Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Stretch marks will develop in almost 90% of all pregnant women. Find out about why stretch marks occur during pregnancy and how they can be avoided and got rid of.
What Causes Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
There are a wide variety of factors that can cause stretch marks to appear during pregnancy however the most common cause is due to the rapid and significant weight gain during pregnancy as well as the change in the body size of the expecting mother.
During pregnancy, the inner layer of skin, known as the dermis, is stretched rapidly in a short period of time, it causes small tears in the dermal layer of the skin, which appear in the form of stretch marks.
Stretch marks during pregnancy most often appear initially as reddish or violet, jagged lines along the skin. Over time, these scars turn to a whitish color, although they retain a noticeable texture. In pregnant women, stretch marks is most often seen and occur on the belly, breasts and buttocks.
How To Avoid or Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
Stretch marks during pregnancy can be very difficult to avoid entirely, although a variety of methods and remedies have been found which can prevent and minimize their impact. Even with treatment during their pregnancy, there will still be women who will still develop stretch marks, particularly as they enter the third trimester of their pregnancy.
Some of the methods and remedies include:
- Boosting your dietary intake of foods rich in vitamin K, zinc and antioxidants, such as tomatoes, leafy vegetables, dairy products and nuts to help improve skin condition and reduce the incidence of stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Making time for some gentle exercise designed to increases blood circulation to the skin. Excerise also increase muscle tone which is good for preventing the dermis layer of the skin being over-stretched.
- On a daily basis, drink plenty of water which help hydrates the skin to prevent dryness that may lead to the formation of stretch marks.
- Applying cocoa butter, aloe vera gel, shea butter to the belly, breasts, thighs and buttocks during pregnancy to prevent the development of stretch marks
How Can Stretch Marks Be Hidden or Minimized During Pregnancy?
While it may seem obvious, wearing clothing that covers parts of the body most afflicted by stretch marks is the most effective way to hide stretch marks during pregnancy.
However, for events when it is necessary for afflicted parts of skin to be visible, body makeup, such as foundation or concealer, can work effectively. Alternatively, some women have had luck with tanning treatments, such as sprays and creams.
Note, however, that actual tanning beds are a poor solution, as the skin around stretch marks will grow much darker than the stretch marks themselves.
Treatment Options for Stretch Mark Removal After Pregnancy
The following are some additional treatment options for stretch marks for women after the end of their pregnancy.
- The most effective, and perhaps the most popular of these treatments, is laser stretch mark removal. Laser treatments tend to be most effective on stretch marks that have recently formed, making them an ideal treatment for women after their pregnancy.
- Another option for women to remove stretch marks acquired during their pregnancy is microdermabrasion, a process that involves exfoliation of the skin. Exfoliation removes the old, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and stimulate collagen production to promote the rejuvenation of new skin cells, thus reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
- Prescription retinoids, which are anti-aging creams, have also been shown to be a highly effective means of removing stretch marks.
- Finally, a tummy tuck is an option for those women that were inflicted by significant severe stretch marks as a result of their pregnancy. A tummy tuck involves lifting a piece of the stomach onto itself, which stretches the skin across the entire stomach around itself, causing it to appear tighter and the stretch marks to disappear.
Unfortunately, these options are generally all recommended for women after their pregnancy is over. This is because stretch marks, even were they removed during the course of a pregnancy, are fairly likely to return as a result of further stretching.
As with all medical procedures, whether cosmetic or not, it is best to consult with a medical professional before engaging in any method to remove stretch marks during pregnancy.