Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Striae Gravidarum or stretch marks are the biggest challenge of every pregnant woman. These marks appear often during the last trimester of pregnancy. Some women start having them as soon as their bellies start growing. They appear as reddish or violet lines along the belly skin. Over time they become as white scars with a visible texture.

What Causes Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

The first factor is related to the excess of gained weight which causes a rapid skin stretch during pregnancy. The second factor involves the levels of hormones in pregnancy which relaxes the bonds between collagen fibers. These marks mainly occur on the abdomen, breasts and buttocks.

Who gets it?

- Family history (Your mom or Sister)

- Rapid weight gain

- Multiple Pregnancy (Twins, triplets,..)

- Dehydrated skin

How to prevent Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks cannot be stopped and you can’t make them disappear, but you can minimize their appearance. Follow the below methods to minimize your stretch marks:

- Gain your weight gradually. The skin will stretch without making severe scars.

- Protein and Vitamin C help to maintain healthy skin as well as food rich in vitamin K, zinc and antioxidants such as tomatoes, leafy vegetables, dairy products and nuts.

- Use moisturizer every day to keep your skin moisten. Apply a highly moisturizer lotion with cocoa butter that increases the elasticity of your skin.

- Exercise! Gentle exercise helps to increase blood circulation in the skin.

- Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin

Can I remove stretch marks after pregnancy?

After pregnancy, some treatments are used to remove stretch marks as:

- Laser Stretch Mark Removal. It is the ideal treatment for women after delivery.
- Another treatment is the “Microdermabrasion”. Microdermabrasion works by removing dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and stimulates new skin growth. This is effective against older stretch.
- If you are not breastfeeding, your dermatologist may prescribe you a Tretinoin cream (commonly known by the name Retin-A), alone or in combination with other creams.
- Finally, a Tummy Tuck is an option if you have severe stretch marks.  It involves lifting a piece of the stomach onto itself, which stretches the skin across the entire stomach around itself, causing it to appear tighter and the stretch marks to disappear.

In any case, it is necessary to consult your doctor before engaging in any of the above methods. Stretch Marks will fairly reappear during a second pregnancy as a result of stretching. It is better to minimize their effects during pregnancy then to treat them after.