Most of the women who are pregnant are worried about their change in appearance. It’s not only about the swollen belly but also about the stretch marks caused by the pregnancy. Many women don’t develop such stretch marks at all, while others notice them appearing at various weeks of their pregnancies. You have less chances of having them in the earlier part of pregnancy and most commonly develop between 36 to 40 weeks.
What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks are produced because of tearing of the deeper layer of skin called dermis where the superficial layer epidermis remains intact. It is a misconception that stretch marks are caused by rapid growth of the fetus only. They are influenced by the hormonal changes as well. It is interesting to know that stretch marks are produced in puberty, weight gain, muscle building and even because of rapid growth of some tumors. Diet and exercises are known to influence the capacity of the skin to withstand the stretching forces.
Symptoms and signs
Stretch marks first appear as reddish-purplish lines. With time the color changes to a lighter one. If you touch these marks, they feel soft. They may be few millimeters to more than half an inch in width. The wider, the uglier. But the good thing is that these stretch marks are not harmful in any way and do not compromise any body function.
How to prevent and treat stretch marks?
Proper diet is the only factor which you can control to prevent stretch marks. Cocoa butter is considered by many an effective agent to prevent and treat them but scientific studies have shown no evidence in favor of cocoa butter. One study found that daily use a cream Trofolastin reduced the incidence of stretch marks during the pregnancy. Another study tested a cream Verum and found that its use was associated with fewer stretch marks.
If you have already developed stretch marks, then the available options are laser treatment, retinoids and tummy tuck where the skin below the navel is removed which usually has the stretch marks.
One of the recent treatments is the ‘magic pill’ Resveratrol which is beneficial in removing the stretch marks. Those who are selling it claim that it causes significant reduction in the stretch marks in a matter of a few weeks but the reality may be far from this marketing hype. We should wait and watch if more reliable studies are done to find out the truth.
So don’t lose heart as there are plenty of options available to get rid of your stretch marks. But I would recommend proper diet and exercise during and after pregnancy to minimize those ugly stretch marks to keep your skin smooth and beautiful as ever.
By 586300 from Pixabay