Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
The stretch marks by themselves do not bear any harm to health, but it is a cosmetic defect, which does not make a woman happy. So, what is to be done? How to prevent stretch marks appearing during pregnancy and after it? With weight and belly increasing, the expectant mother may have stretch marks (they are also called striae). They are formed in those “problem” areas, where the skin stretches the most – in the abdomen, chest, buttocks and thighs.
The mechanism of the stretch marks appearance is simple: the skin is stretched and burst, and the body tries to eliminate the damaged via the connective tissue – this way the bars appears that are similar to the scars. This newly formed connective tissue is initially pink and sometimes purple, as it is full of capillaries. Over time, the stretch marks fade, capillaries die, tissue ages and loses its elasticity. Due to the fact that there is no pigment in this connective tissue, the stretch marks do not respond to the sun; that is they remain white on the tanned body.
Stretch Marks: Causes
There are many factors that contribute to the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy.
- It is no secret that the ratio of hormones in the expectant mothers body is changing, in particular, estrogen and progesterone levels increase. Due to the constant hormonal changes, the skin's sensitivity to various influences increases.
- The production of substances, responsible for the skin's ability to stretch – that are elastin and collagen – reduces during the pregnancy.
- The skin does not have time to respond to these changes, if the growth and the tension occurs particularly quickly and drastically.
- No matter how elastic the skin is, its ability to stretch is limited, which means that in the areas of particularly high tension the fibers break is inevitable.
- We must mention one more cause of stretch marks: the genetic predisposition.
Stretch Marks: How to Prevent and Get Rid of Them
Following the certain rules, you can prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
- The diet should be balanced, and weight should be normal. It is to take care of it even before the pregnancy itself. During the pregnancy, it is better to try not to gain a lot of weight rapidly.
- Increase the protein level in your food. The protein is the main “building blocks” of the skin, responsible for its renewal and elasticity.
- Rest is also important for the process of skin regeneration. Get enough sleep (both night and day), this way you get the better complexion, and provide the restoration of necessary substances stocks in organs and tissues, which in turn will reduce the risk of stretch marks developing.
- To prevent the stretch marks on the chest, you will need a bra that supports the breasts well, has a wide base under the cups, wide straps and adjustable fastener.
- Wearing a brace during pregnancy and after childbirth is also a good way of preventing stretch marks.
- Use special cosmetic products for stretch marks. Such creams, gels and balms contain ingredients, moisturizing the skin and stimulating collagen production. Preferably, use the products, containing essential oils of rosewood, lemon, mint and vegetable oils of wheat germ and nuts – all these components are struggling with sagging skin. And biosaccharides, soybeans, carrots proteins, tiger grass extract prevent the skin tension, reduce existing stretch marks and moisturize the skin.
- In addition to creams and gels, there are special oils for stretch marks. For example, almond, wheat germ, hazelnut oil, and others.
- The ideal option is to use all the mentioned cosmetic products during the massage. It is important to do this regularly. The massage can be carried out with hands or with rough canvas glove or cloth. Make circular motions for 10-15 minutes.
- Taking the contrast shower is also a great way to improve skin elasticity. But during this procedure what matters the most is your comfort.