An Overview Of Stretch Marks In Pregnancy
Stretch marks in pregnancy are predominantly seen over the abdomen and breasts or any distended organ. It affects around 50 to 90% of pregnant women, and it usually appears after pregnancy. There are certain factors or causes regarding this occurrence. Don’t despair however, since there are certain ways by which you may avoid them. Find out as you read along this article.
Causes of Stretch Marks in Pregnancy
There are certain factors that trigger stretch marks during pregnancy and these include:
- Family History
If your genes are affected by the stretch marks problem, you are most likely to have it when you get pregnant. But, it is not always the case especially if you know how to take care of yourself when you are in the family way. If you acquire stretch marks during your initial pregnancy, it is most likely that you will have it again the next time you get pregnant. The worst thing is that it will become worse if you will not take any necessary precautions to avoid it.
This is another factor that will cause stretch marks and the worst part is that it may become severe and you will find it difficult to reduce.
- Multiple Pregnancies
The number of times you get pregnant speaks on the occurrence of stretch marks. This is because your skin is stretched every now and then affecting the collagen and elastin production.
- Dehydrated and Unhealthy Skin
It is very important that you should keep your skin healthy and well-hydrated so that stretch marks can be prevented.
How To Avoid Stretch Marks In Pregnancy
First and foremost, you have the influence over your stretch marks problem. However, it is usually not sufficient to totally control them. There are some precautionary measures though that you can adopt to prevent and reduce its appearance.
- Maintain a well-hydrated skin. Make sure that you keep your skin well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water or juices.
- Moisturize your belly. Practice massaging your stomach with an ample amount of moisturizer regularly as well as other parts of your body that may be prone to stretch marks.
- Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Consuming properly prepared food with all the necessary nutrients needed is helpful in achieving healthy skin.
- Avoid gaining weight too much. Obesity is one factor that contributes to the stretch marks problem. If you do not want to acquire stretch marks make sure that you regulate your weight.
In some cases, stretch marks may disappear as expected after delivery. The marks may change to a silvery shade and usually is not very obvious. But if you will become pregnant again, the lines will start to show up and its shade may turn darker. However, there is a possibility that you will not acquire new stretch marks if you maintain your weight and your skin’s health.
Ways Stretch Mark Creams Bring Your Bikini Body Back after Pregnancy
Pregnancy really does a number on the human body. And, many times women going into the wonderful process are concerned about whether they will ever be able to recover the beautiful body they once had. This entry will explore three side effects of pregnancy that can leave lasting marks on the body unless you use a treatment, such as stretch mark creams, to fix them.
Stretch Mark Cream Removes Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a form of scarring that has an off-colour hue. In dermatology, they are known as striate. They are created by tearing of the dermis. Without treatment, stretch marks may improve, but they will not disappear completely. Stretch marks are common in pregnancy since they are caused by the rapid stretching of the skin when one quickly gains weight or grows.
Using stretch mark creams throughout pregnancy can help to make sure you do not experience stretch marks, or at the very least, they will disappear soon after pregnancy. The severity of one’s stretch marks depends on a variety of factors, including genetics. The less severe cases and those that are treated earlier on get cleared up more quickly.
Cellulite Can Be Tackled by Stretch Mark Creams Too
Though it is known by a variety of names, cellulite is the most common name for the modularity and skin dimpling commonly found in the lower limbs, abdomen, and pelvic regions of most adult females. It is caused by the herniation of subcutaneous fat found within fibrous connective tissue. In addition to making appearances during pregnancy, cellulite is caused by a variety of things:
- The extracellular matrix
- Genetic factors
- Connective tissue structure alterations
- Subtle inflammatory alterations
- The microcirculatory system
- Hormonal factors
- Sex-specific dimorphic skin architecture
- Dieting too much and too hard
Doctors say there are no 100 percent sure shot treatments for avoiding or curing cellulite, but there are some treatments that have shown some promise. Stretch mark creams has been shown to improve the elasticity of the skin, which makes it harder for the telltale skin dimpling to occur. Also, those who already have cellulite were able to reduce their severity through regular use of stretch mark cream.
C-sections, occurs when vaginal delivery is not possible for a mother. It may take multiple incisions in the mother’s uterus and abdomen to remove one or more babies. C-sections account for nearly a third of all births. The incisions from these leave unsightly scars that make it embarrassing for mother to show off their body post pregnancy.
Stretch mark creams have been shown to have some success with removing these scars or at least reducing their unsightliness. As soon as the wound has healed and you have received the okay from your doctor, you can start using the cream three times a day applied liberally to the scarred area. It will likely take over three months before you notice much of a change, but a little over a year later, the scar will be unnoticeable. Of course, results may vary based on a variety of factors, including skin tone and genetics.
