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Pregnancy Stretch Marks: Overview, Causes, Treatments & Prevention

All About Pregnancy Stretch Marks

What Are Stretch Marks?

Being a parent is any couple’s biggest milestone. There no greater joy to women that being a mother and the same is true to the man as well. Parenting is a long journey that starts with the woman getting pregnant for 9 months post which the baby is delivered. The journey is both painful as well as rewarding for a woman but there are some unwanted effects on the body during the entire procedure as well. One of them is Stretch marks.

Stretch marks are the stripes or uneven lines that usually occur during pregnancy on belly and breasts when they grow in size faster than the skin natural elasticity. Hence due to this stress, some of the elasticity of skin breaks causing the formation of whitish, pinkish or purple lines.

In this blog, we are going to understand what exactly are these stretch marks, its causes, treatments as well as prevention tips.


Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Stretch marks are not something that just appears and stays there. There is a lifecycle to stretch marks as well. At first, the stretch marks appear pinkish in color and it itches. The skin immediately around stretch marks may look flattened and thin.

Gradually, the stretch marks become large in length as well as width and the pinkish color will become reddish or purple color.


Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

As a pregnant woman delivers a baby, the skin that was stretching for 9 months suddenly is left flat and it needs to contract by itself. During this period the stretch marks mature and shed its reddish or purple color and start turning into white.

They also start to appear slightly depressed and irregular in shape or length. During this time the stretch marks become almost permanent and it’s very difficult to get rid of it.


What Causes Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are those non-linear lines that appear as your belly slowly starts growing to accommodate the baby inside. The size of the belly grows unnaturally big and that’s what makes the skin tear and cause stretch marks.

The causes of stretch frankly depend largely on your genetics. If your mother sailed through the pregnancy without any traces of stretch marks and beautiful skin, then chances are you too would not get it. The same is true if your mother did have those lines. Also generally pregnant ladies gain weight during pregnancy but if you do not do pregnancy-specific workouts like walking and other activities and start consuming a lot of food, then the size of bellies snowballs into even bigger size causing considerable stretch marks on belly, thighs or breasts.


Medical Treatments For Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Although some people accept the scars of stretch marks as their own and move on, for some people, it is difficult to let go and they want their previous skin back. Stretch marks are not completely removable but some medical treatments can reduce its visibility and make them almost non-visible.

Here are mentioned some medical treatments for pregnancy stretch marks:

  • Retinoid Cream

Retinoid cream is derived from vitamin A. When it is applied on the skin helps rebuild collagen because of which the stretch marks slowly start fading away and thus you can achieve a more natural-looking skin

  • Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a technique in which the upper skin of the stretch mark area is removed using a rotating instrument. Due to this the area where dermabrasion is done will appear red for a while. The removal of upper skin promotes the growth of new skin which would be substantially better matched in the color of the rest of the skin thereby reducing the white/pink lines of stretch marks.


What Parts Of Your Body Can Get Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Stretch marks generally occur at those body parts that increase in size during pregnancy period. Due to this sudden increase is size the skin finds it difficult to stretch at the same speed and hence give way to these stretch marks.

The belly is the most common body part where stretch marks appear followed by inner thighs, hips, and breasts


Prevention Tips for Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Although the probability of a pregnant woman getting stretch marks is as high as 90%, there are still ways in which you can prevent or at least reduce it to a large extent.

Here are a few prevention tips for pregnancy stretch marks, these tips work as per the pregnancy stage and should be followed accordingly:


1. First Trimester

This is the stage when you got the news about the pregnancy. In the following months, the belly and breast area will start to grow hence the first step to follow in this period is to apply moisturizer in the lower belly and breast section which have the highest probability of stretch marks. The moisturizer helps maintain the skin’s elasticity and reduce the probability of stretch marks in the coming months.


2. Second Trimester

In spite of all your honest efforts, if you still start seeing red lines, don’t worry. This is the initial stage and these marks can be treated effectively. With the advice of a dermatologist, start using stretch reducing cream and slowly and steadily you will see a reduction in marks.


3. Third Trimester

After you give birth, the skin is at its softest and this is when the stretch marks start appearing prominently if they contract naturally. So it is advised to start applying body firming gel which will help the skin return back to its normal state with minimal stretch marks.


Home Remedies For Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Although it is advisable to consult a dermatologist in order to get faster results when it comes to stretch marks, having said that there are some home remedies that can help reduce stretch marks and have great skin.

Here are a few home remedies to reduce pregnancy stretch marks:

1. Egg White Peel

Egg white is a rich source of protein, potassium, riboflavin, and magnesium. Applying egg white on the stretch marks for 15 minutes and then washing It off can give firmness to the skin and reduce the marks

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is again a great source of cooling and is generally used for sunburn. But the same can be used for stretch marks wherein you should apply it twice a day for 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

3. Honey Scrub

Honey has a natural antiseptic property and can help reduce stretch marks. But for that, the honey should be pure and unfiltered. A cloth dipped in honey should placed on the stretch mark area and should be kept until the honey dries. Subsequently, it should be washed off with lukewarm water

 4. Sugar Scrub

Sugar is a great way to scrub the skin to remove the dead skin. All you have to do is take almond oil along with lemon juice and put sugar in it. Scrub it before going to the shower. This should be done for a minimum of one month

 5. Lemon Juice

As lemon is acidic in nature it helps in lightening the pigmentation. Apply the juice on the stretch mark area and leave it for 15 minutes and later rinse it by lukewarm water.


Pregnancy Stretch Mark Cream

One of the ways you can work on your skin and stretch marks is by using stretch marks on a regular basis. This applies even during pregnancy if you start seeing those ugly lines. Most women see stretch during their final months and stretch mark creams can help if the marks are red which means its at an early stage.


When To Visit A Doctor About Pregnancy Stretch Mark

Although we tend to take advice from the internet and go medicine shopping whenever there are any skin issues, it actually tends to be ineffective and expensive as well, so the right way to do is the moment you feel the first signs of stretch marks like inflammation or itching, you should visit a dermatologist. The sooner you tend to stretch marks, the better is the chances of getting rid of it.

So pregnancy stretch marks are very common and if proper care is taken then there will be very less visible stretch marks and no stretch marks at all. Also if you see any signs of stretch marks, you should consult the dermatologist immediately.

If you are pregnant women or have just undergone pregnancy and dealing with stretch marks, Skin City Clinic can help you get rid of it. Our state of the art clinic has all the latest technologies like laser therapy, dermabrasion etc.

So what are you waiting for? Call us now at 098902 25577 or fill-up the form here so that our experts can call you back.

About The Author

Skin Specialist in Pune

Dr Niteen Dhepe is a Board Certified Dermatologist and has developed himself as a pioneer in field of Cosmetic Dermatology and Lasers in India. He is the biggest entrepreneur in contemporary dermatology world of India.

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