stretch marks
Pregnancy Care

What are stretch marks and why do they appear in pregnancy?

Most pregnant women have stretch marks on their skin . It is very small lesions are unsightly, and are due to increased volume experienced by all women during pregnancy, coupled with a lack of elasticity in the skin. Following our advice, you can reduce and even prevent its occurrence and if you already have them , notes the most appropriate treatment to eliminate them .

What are stretch marks?

the stretch marks

Stretch marks are lines or grooves that appear on the skin when it is subjected to sudden changes in volume. Therefore, they are frequent in pregnancies , although they also occur when a person quickly fattens or modifies the volume of muscle mass (as in the case of bodybuilders).

At the beginning, the stretch marks have a red or pinkish hue and, with time, they become narrower and appear whitish or pearly. They are usually between one and three centimeters long, and between one and five millimeters wide. Stretch marks do not cause pain or discomfort.

Why do stretch marks appear during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the skin stretches with the increase in volume that the body experiences. As a result, the collagen and elastic fibers of the dermis rupture causing the appearance of fibrosis in the form of a small scar: the strain.

The hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy also favor the appearance of stretch marks. The production of collagen is altered and, therefore, in women stretch marks appear in stages so conditioned by hormones such as puberty , pregnancy and menopause .

Also, another factor to take into account is the own nature and the type of skin, as well as the genetic predisposition of each person. Dry and clear skins are more prone to stretch marks, since the dermis fissures more easily if it is poorly hydrated. The areas where the stretch marks are present are: the chest, the belly, the thighs and the hips.

Skin care during pregnancy

top stretch marks

When the woman is pregnant, the heart has to pump more blood, because it has to allow an additional amount to reach the uterus . This fact causes an increase in blood volume and blood flow. That is why it is said that many pregnant women look better than ever, because the skin on their face looks rosier and healthier.

A general advice for skin care during pregnancy is that, if there are no problems or changes in the epidermis, it is advisable to follow more than ever the same healthy habits that are customary for this area, such as daily cleansing or hydration and nutrition in the case of the driest skins.

Likewise, during the nine months of gestation, the use of a peel containing acids such as glycerol and anti-aging creams containing retinal should be avoided , as this component can directly affect the fetus.

However, there are some problems or changes that affect the skin of pregnant women that should be monitored and controlled, such as acne, chilies or stretch marks. It is also quite common the appearance of the ‘lineal Alba’ which is also popularly known as ‘black line of pregnancy’. We tell you why they occur and how to palliate their effects to keep you beautiful and so that their effects leave the smallest possible mark on your body once your baby has arrived in the world.

How to prevent stretch marks

To prevent the appearance of stretch marks it is necessary to moisturize the skin well with the help of moisturizers. It is also recommended to use anti-stretch marks and apply vitamin E oil once a week, especially during adolescence and pregnancy.

Regular exercise and moderate sports (swimming and tennis) can be very beneficial. Maintaining a correct diet from childhood is very important: in the diet should not miss fruits and vegetables and other foods rich in protein (meat, fish, eggs and dairy) and vitamins A, C and E. It is recommended to drink eight glasses of water every day.

Massages help to increase blood flow and showers with hot and cold water help to maintain firm skin and activate circulation. Both are very helpful in preventing stretch marks.

Those people who want to lose weight should go to a doctor or nutritionist to indicate the appropriate diet for them. You should not lose weight very fast and it is always recommended to combine diet with physical exercise to strengthen muscles.

Types of stretch marks

stretch marks

A strain passes through two phases: the red phase and the white phase. When the striae appear they appear red because the skin is inflamed but once the skin has finished widening, the tension disappears and the strain takes on a whitish tone. Mature striae are pearly white sinuous lines, a shade much lighter than the surrounding skin, flat or slightly depressed compared to healthy skin.

How to treat stretch marks

Stretch marks are more of an aesthetic problem than a medical one. In the market there are many creams and cosmetic products that claim to eliminate stretch marks but most are inefficient and often quite expensive. In fact, currently there is no product that completely eliminates stretch marks but some creams, gels and oils (coconut, avocado, lavender, tangerine, olive or olive) help to disguise them. These products should be applied in the affected areas by a circular massage.