You do not need to resign yourself to avoiding wearing bikinis post pregnancy. As the above demonstrates, stretch mark creams are able to clear up blemishes on your otherwise beautiful body caused by the wear and tear of pregnancy. Topical creams have a lot more success the earlier you start using them, so it is not too soon to start rejuvenating your skin.
Sure-fire Methods to Stop Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
What are stretch marks? Pregnancy brings a new level of experience to an eager mother. Physical changes tag along with emotional changes in the course of pregnancy. Emotional changes do not merely affect the mother-to-be but also the people close to her.
Cravings, irritation, constant mood swings are some of the emotional changes. These changes are brought about by the hormonal changes in the course of pregnancy. But nearly all eager mothers cannot avoid out the materialization of unattractive stretch marks. This is a real problem to deal with. According to studies, 70-90% of pregnant mothers develop stretch marks.
Approximately Ninety Percent Americans have it.
Stretch marks begin as pinkish, scarlet, tanned, purple lines in parallel at the bulging belly, commonly happening in the course of the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. And later on disappear gradually as silvery or sallow lines. But these lines are not local at the belly. They could also appear in the arms, breasts, thighs and buttocks that equally expand during pregnancy.
They are caused by changes in the elastic supportive tissue in the deeper layer of the skin. Skin is truly elastic, yet the unexpected stretch with weight addition that comes with pregnancy can oftentimes be above the skin deal with consequently the materialization of lines. Stretch marks are not painful but they are occasionally prickly or itchy.
According to Alexa Boer Kimball, a dermatology professor from Harvard University, one might be more likely to develop stretch marks if:
1. Expecting mother gains a lot of weight
2. Expecting mother has compound pregnancy
3. Expecting mother carrying a big child
4. Expecting mother has extra amniotic fluids
How To Prevent Stretch Marks?
It is now an identified truth that stretch marks do not really go away. It can simply be treated until it is less noticeable. So what can be done to prevent stretch marks? Quite a lot of studies done in the past have contrasting ideas regarding stretch marks.
On the other hand, what was determined is genetics is a determinant element if one predisposes stretch marks or not. It means that if the mother had stretch marks before, the possibility of her daughter having stretch marks in the course of her pregnancy is high. Fortunately there are things that can be done to improve an eager mother’s general wellbeing and condition of their skin, virtually preventing stretch marks: * Eat healthy, diverse but proportioned diet. This will discourage too much weight gain. The recommended weight gain for pregnant women is 25-30 pounds only. Let ones skin stretch at a constant rate without any unexpected jolts to prevent scarlet marks. This way, it is not only helpful to the mother and her skin but more importantly to the developing baby as well.
- Use a bath scrub to rub down the areas where stretch marks more likely to come out, such as arms, breasts, thighs, and buttocks. This will build up the circulation to the area thus reducing the odds of stretch marks appearance.
- Increase liquid consumption (water, fresh juice). Hydration is critical to the general health of the skin, as well as to the developing baby.
- Have vitamins daily. Correct nutrition is need not just for the developing baby but to skin.
- Keep the skin substantially moisturized. One helpful method of doing this is to generously spread cream and moisturizers. This should begin even before pregnancy until after giving birth until the mother’s initial weight has returned.
These moisturizers (containing Shea butter and olive oil), will keep the skin supple and elastic, thus preventing overstretching of the skin. These moisturizers provide more vitamins and nutrients that help grace collagen production that is highly critical to the skin throughout this stage. They also support the dermis to keep the skin undamaged despite severe stretching.
Use Stretch Mark Cream for a More Enjoyable Pregnancy
Pregnancy is incredibly harsh on your skin. With the average 25 to 35 extra pounds of weight you put on and all of the stress and hormonal changes, it is hard to keep your skin appearing youthful and fresh. Luckily, there are products on the market specifically designed to help expectant mothers through these trying times. Chief among those is stretch mark cream. In this entry, we will discuss how stretch mark cream can help with
- Itchiness and burning
- Uneven skin tone
- Dehydrated skin
- Aging skin
- Stretch marks (of course!)
Benefits During Pregnancy
As you have probably guessed from the list above, stretch mark cream is not just for stretch marks. The moisturizing properties and the ability for it to make the skin more elastic allow these topical creams to treat a variety of skin conditions.
Around the start of the second trimester, your tummy really starts to expand, and your pregnancy really begins to “show.” With your growing belly comes an itchiness or possibly burning sensation. This is due to your skin stretching further than it is used to. In some women, it can be quite painful or irritating causing you to lose sleep. This is not good for you or your baby.
Luckily, stretch mark cream is able to sooth the skin and help ease the pain associated with increased girth. Plus, you can use these topical creams on other areas of the body that may increase in size, such as the breasts.
