How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy | NextMamas.
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases in a woman’s life. However, this phase brings a lot of changes in the mental and physical health of a woman. Stretch marks is one of the annoying changes that every pregnant woman experience and wants to get rid of. This article tells you about stretch marks, the reason of their formation, how they form, where they form, and safe ways to prevent them during pregnancy.
What is exactly a stretch mark?
Stretch marks appear as convex-shaped streaks in the skin that appears red, silver, and purple in color. Some of the places on the body where these marks appear are the stomach, chest, hips, bottom, and thighs. Stretch marks are commonly seen in pregnancy.
How do stretch marks form?
Stretch marks are small-sized scars that lie in the middle skin layer “dermis”, and are seen in the topmost layer of the skin “epidermis”. They are generally seen in pregnant women due to fast gain in weight, the efficacy of the fibroblasts, reduction in activity, and changes in pregnancy hormones like cortisol and estrogen. This causes reduced collagen and elastin in the skin which prevents it to become stretched.
Elastin fibers and collagen in the skin provide a powerful ability for your skin to stretch. If the stretch happens too quickly or spreads too far, then it can even lead to the tearing of the skin. This causes the body to instantly begin to work to heal the scar.
Ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
Control body weight
The first and foremost solution to prevent getting a stretch mark on the skin is to maintain a healthy weight. Stretch marks are generally seen after drastic loss of weight from the body. Pregnant women, mostly develop these marks around their abdomen region. Eating the right diet, and performing pregnancy-friendly exercise will help in weight management.
Pregnancy is the time when women are seen to gain weight. Eating the right diet helps in the prevention of stretch marks. Though weight gain is inevitable as you carry the weight of the baby, you can work your way to keep it within healthy limits. Some of the things that you need to follow are to keep sugar, junk foods, and salt to a minimum. Talk to your doctor to devise a healthy diet plan that keeps your weight within safe limits.
Staying properly hydrated keeps your skin soft and moist. Such type of skin is less prone to develop stretch marks than dry skin. Intake of healthy beverages like herbal tea, coconut water, etc. and reduce caffeine-rich drinks as it increases the chance of stretch marks.
Eat nutritious diet
Lack of nutrition can also be a sign of the occurrence of stretch marks. Ensure that you include skin-boosting foods that promote skin health. Ensure your diet comprise foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and protein.
These vitamins promote collagen production that keeps skin elastic and strong. It lowers the development of wrinkles and prevents stretch marks on the skin. The inclusion of lemons and oranges are essential sources of vitamin C. Zinc helps reduce inflammation and heals skin. Nuts, and fish, are good sources of zinc that keep skin healthy.
Apply oils and creams to prevent stretch marks
The application of specially-formulated creams, oils, and moisturizers designed for stretch marks makes your skin supple, and free from it during pregnancy.
Go for natural products that are made with avocado peptides, shea butter, beeswax, and pomegranate. It improves the elasticity of the skin and provides it with an amazing ability to bear the stretch mark. A massage with this cream on the skin enhances blood circulation in the skin. This keeps it soft, silky, and smooth.
Get some vitamin D
Stretch marks can be formed in a person who is deficient in vitamin D. Getting exposed to the sun for some time during the day helps to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. This will help in the prevention of stretch marks.
Laser therapy also aims at lowering stretch marks. It aids in stimulating elastin or collagen in the skin. There are several kinds of laser therapy treatments available. It is advised that you consult your doctor about its safety before you perform this treatment.
Retinoid cream is meant for topical medication on the skin. This cream is enriched with vitamin A. It boosts the production of collagen in the skin and helps in keeping it free from stretch marks.
Author: Dr. Iram Gill
Dr. Iram Gill is an MBBS doctor by profession and a Content Writer by passion. She is a mother as well and has observed the health-related challenges faced by mothers and babies. She wants to play her part in increasing access and support for breastfeeding and maternal health problems.