Anatomy of a Stretch Mark
When your body grows faster than your skin’s pace, it causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of your skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. Similarly, during pregnancy your hormones can soften the fibres of your skin, making it more prone to stretch marks. The occurrence of stretch marks may be different for everyone. For some the first sign may be some itching. Mostly stretch marks develop in nine out of ten pregnancies, usually in the sixth or seventh month. These pinkish streaks occur due to the pressure of rapid weight gain. You have the best chance of reducing the appearance of stretch marks when they’re new. Once scars fade to white, they’re extremely difficult to treat.
Can I prevent them
You can’t always prevent stretch marks occurring, especially during pregnancy. Stretch marks affect about 8 out of 10 pregnant women. Chances of having stretch marks is more when your weight gain is more than the average. Though there are no official guidelines for how much weight you should gain, the most important thing is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, which will help to keep your weight gain to a safe and healthy level for you and your baby.
On an average, most women put on between 10kg (22lb) and 12.5kg (28lb) during their pregnancy. This totally depends on various factors and varies from one to another. A steady weight gain during your pregnancy can help reduce the effect of stretch marks. Stretch marks can be stressful sometimes and might affect your confidence. But even if you’re concerned about stretch marks, don’t try to lose weight while you’re pregnant. This is not healthy for you or your baby.
How to get rid of them
If you have them, cheers! you’re in good company. Almost about 90% of women will get them sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. Genetics also plays an important role. If your mother or have a family line who had stretch marks, then you’re also more likely to have them too.
How to treat Stretch marks
The Internet is filled with lots of facts and treatment on how to deal with stretch marks and how to prevent them. Most commonly suggested ones are lotions, creams and oils. In fact, there are few websites which advertise that they can vanish the stretch marks with their cream and oils. Sadly, there are a lot of people who fall for this and end up wasting their money or having an allergic reaction.
Read more to know few of the treatment options available to deal with stretch marks, although there isn’t much evidence that they work.
You could try:
- using makeup – concealers work the best. You have a variety of choices and can choose according to your skin color!
- using creams, gels or lotions. As said, it’s highly unlikely they can prevent stretch marks or make them fade away completely. However, you can try applying dermatologist recommended ones to keep your skin hydrated when your stretch marks are still red or purple. Massaging the skin may also help.
- Laser therapy. While it can’t get rid of stretch marks completely, laser removal may help make striae smoother, thereby reducing their appearance. The number of sessions you will need depends on the severity of your stretch marks and the type of laser being used. But a good average is 4 treatments with a couple of weeks in between each treatment.
Patience is the key. Your stretch marks won’t probably disappear completely in a day or two. But then, they would gradually fade from a pink or purplish colour to white and become much less noticeable.
Unexpected places to spot your stretch marks - If you haven’t noticed them yet!
The inside of your upper arm, closest to your breasts and underarm is a location that you might find stretch marks in. You may have noticed these in puberty or if not, they may show up in your pregnancy.
Majority of them are hard to see and when they are brand new, they may be most noticeable. However, it is very easy to cover them up with sleeves and dresses.
It’s a no brainer and not a surprise to find stretch marks at your hips. As your pelvis fills with the baby and you gain a bit of weight, you may notice some faint stretch marks beginning on your hips. Having stretch marks on the sides is not something to worry too much about, these often tend to be lighter
You don’t get to see and you realize only when others notice the appearance of stretch marks there and point them out to you.
They tend to be low, just below where your waist would be. Sometimes you will only notice them when you run your hand on the backside of your love handle.
Under Pubic Hair
I know that most of you are now searching for a mirror to find this one out! When you’re pregnant, you can’t see this tiny mound of flesh. In fact, most moms notice only if they have been shaved for a c-section.
Though stretch marks can stretch from any surprise location to any and needless to say, these are easy to cover up!
Lighter complexion women tend to develop pinkish stretch marks and darker-skinned women tend to get stretch marks that are lighter than their skin tone.