With the frequent trips to the bathroom and a little bundle of love using all of your fluids, it is easy for your skin to get dehydrated during pregnancy. Stretch mark cream can also serve as a moisturizer. By using it up to three times daily, you can assure your skin will keep a healthy glow, and you will avoid cracked skin.
Another benefit of rubbing your belly with a soothing cream is that it has a massaging effect. As your womb expands, it can be painful. Any slight movement may cause you to howl in pain. Where you once had abs, you will now have a stretched out mass. Massaging the area with stretch mark creams will help calm the area and loosen up tight muscles.
As the name suggests, stretch mark cream is great for stretch marks. The earlier you use it in your pregnancy, the less likely you will be to have long lasting stretch marks on your body. In some instances, you may not get stretch marks at all. You should begin using the cream early on because newer, redder stretch marks go away more quickly than older, greyish white ones.
Benefits Beyond Pregnancy
There are many positive side effects to using stretch mark creams. They help with general skin health. If you have scars from past mishaps or surgeries or if you have delivered via Caesarean section, a topical stretch mark cream can dull the appearance of the scar. Just apply it as you would to stretch marks. Similarly, if you have uneven skin tones on your body, using a good cream will help even it out and get you back to bikini body shape in no time.
Finally, stretch mark cream is helpful is fighting off the skin’s natural aging process. Since it has strong moisturizing and elasticity properties, it is ideal for keeping your skin youthful for many years to come.
As you can see, stretch mark cream has a vast array of positive uses. And, it is less expensive than alternatives that involve trips to professionals.
Stretch Mark Creams Safe During Pregnancy?
Many moms wonder why they should need to worry about the safety of a product applied externally during pregnancy. While your skin effectively acts as a barrier, keeping a lot of harmful things out of your system, it is also able to absorb things. Some of the topical ingredients found in stretch mark creams, oils and lotions can be absorbed by the skin and enter into the bloodstream. Once in your body, they can potentially harm your baby. You therefore need to be very careful of which stretch mark creams you choose to apply.
There are a few ingredients to definitely avoid as they are not safe to use during pregnancy and have been shown to cause birth defects. Topping the list are products containing Retin-A and other topical retinoids. Tretinoin which is a prescription retinoid is particularly dangerous. It has been characterized by the FDA as a teratogen and has been shown to cause malformations in babies. However, having said this, most stretch mark products containing these retinoids are only found in prescription creams, so the chances of you using one by accident is not great.
Any doctor worth his salt will not prescribe such treatments to you while you are pregnant, but in case it is not obvious, you should always advise any doctor you see during your pregnancy of your condition. Retinyl Palmitate is a form of Vitamin A which should also be avoided as far as possible while pregnant. While we get Vitamin A from our foods and admittedly would require quite high doses of Vitamin A to cause birth defects, it is still contraindicated in pregnancy. As you have no way to accurately measure how much you are absorbing, the Vitamin A from food combined with that found in creams could possibly be enough to cause a problem.
I am sure every mom would rather take her chances with stretch marks and have a healthy baby than the alternative. This goes for face creams as well – retinyl palmitate is regularly found in skin care products – cease and desist using those brands while pregnant – rather safe than sorry!
Beware of products containing ingredients such as parabens, fragrances and petroleum derived ingredients. When you are shopping for your creams always employ the motto “if in doubt, leave it out!” It’s just not worth taking the chance. A good rule of thumb is to go totally green during the 9 months of your pregnancy and to avoid anything artificial. It is a really short time to make the sacrifice and the end result is totally worth it.
However, it should be mentioned that just because something is labelled organic, does not mean it is automatically safe. Ironically, a few published medical studies have revealed that some organic skin care products have also been linked to birth defects. Avoid products containing Aloe Vera, rosemary, caffeine, glycolic acid and salicylic acid.
Stick to natural oils like olive oil, safflower oil, almond oil and avocado oil for a worry free experience. While these oils are all rich in Vitamin E and do wonders for hydrating and moisturizing your skin, you should never apply pure Vitamin E directly onto your skin as it can cause contact dermatitis.
You are growing a precious new life inside of you and the motherly protection that you will offer him/her begins long before the child enters the world. Taking care of your baby while he/she is still in the womb ensures that you give your baby the best possible start in life.
While most over the counter stretch mark creams are safe to use during pregnancy, I would not be a responsible author if I did not end off here with the following cautionary note. Before you use/eat/take anything that you are not 200% sure is safe, consult your gynaecologist. That is why he is there and that’s why he earns the big bucks. Never feel embarrassed to ask questions no matter how small and trivial – this is your baby’s health, the most important thing in the world!