Stretch marks or “striae” occur when our skin changes shape quickly, especially from weight gain or unexpected growth like a pregnancy.
These are not negative signs of health, but women may feel self-conscious and let down seeing them wrap around their bodies. Although both men and women can get stretch marks, pregnancy is notoriously responsible.
You will notice the first signs of stretch marks when there is a thin purple or red line on your skin.
This can be different textures across your skin layer. Most of them will fade to appear lighter or translucent, or they can look shiny.
If you are worried about pregnancy stretch marks, here are some helpful tips to avoid them.
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Tips to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Take Your Vitamins
One of the best ways to avoid these marks during pregnancy is to get Vitamin A through dietary sources.
Once your pregnancy is over you can apply a Vitamin A cream or gel.
This is also called retinoid, which will make your skin look younger and smoother.
You can easily buy Vitamin A over the counter at your local pharmacy in the form of cosmetic creams. Alternatively, it can also be ingested orally using supplements or adding some sweet potatoes and carrots to your daily diet.
But a quick warning: Do not apply forms of retinol during pregnancy. These can be harmful to your unborn fetus.
It’s best to get plenty of Vitamin A through diet and then move on to supplements and creams after the baby is born.
Vitamin E is a fast-acting antioxidant popularly known to combat aging and will maximum skin regeneration benefits.
If you combine vitamin E with essential oils like lavender or olive oil for hydration, you will notice those scars and stretch marks disappear gradually.
Prenatal vitamins will also help support your skin, as well as you and the baby as you grow.
Eating tons of vitamin C-rich foods like citrus, strawberries, and peppers are also helpful to promote tissue and collagen production that will strengthen your skin.
Use Natural Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a sensational remedy that can be a quick stretch mark cure. Pure aloe vera acts as a natural healing agent to make your skin look and feel softer and is readily available in most shops.
The best time to apply some aloe vera from plants to your stretch marks is right after having a shower. Make sure to do this daily to see a significant difference in no time.
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Get Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid can be absorbed by consuming an extract or tablet to stimulate collagen production.
Collagen is the protein in your skin that maintains its health and shape.
Besides giving your skin its structure, collagen is also found in cartilage, joints, organs, blood vessels, connective tissue, nails, and hair.
Supplementing collagen is most essential during pregnancy and after delivery to boost rapid recovery, and you can also experience minimal loose skin.
Many women also suffer from postpartum hair loss, which comes as a shock months after the baby is born.
Upping your collagen levels can encourage the growth of strong and healthy hair.
It also strengthens your ligaments and joints to help your body carry your baby without sore backs and necks because it helps with muscle soreness.
Why Pregnancy Causes Stretch Marks?
Even though genetics is typically the strongest predictor of who gets stretch marks, pregnant women are more likely to get them.
This happens because you gain weight quickly as the baby grows, which alters your skin’s elasticity.
Without proper treatment and care, you may end up with prominent stretch marks that never go away even after birth.
There are lasers that can help with this if it does happen. You can contact your local Aesthetics spa or plastic surgeon for more help if needed.
Treating Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
From the moment your pregnancy test is positive, you should start moisturizing your skin immediately in the areas where the scars are most likely to develop.
During your first trimester, you should enthusiastically be moisturizing your lower break, breasts, hips, and belly.
This is where stretch marks occur when fibers under your skin’s surface split from the pressure of quick weight gain.
Continually monitor your weight to prevent packing on the extra pounds too fast. The usual weight gain during pregnancy should be 25 to 35 pounds to keep your skin from overstretching.
You will notice the most stretch marks on your stomach towards the end of your second trimester when you are up to 7 months pregnant.
Most women experience red, brown, purple, or pink streaks across their belly, thighs, hips, butt, and/or breasts during this time.
This is when you will also put on more weight, making you even more prone to this proud badge of pregnancy.
Ensure that you moisturize and get plenty of exercises daily with a balanced diet to prevent rapid weight gain.
Because the faster you put on weight, the more your skin stretches.
Coping With Persistent Stretch Marks
Some stretch marks may remain for a long time because your skin is continuing to change throughout the 9 months. If these stretch marks refuse to go away and bother you to no end, you can apply some darker-toned makeup to the affected areas.
However, this is a temporary fix to reduce visibility and will not prevent the scars.
Although there are clinical treatments like laser therapy, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and micro-needling, these should be avoided until after the baby is born.
There are prescription tretinoin or retinol creams that effectively rebuild the collagen in the skin to treat stretch marks. This is the Vitamin A cream we were talking about above.
Consult your doctor before taking any to ensure these are safe if you choose to breastfeed post-pregnancy.
In the end……
Good diet and skincare will go a long way in helping to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
But sometimes it’s unavoidable. If that’s the case for you there are professional treatments that can make a huge difference in their depth and color.
We wish you all the luck in the world!
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