During pregnancy, the mother will have to face many problems, due to changes in the body along with the development of the baby. In particular, stretch marks is a problem that can be said to be most frequently encountered. About 90% of pregnant women experience stretch marks during pregnancy. So knowing about this problem will help you limit and overcome this problem. Let’s join us to learn about stretch marks during pregnancy.
1. General information about stretch marks
Stretch marks are a type of scar on the skin when our skin tightens or contracts quickly. The sudden change causes collagen and elastin, the skin’s supporting ingredients, to break down. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
Not everyone will get stretch marks. Fluctuating hormone levels seem to play a role. You may also be at higher risk if people in your family experience stretch marks. The times when stretch marks are more likely to appear are:
- Growth during puberty.
- Lose weight quickly.
- Rapid weight gain due to weight training.
In a normal pregnancy, you gain about 11.3-16kg for a normal weight pregnant woman. A rapid growth in size can cause some areas of the body to stretch. The two most common stretch marks are in the abdomen and chest, the two most developed areas during pregnancy. Stretch marks can also appear on the thighs, buttocks and upper arms.
When stretch marks first appear, they tend to be red, purple, pink, reddish brown, or dark brown, depending on the color of your skin. Early stretch marks may feel slightly raised and may be itchy. Over time, the color fades and stretch marks sink under your skin. If you run your fingers over a mature stretch, you usually feel a relief.
2. Who is prone to stretch marks during pregnancy
About 90% of women will experience stretch marks after the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, according to the American Dermatology Association. If your mother has stretch marks, then you’re more likely to get them too, as genetics plays a role in stretch marks.
If you have a lighter skin , you will tend to develop pink stretch marks. Women with darker skin tend to have lighter stretch marks than their skin tone.
3. You can prevent stretch marks or not
3.1 Lifestyle modifications to help prevent stretch marks
You can prevent stretch marks during pregnancy first and foremost from lifestyle adjustments.
Control your weight
One of the most helpful things you can do to prevent stretch marks, whether you are pregnant or not, is to maintain a healthy weight. Stretch marks can happen when your skin is stretched excessively due to rapid weight gain. You may also experience stretch marks after rapid weight loss. So controlling the body changes that happen too quickly may be your best option. Eat a healthy diet and exercise to help you control your weight.
It can be said, the best way for pregnant women to prevent stretch marks is to gain weight slowly and steadily. You can talk to your doctor to find a reasonable diet and exercise. That helps you manage your weight and provides you with the nutrients you need.
Get enough water for the body
Drinking enough water can help keep your skin hydrated and soft. Soft skin does not tend to develop stretch marks as much as dry skin. The Institute of Medicine’s current recommendations for daily water intake are 3 liters for men and 2 liters for women.
Drinking caffeinated beverages, like coffee, can actually increase your risk of developing stretch marks. If you drink coffee, make sure you balance your fluid intake with plenty of water, herbal teas and other caffeinated fluids.
Eat a nutritious diet
A healthy skin-boosting diet can help. Make sure your diet includes foods rich in:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
One way to ensure you can get plenty of nutrients is to choose unprocessed foods that come in a variety of colors. For example, a breakfast of eggs, whole-grain toast, and mixed berries. Meals add more color to your plate and contain a wide variety of nutrients.
Get enough vitamin C in your diet
Collagen plays a role in keeping your skin strong and elastic. Hence, it is also important in preventing stretch marks.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for collagen development. So getting enough vitamin C for the body is quite important. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, are exceptionally good sources of vitamin C.
3.2 Topical Medications
According to the American Society of Dermatology, the answer to the effectiveness of topical medications to prevent stretch marks is not yet clear.
Researchers have found that many remedies that are thought to prevent stretch marks don’t actually work. In studies, no almond oil products, cocoa butter, olive oil, or vitamin E prevented stretch marks.
However, a number of other ingredients can be effective. Researchers have found that products containing centella or hyaluronic acid can help prevent stretch marks. Centella is an herb. Centella asiatica herbal oil helps promote the cells in your body to make collagen and build skin tissue. Some people use it to help with wound healing. Centella asiatica is one of a number of over-the-counter topical creams for stretch marks. They have been studied to be effective in the prevention of stretch marks. However, there is little evidence that it can fade stretch marks.
4. How to remove pregnancy stretch marks
Like any type of scar, stretch marks are permanent, no treatment can completely remove them. However, treatment can make them duller and may also help relieve itching. It is important to understand that no single treatment will work for everyone. Lots of products don’t seem to work at all.
Researchers have studied many treatments for stretch marks.
4.1 Stretch marks, solutions and gels
Researchers have studied a variety of creams, solutions, and gels sold to treat stretch marks. Although there is no one product that can be effective during pregnancy. And some don’t seem to work. Researchers have discovered a number of helpful tips.
If you want to try one of these creams, lotions, or gels to fade stretch marks, be sure to:
Use the product on premature stretch marks. How soon you start your treatment is just as important as how much you treat. Treatment appears to be less effective for mature stretch marks.
Massage the product into your stretch marks. Taking the time to massage the product gently onto the skin may increase the effectiveness.
Apply the product every day for several weeks. For you to see results, it will take several weeks.
4.2 Home remedies
In studies, popular home remedies were ineffective. Researchers found that no stretch marks fade when people rub almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil or vitamin E into their stretch marks.
While sun exposure can make stretch marks more conspicuous, self-browning can camouflage stretch marks – both early and mature. However, the stretch still exists.
4.4 Prescription drugs can be applied to your skin
In studies, two ingredients appear to aid treatment:
In large studies, applying hyaluronic acid to early stretch marks resulted in lighter stretch marks.
Tretinoin is a retinoid, which can also make premature stretch marks fade away. In one study, people who used this prescription cream every night for 24 weeks were effective at fading stretch marks. Others who did not use topical creams have seen their initial stretch marks develop. Other studies have found similar results. Retinol, another retinoid, can also help fade premature stretch marks.
However, retinoids should not be used by women during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
4.5 The therapies that dermatologists perform to treat stretch marks :
Dermatologists use the following therapies to make stretch marks less noticeable, but none of these have been able to remove them:
- Chemical peels
- Laser therapy
- Super abrasive skin (Microdermabrasion)
- Using radio frequency (RF)
To give you the best results, your doctor can combine the methods together. For example, your doctor may treat you with RF and laser. With all treatments, side effects are possible. But with the Physician’s knowledge and experience, side effects are often rare or transient. The most common may be redness and swelling after the procedure. The redness and swelling tend to go away within hours or days. Your doctor can advise you which treatment is best for you. Based on health assessment, age and how long you have stretch marks.
Thus, stretch marks during pregnancy have a relatively high rate of occurrence during pregnancy. However, pregnant mothers can still prevent it through weight regulation, lifestyle and some topical drugs. And when you have stretch marks during pregnancy, don’t worry there are many treatments available today that can help. Contact a medical professional for the most relevant advice .