How to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Pregnancy Stretch marks
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase that a woman chooses to ride in. Every month is a different experience with several changes happening in the body. A feeling of joy to grab the little one in your arms helps you to pass all ups and downs in the pregnancy.
Many changes, that come in the way of pregnancy are unwanted. One such change is developing unwanted stretch marks at various parts of the body. 9 out of 10 women face stretch mark issues. Stretch marks start revealing as early as 6th or 7th month of pregnancy and become more prominent after delivery.
Why do stretch marks develop during pregnancy?
Stretch marks are characterized as scars that generally develop in the dermis (middle layer) of skin but is visible on the epidermis (top layer) of the skin.
The main culprits for the stretch marks are the sudden weight gain and the hormonal changes that alter the elasticity of the skin.
Collagen and elastin fibres help your skin to stretch and keep it taut. However, high concentration of cortisol accompanied by relaxin and estrogen (pregnancy hormones) hinder the collagen and elastin production, leading to tearing of the dermis.
The scar formation rapids up as the weight gain are sudden and skin stretches too fast to get naturally repaired.
Stretch marks can happen anywhere on the woman’s body such as at abdomen, hips, thighs or breasts.
How to prevent stretch marks during Pregnancy?
Although you cannot completely stop stretch marks from coming, it can be prevented to a large extent. Below is a list of few healthy suggestions which, if followed routinely, can definitely help to minimize the risk of pregnancy stretch marks:
1. Healthy Weight Gain
Sudden or rapid weight gain is the main striker of stretch marks during pregnancy. You would obviously be gaining weight for the growing baby, but this can be planned as a gradual increase through a healthy diet, regular walk and by being physically active. It is certainly possible to keep a check on your weight gain by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
2. Healthy Diet
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep your body toned. Below sources help you to keep the levels of collagen and elastin in line to keep your skin tout.
Omega-3 rich foods
Omega-3 is not only a boon for the skin but it is bliss for your baby’s brain development. Add in your daily diet, a cup of omega-3 rich food and get its enormous benefits. Intake of low mercury-based fishes such as salmon, trout and herring is a rich source of Omega-3.
Rich sources for vegetarians are walnuts, soy seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and algae.
Vit. D rich foods
Vit. D is a must for healthy skin. Vitamin D rich sources include okra, cheese, spinach, kale, soybean, white beans and several fishes (note that fishes should be well cooked and should promise a low mercury content). Soak yourself in the early morning sunlight; a free and rich source of Vit. D.
Vit. C rich foods
Vit. C plays a key role in collagen formation. All citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and many more give you an adequate amount of Vit. C for collagen formation.
Though it is not proven that Zinc minimizes stretch marks, it is an essential nutrient for healthy skin.
Add few zinc-rich foods such as nuts and seeds to keep your skin healthy.
Additionally, one must take rich sources of proteins, Vit. A, E and K for healthy skin throughout pregnancy. Take oatmeal, wheat bread, dairy products, beans and prenatal (multivitamins, folic acid) as your daily intake to grow healthy and reduce the risk of developing stretch marks.
Keep your skin hydrated
Moisturizing the skin after shower helps you to reduce the risk of skin tear and maintain elasticity. We generally use hydrating creams for our face and neck. But be sure to hydrate entire body including abdomen, hips, thighs and arms.
Before using any creams, balm or lotion, make sure that is pregnancy safe, both for baby and the mother.
Exfoliate prone areas
Exfoliating helps you to remove the dead skin and get the best effect of moisturizers or hydrating creams. Exfoliating once a week on all prone areas such as thighs, hips, stomach and chest by baking soda helps to open the skin pores and catalyze the penetration of hydrating lotions. Top it up with hazel after exfoliation to get the best results.
Massaging all prone areas for 10 minutes daily with stretch mark prevention cream helps you to increase blood supply to respective parts of the skin. This will keep your skin healthy, soft and will also aid in the repair process if any stretch marks have developed.
Use stretch mark prevention creams
Using natural origin-based formulations can help you to reduce the risk of getting stretch marks to a great extent. Many such oils and creams are available in the market that is formulated with natural ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, avocado peptides and galactoarabanian to deliver good results and are even proved pregnancy safe.
Stretch marks Treatment
The unfortunate part is stretch marks once developed, cannot be completely removed. What you can do is lessen its prominence. Creams, lotions, oils that are said to work on stretch marks cannot help you to make them disappear; but can make it hazy.
Retinoid or tretinoin cream for Stretch mark
If your stretch marks have just developed and are fresh, this type of cream is known to give the best results. Retinoid cream is a Vit. A cream that is applied topically on all stretch marks and works by building up the collagen levels. This in turn helps in increasing the elasticity of the skin and faints the stretch marks out.
Laser Therapy for Stretch mark
Many kinds of laser therapy are available to help you build the collagen or elastin levels and reduce appearance of stretch marks. Not to mention, consult your doctor to understand which laser therapy works best for you.
Plasma-rich platelet (PRP) injections for Stretch mark
This injection helps to alleviate collagen that tends to increase the elasticity of the skin thereby repairing it.
Microdermabrasion for Stretch mark
A spray of microcrystal that exfoliates your dermis layer to remove the dead skin and aids in repairing the skin.
Chemical peel treatment
Glycolic acid and chemical peeling are one of the expensive techniques to lessen down stretch mark appearances. They can work on existing stretch marks but cannot stop the new ones to develop.
Stretch marks may make you feel a little different, but these are memories of a beautiful phase of your life. So don’t worry even if you have got them. Remember, stretch mark is your baby’s first sketch on the canvas of your body. Cherish this gift forever.
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