Stretch Marks – Treatment and Prevention During Pregnancy

Stretch marks occur because the collagen and elastin that bind your skin are stressed during weight gain, resulting in tears in your skin’s elastic fibers.

Causes

The glucocorticoid hormones responsible for the development of stretch marks affect the epidermis by preventing the fibroblasts from forming collagen and elastin fibers, necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. This creates a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched and leads to dermal and epidermal tearing. If the epidermis and the dermis has been penetrated, laser will not remove the stretch marks.

Stretch marks occur when expanding skin is stretched to its limit and tiny tears appear in the supporting layers of skin. Common in pregnancy, stretch marks affect 50-90% of pregnant women. Eat a healthy, diverse and balanced diet that keeps your weight gain within the recommended range of 25 to 35 pounds. Stretch mark prevention will save you the trouble of getting rid of stretch marks once they’ve occurred. Drink plenty of water. Hydration is important for your overall health and well-being as well as that of your growing baby, and it is critical to healthy skin. The most common treatment is laser surgery for stretch marks. Take your vitamins.

Lotions and Creams

There are plenty over-the-counter treatments for stretch marks. If you are a woman who is pregnant and you are concerned with stretch marks, let your physician know you want to begin preventative treatment before your stomach starts growing. Often, your physician can recommend creams.

Factors that influence whether or not a pregnant woman will get stretch marks include:

— Heredity: if your mother had them, it is likely you will too.

— Ethnicity: women with greater amounts of melanin in their skin are less prone.

— Water: ingested during pregnancy, keeping skin hydrated decreases the chance a woman will get stretch marks.

Stretch Marks & Pregnancy Treatment Tips

1. Using lasers to remove stretch marks works because it repairs the skin’s natural synthesis of collagen.

2. Collagen is a protein rich compound occurring in the body that repairs and rejuvenates skin tissue.

3. Drink plenty of water, as this will keep your skin hydrated and make the collagen supple and soft. This will help minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Regular massage during pregnancy also helps in minimizing these marks.

4. A surgical procedure for removing lower abdominal stretch marks is the tummy tuck, which removes the skin below the navel where stretch marks frequently occur.

Stretch Mark Prevention

Most women believe that they can prevent stretch marks by using creams and lotions. There are many formulations on the market today that claim to help prevent stretch marks. Some of these may help moisturize your skin and reduce itching. They may help reduce some stretch marks however there are no scientific studies that support this.