It is important to know that stretch marks can not be completely removed without the help of a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. These specialists can use any of the many types of treatments available ─from actual surgery to techniques such as microelectronics and laser─ to reduce the visibility of stretch marks. However, these techniques are often expensive and its use during adolescence is not recommended because it has not yet finished growing. In addition, some striae just fade with the passage of time.

You should avoid tanning since the stretch marks do not pigment and are even more noticeable. Before a pregnancy it would be prudent to undergo a preventive treatment, whose purpose would be to maintain the elasticity of the skin: massages, hydro massages or other methods that help to maintain the elasticity and hydration of the skin.

Techniques such as abrasion with aluminum micro crystal’s or laser therapies help to erase stretch marks. The first consists of a deep exfoliation of the affected tissues that forces the skin to regenerate and as a consequence, the stretch marks disappear. In laser therapy, the laser beam penetrates the epidermis, generating heat in the deep layers of the skin and increasing elasticity, although it does not repair the rupture of the tissue.

The medical journal Journal of the American Medical Association recalls that there are treatments based on substances such as alpha-hydroxides and retinol (vitamin A) but some of those found on the market do not have enough concentration to achieve the desired objective.

How to remove stretch marks caused by pregnancy

One of the most frequent beauty rituals during pregnancy is to moisturize the skin to prevent the appearance of stretch marks.

Hydration should not be neglected in the postpartum either to reduce the stretch marks that have appeared or to prevent the formation of new stretch marks in the process of returning the skin to its previous state.

However, a well-hydrated skin depends as much on the diet as on the creams or products applied to the skin. For this reason, after pregnancy, it is recommended to eat antioxidant foods that help the body to produce collagen after pregnancy. It is also necessary to drink water regularly but not exceeding two liters per day.

Foods rich in vitamins C, A and E help prevent the formation of stretch marks. Vitamin C is present in oranges, kiwis, red peppers and strawberries. Carrots, spinach, tomatoes and dairy products are high in vitamin A and vitamin E is provided by foods such as avocado, wheat germ oil and olives.

On the contrary, it is advisable to avoid canned foods or food preparations with a high salt content because they dry the epidermis and favor fluid retention.

The body massages They help fight stretch marks. Very gentle circular massages accompanied by creams and vegetable oils should be done twice a day. The most beneficial oils are: argon oil, sweet almond oil and avocado oil, as well as rose hip oil, gout kola and jojoba, previously diluted. In addition, the oil of sesame seeds, like aloe Vera gel , has healing effects thanks to its high content of vitamin K, so it can be especially useful to treat both the striae of the belly and the scar of childbirth by cesarean section.

Prevent stretch marks in pregnancy

discover stretch marks

Most pregnant women end this stage with some new stretch marks on their skin. These microorganism of the skin are produced by the lack of elasticity and prevention is the best alternative. With a little perseverance and dedication, not one will appear.

The striations  are one of the cosmetic problems that most concern to pregnant women and, unfortunately, make their appearance on the skin of most pregnant women, to a greater or lesser degree, since very few lucky ones who end pregnancy without some new streaks on the skin. In this stage full of bodily changes it is inevitable that some affect your skin. This stretches a lot and it is easy to make small breaks due to the lack of elasticity and in the end there are stretch marks on the chest, in the gut or on the hips.

The key is prevention and the sooner you start, the better. You have to keep your skin well hydrated throughout pregnancy so it is essential to apply a moisturizer or an oil indicated for pregnant at least twice a day, although it is advisable to always carry a small bottle to apply at the time when you begin to notice the tyrant skin or that it begins to itch.

The artistes creams  are of great help since they count on substances that favor the formation of elastic fibers and of collagen and have repairing assets. The gout kola or the rose hip are components that help the skin to be more elastic. Essential oils are also great allies during pregnancy, since they have high proportions of elements that favor elasticity and, therefore, help the body to prepare for the future growth of the belly and for the inevitable weight gain.

Finally, the grooves are small sink marks that appear most frequently in the abdomen, at the end of pregnancy , when the skin of the abdomen expands quickly to accommodate the baby. Some women also have stretch marks on their buttocks, thighs, hips and breasts. Stretch marks come out because of changes in the elasticity of the tissue just below the skin. At first they can be pink, reddish brown, purple or dark brown, depending on the color of the skin. Over time they fade, although they never disappear completely.

 

 

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