Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Striae Gravidarum, or stretch marks, are every pregnant woman's major concern. These marks are common in the third trimester of pregnancy. Some women begin having them as soon as their bellies begin to grow. They are visible as reddish or violet lines on the belly skin. They develop into white scars with a visible texture over time. 

What Causes Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

The first factor is excess weight gain, which causes rapid skin stretch during pregnancy. The second factor is the increase in hormonal changes during pregnancy, which relaxes the bonds between collagen fibers. These marks are most commonly found on the abdomen, breasts, and buttocks.

Who gets it?

  • Family history (Your mother or sister)
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Multiple Pregnancy (Twins, triplets, etc.)
  • Dry skin

How to prevent Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks cannot be prevented or removed, but they can be minimized in appearance. To reduce stretch marks, use the following methods:

  • Increase your weight gradually. The skin will stretch without leaving significant scars.
  • Protein and Vitamin C, as well as foods high in vitamin K, zinc, and antioxidants such as tomatoes, leafy vegetables, dairy products, and nuts, aid in the maintenance of healthy skin.
  • Apply moisturizer to your skin every day to keep it hydrated. Apply a moisturizing lotion containing cocoa butter to increase the elasticity of your skin.
  • Get some exercise! Gentle exercise promotes blood circulation in the skin.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Can I remove stretch marks after pregnancy?

Several treatment options are being used to remove stretch marks after pregnancy, such as:

  • Laser Stretch Mark removal is the ideal postpartum treatment for women.
  • "Microdermabrasion" is also another therapeutic option. Microdermabrasion works by removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface and stimulating new skin growth. This works well on older stretches.
  • If you are not breastfeeding, your dermatologist may prescribe Tretinoin cream (also known as Retin-A) either alone or in combination with other creams. It helps rebuild the skin collagen making the stretch marks fade.
  • Finally, if you have severe stretch marks, a plastic surgery known as Tummy Tuck is an option. It entails lifting a portion of the stomach onto itself, which stretches the skin across the entire stomach around itself, making it appear tighter and the stretch marks fade away.

In all cases, you should consult your doctor before attempting any of the methods listed above. Stretch marks will reappear as a result of stretching during a second pregnancy. It is preferable to minimize their effects during pregnancy rather than treat them after the fact.