. If you wear it 2 hours a day great, if you wear it 24 hours a day even better. It’s reusable, you but it over the scar, put your clothes over it and it helps flatten out the scar.
I was going to tell you a lot of the changes that we see in pregnancy to the skin do go away. That’s good, but there are some things that are here to stay. A lot of the vascular lesions made up of blood vessels are going to stick around I brought some pictures of them. That there is a cherry angioma, like a cherry red. Its completely safe, benign, harmless, but sometimes it doesn’t look that pretty. That is a spider angioma it has a blood vessel in the middle and blood vessels radiating out like a spider web. And here we have some philangic tasia just some thin blood vessels under the surface of the skin, all of these can be gotten rid of easily with maybe one or two laser treatments.
We are going to use a procedure called Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is the gold standard, you basically use a scledorzent solution that is going to close off the blood vessel and make it fade from view. You no longer see it. I actually make procedure appointments in 15 minute blocks and in 15 minutes I can do both legs. So as soon as I inject it the vein disappears, but as soon as the blood refuses the vein comes back and I usually tell people don’t even look at your legs for the next 2 to 4 weeks because it will be a little bit bruised but in 4-6 weeks, the vessels are gone.
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