Stretch marks are a common annoyance during pregnancy. In fact, it’s estimated that 50 to 90% of pregnant women will develop stretch marks before delivery. While it poses no risk at all, the discomfort created if they lead to itching, not to mention the cosmetic effects of their appearance, can cause distress. Preventing stretch marks might be difficult. However, there are many treatments that can lessen their appearance. Here are our tips for you to help prevent pregnancy stretch marks.
What causes pregnancy stretch marks
Stretch marks are tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it’s pulled tight to the limit during pregnancy. The cause of pregnancy stretch marks (or striae gravidarum) comes down to 2 common factors which are extreme skin growth and shrinkage. Whether it’s why you have stretch marks or not, it still has a lot to do with genetics than other reasons. Although they’re very common in pregnancy, anyone can develop stretch marks in any phase of life.
How to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Here are some useful tips and advice for you to prevent stretch marks from happening:
Control your Weight
One of the most helpful things you can do to prevent stretch marks is to maintain a healthy weight. Stretch marks have a higher chance to happen when your skin pulls apart quickly due to rapid weight gain. Also, you might notice stretch marks after a rapid weight loss. On top of that, some people even develop stretch marks during growth spurts, such as during puberty. Trying to control your body from changing too quickly may be your best bet. A healthy diet and probable exercise can help you manage your weight easier. Work with your healthcare provider to find a diet and exercise plan that will help you avoid gaining too much while also giving you the nutrition you need to nourish yourself and your baby. And, if you do notice rapid weight gain or weight loss, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor to find out why.
Drinking enough water will keep your skin hydrated and soft. Soft has less chance to develop stretch marks than dry skin. The Institute of Medicine’s current recommendations for daily water intake is 104 ounces for men and 72 ounces for women. In addition, drinking caffeinated beverages, like coffee, may actually increase your risk of developing stretch marks. Make sure you’re balancing out your fluid intake with plenty of water and other fluids. Drinking sufficient water is essential in order to help strengthen and renew your skin.
Treat New Stretch Marks ASAP
If you can’t totally prevent stretch marks on your skin, try to minimize their appearance so they aren’t as noticeable in the long run. Schedule an appointment with your doctor or a dermatologist to discuss your fresh stretch marks. They can help figure out what is causing it and suggest treatment options that work best for your body. Also, your doctor might suggest laser therapy because of its advantage. This treatment can help stimulate collagen or elastin in your skin. There are various types of laser therapy, and your doctor can help you choose the kind that is right for you.
The appearance of your skin may improve after applying retinoids, especially if your stretch marks are new. The cream helps rebuild the collagen in your skin and makes the marks fade away after a period of time. Moreover, glycolic acid creams and chemical peels are other options for treating stretch marks. Remember to talk with your doctor about this treatment if you are pregnant first.
Stretch marks can occur if you are lacking nutrition. Eating foods that boost skin health may help. Make sure your diet includes foods rich in vitamins, zinc, and protein. One way to make sure you’re getting a variety of nutrients is to choose unprocessed foods in various colors. For example, a breakfast of eggs, whole-wheat toast, and mixed berries add many colors to your plate while packing in a variety of nutrients. On top of that, vitamin C is an important nutrient for the development of collagen, which can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Collagen and elastin fibers in the skin are necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. The stronger your skins are, the less likely they are to break and leave resulting stretch marks! Also, vitamins B2 and B3 are said to help promote and maintain healthy skin.
In addition to boosting your energy, having regular exercise can help prevent stretch marks too. It helps you improve circulation, which keeps your skin elastic and able to stretch better as it grows. This improved circulation also reduces the possibility of varicose veins and swollen ankles in pregnancy.
Keeping Skin Supple
Products like bio-oil that are specifically formulated to maximize the skin’s elasticity. By applying oil twice daily from the first trimester throughout pregnancy, your skin will remain well-hydrated and better able to stretch.
Remember there’s always another option. Embrace them! After all, stretch marks tend to show up in places most people don’t see unless you spend a lot of your time in a bikini! So, if you do develop stretch marks during pregnancy, try to relax because no matter what they will eventually fade away over time. These tips and treatments only prevent or boost the healing process.