Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Most pregnant women fear of getting stretch marks and indeed between 75 and 90 % of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. This normally occurs because as pregnancy advances, the abdomen gradually stretches further and further. When the skin is stretched over a short period of time tiny tears appear in the supporting layers of skin. Apart from the abdomen, stretch marks may appear on any other areas that expand during pregnancy. These areas include the upper thighs, buttocks, hips, breasts and even upper arms if a woman gains too much weight or is susceptible to developing stretch marks.
Stretch marks develop because of changes in the elastic supportive tissue underneath the skin and can have pink, brown or purple color. Since some women get and some don’t get stretch marks during pregnancy, it is believed that genetics here play significant role. A woman is more susceptible to developing stretch marks if her mother had got them during pregnancy. Some scientists suggest that stretch marks develop because some women produce more of the hormone corticosteroid which decreases the amount of collagen in the skin.
Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
There are some things that women can do to prevent or limit developing of stretch marks during pregnancy.
You should have healthy balanced diet to avoid gaining more weight than it is recommended, which is 25 to 35 pounds. The quicker you gain weight the worse stretch marks can become. If you gradually gain weight your skin will be able to handle it. You must drink lots of water as well to keep your skin hydrated. The more water you drink the more elastic your skin will be. Also, take vitamins to maintain healthy skin.
Massage your skin every day using a massage glove or body brush to improve circulation and growth of new tissue. This way you can prevent developing of stretch marks but you should also massage the areas that already have stretch marks.
Moisturizers and Creams
Start using creams and oils that are marketed for preventing stretch marks at the beginning of pregnancy. They will keep your skin flexible and elastic since they are designed to promote collagen production and support the dermis. If you keep your skin soft and flexible it will less likely form stretch marks. There are various natural products you can use such as Aloe vera, cocoa butter and lanolin.
Finally, stretch marks can fade in time and become less noticeable. You can use natural product to minimize them or if you are really bothered by stretch marks you can always turn to plastic surgery.