Pregnancy is an amazing experience. This is the most joyful time of every woman’s life. For some women it is quite comfortable period but some find it very challenging. It depends upon the body and circumstances of health and environment but every woman faces great physical, social and emotional changes during this period. Lets discuss about pregnancy stretch marks.
Each pregnancy experience is unique. Tiredness, morning sickness, mild cramping, constipation, heart burn, change in size of breast and growing belly are common discomforts during pregnancy. Pregnant woman also notices long and narrow stripes around stomach, thigh, hips, arms, lower back and breast area due to change in size of area at where it stretches. These marks are more visible after pregnancy and it is difficult to erase the marks completely though it fades with time. Stretch marks never create any health related problems and are painless but it causes some looks, self-image issues and sometimes anxiety.
Why stretch marks appear?
As the skin starts stretching due to pregnancy or obesity, it starts becoming thin and a little pink. This area initially starts getting irritated and itchy. And the wrinkles like stripes of dark pink, red or brown colour appears within days. The colour of marks depends upon the colour of skin of women. Sometimes, the stretch mark does not appear during pregnancy but it do clearly visible when the skin shrink back after delivery. The degree of stretching skin depends on medical conditions, the birth weight of child, family history and diseases if any.
A protein named collagen is responsible for the elasticity of skin. As the body stretches, our body releases collagen to repair the tearing skin. Our skin is made up of three layers. The outer two layers stretches and lasts with marks in deficiency of this protein.
Ways to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Our skin has great ability to repair itself. As the body tears during pregnancy the physical and hormonal changes stretches the skin and the body adopt it through collagen and elastin fibres. But when the stretching is very fast and the body produces new scares and these different coloured scars leave the marks of different colour from original skin. It is difficult to make these marks disappear quickly and completely.
- Effective way to prevent it is treating early.
- Start prevention before they start appearing.
Some doctors advise to take collagen capsules from first trimester to produce more collagen protein.
Some considerable points are:
- Pregnant woman should take a balanced diet including lots of leafy green vegetables, fruits, whole grain, dairy products, lentils, eggs and protein rich chicken, fish and beans.
- Keep your body and skin hydrated properly.
- Use a good moisturizer or oil to massage the affected skin area at least twice a day.
- Avoid using steroids creams for irritated skin.
- Follow proper exercises throughout pregnancy. Exercising tightened the skin, gives body a better shape and toned up the skin.
- Avoid using alcohol and smoking during pregnancy.
- Vitamin D is good for healthy skin and body. But too much exposure to sun can be dangerous for skin collagen.
- Use special manufactured stretch mark prevention cream or stretch mark preventing oil for making skin soft, smooth and itching free.
- It is suggested to use natural and herbal product instead of chemical based products.
Pre and post pregnancy stretch marks treatments
Once the stretch marks are visible, it stays for very long even lifetime and don’t heal by their own. It faded with time and slightly not completely disappears. Some effective ways are:
Using product easily available at home is a very good option because it is cost effective and no side effects. Generally used home remedy is applying almond or coconut oil for making skin soft, smooth and free from dryness. It can’t be said a full cure but most women go through this due to the long time process. Some other oil like Argan oil, bitter orange oil, lavender oil, pomegranate oils are also helpful. Mixture of Vitamin A, aloe Vera, Sugar and coconut oil is also helpful for lightening stretch marks.
Medications prescribed by doctors
Skin doctors or plastic surgeon may prescribe some collagen capsules to reduce marks but it can have side effects. And doctors generally avoid recommending this medication to new mothers.
Stretch mark cream or oil
This is a most common way to prevent stretch marks. It is cost effective, easy to use and safe. It really gives good results if applied exactly according to instruction.
Surgeries and medical process:
Cosmetic procedures are also an option. These processes are expensive and high chances of risk. In this process the outermost layers are repaired by using microcrystal spray. Some common treatments are:
- Laser treatment
- Radio frequency
- Chemical peels.
Removing excess skin from tummy area, thigh and then tighten the remaining skin is called plastic surgery. But before going for this type of surgery, a woman should stable weight, does not smoke, good health and have realistic expectation for surgery.
Unfortunately, No treatment are there to erase these stretch marks fully. Some promising products are available to reduce its appearance.
Although not everyone can afford nor is everyone mentally prepared to take this option but in case the marks turn out to be ugly than ever and no other treatment seems to work than this can very easily be used as the last resort with proper care.
Well, women are very careful about their looks and they wish to look young and pretty throughout their lives. So, why compromise now?
Try these above suggested remedies and challenge the scratch marks right in the beginning. After all, you do not want to give your favourite dress away just because your stretch marks won’t allow you to wear it any longer.
Pregnancy is beautiful and so is the feeling attached to it but you definitely do not want to end it with the bitterness of stretch marks especially when you know that you can fight it very well.