It is estimated that more than a half of pregnant women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. They are predominantly localized on the belly and occur due to rapid stretching of the skin of the abdomen which may not be elastic enough and defend itself properly. Apart from the abdomen stretch makes during pregnancy also affect other parts of the body such as the buttocks, hips, breast and thighs. Stretch marks look like bands on the surface of the skin and their color changes. Initially the are purple to pink and after a certain period of time the color gets even with the rest of the skin.
Prevention of Stretch Marks during Pregnancy
Many pregnant women try to prevent stretch marks by using different creams and lotions available on the market. Many manufacturers claim that their product is especially good for protection against stretch marks. Some of the products actually may prevent stretch marks. They usually help moisturizing the skin and increase its elasticity. However, not all the products against stretch marks are efficient and not all women can prevent stretch marks form developing.
Beside using creams and lotions a pregnant woman can prevent excessive stretch mark formation by maintaining optimal weight and gaining only the recommended amount of weigh. Excessive weight gain increases the risk of stretch marks since the skin rapidly stretches and has no chance to adapt to sudden changes. Most doctors recommends weight gain of approximately 25-34 pounds while many women gain even more. This is why they commonly develop stretch marks.
Treatment for Stretch Marks Associated with Pregnancy
Initially stretch marks are quite visible and may be a cause of disturbance particularly if they are large or affect large portions of the skin. However, after a certain period of time stretch marks may start resemble the rest of the skin and usually become less obvious. Still, many women are eager to use the magical cure that will provide them with complete elimination of these unsightly skin changes.
The best thing to do is to consult a well-experienced dermatologist who will recommend the most convenient treatment. They can prescribe topical creams such as tretinoin cream. This cream can reduce stretch marks and make them less visible. This particular cream can only be used after pregnancy and never during pregnancy because it can cause serious birth defects. Furthermore, the doctor will chose the most suitable topical cream depending on whether the woman is breastfeeding or not. Apart from creams there are several more methods that can be partially effective in stretch mark removal. They include laser treatment and plastic surgery. There is no particular surgical procedure for stretch marks but in women who undergo tummy tuck since the doctor removes portions of the abdomen he/she also removes the stretch marks present in that particular area.