Pregnancy stretch marks: Causes, prevention, and removal

Stretch marks are one of the most common side-effects of pregnancy, along with varicose veins, morning sickness, and swollen ankles. Just like these other symptoms, not every woman gets them, but a lot of women do.

So what are stretch marks exactly? What causes them, and what are the stretch marks treatments that are most easily available or effective?

What Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are caused when the skin expands very fast due to rapid growth and weight gain, such as during pregnancy. This causes the dermis, one of the crucial layers of skin that helps the skin retain its shape, to tear and it leads to red, pink, or purple marks that fade in time but never go away completely. After a while, they will become white, silvery marks. They don’t bother anybody, but they do leave a lasting scar on the skin.

Some women really don’t mind having a few stretch marks, they are simply a reminder that you were once pregnant. Everything in life takes its toll on the body. But if you have a lot of them, you might find that it bothers you. Such issues are very much a personal decision.

Tips on Avoiding Stretch Marks

Although you can’t get rid of stretch marks completely, there are some things that you can do to make them a little less pronounced. Here are some ways to prevent stretch marks:

  • Massage a specially formulated stretch mark cream or oil to your abdomen, hips, thighs, and breasts morning and evening from the beginning of pregnancy until after your baby is born.
  • Avoid putting on any extra weight apart from the actual pregnancy. This does not mean starving yourself or getting obsessed, as this could harm the development of your baby. It means exercising appropriately, eating healthily, and avoiding unnecessary junk foods.
  • Eat plenty of foods that are good for the skin. These include foods that are high in vitamins A and C. Such foods include: carrots, citrus fruit, milk, and eggs. Zinc is also very important, so make sure to eat zinc-rich foods, such as nuts, fish, and bananas.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated drinks. If you drink enough, your body stays properly hydrated, keeping your skin soft and supple as well. Caffeine is also known to worsen stretch marks – so either keep off it or balance it with sufficient water and other drinks.
  • Keep your skin moisturised. Good skin care certainly can’t hurt you at any time. But if you are using any kind of medicated moisturiser, discuss it with your doctor to make sure that it could not harm the baby or your pregnancy.
  • Some people will wait till after the baby is born and then try microdermoabrasion stretch marks surgery, laser treatments, or liposuction. But this can be expensive, not too healthy, and really not worth the effort. If your stretch marks bother you to the extent that you would want to do surgery on them, this is an issue that you should discuss extensively with your doctor. You should also find out whether your health insurance would cover stretch marks surgery, which is a cosmetic procedure rather than health care.

Stretch Mark Removal

There is no doubt at all that as we get older and we give birth to children, or even if we don’t, the body will start to look less perfect. Even if you don’t get pregnant, it is still possible to get stretch marks. Some girls even get them during puberty, as their body develops. Other people get them if they put on too much weight.

Before you start driving yourself crazy worrying about surgery or buying expensive creams, ask yourself how much having a few stretch marks really bothers you. After all, they do not pose any form of health risk or hurt you. Most of the time, they are in places that few people see, such as the abdomen, buttocks, or breasts, and once they have faded they are barely perceptible. If you are in a truly meaningful, committed relationship, your partner will love you the way you are, with or without your stretch marks.

Therefore, perhaps the best kind of stretch marks treatment is to work on your body image and your attitude of mind. If you can look upon the stretch marks as a sign that you went through a healthy pregnancy and that they are part of the battle scars of life, you will find that you won’t resent them so much any more. If, whenever you see them, they remind you that you received them when you carried your beloved little baby and that they are a sign of your love and hard work, you might even find that you can wear your stretch marks with pride!

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