Stretch marks or stretch marks during pregnancy

Stretch marks or stretch marks during pregnancy

One of the changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy is the formation of stretch marks. Although not harmful to the health of mother and baby, stretch marks can cause itching, which is quite uncomfortable. In addition, many people think that stretch marks are a cause of beauty loss and suffer from an inferiority complex.

Causes of stretch marks

A mother gains weight during pregnancy. The amount of this increase may vary from woman to woman. When you gain more weight than normal, your body stretches faster. But your skin may not stretch to keep up with this expansion. As a result, the middle layer of the skin is overstretched and ruptures.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can be another cause of stretch marks. These changes often cause the collagen fibres in your skin to weaken.

Collagen fibres are a component of the skin that maintains the elasticity of the skin, that is, helps the skin return to its original state after it has been stretched to a certain extent.

But this ability is reduced when the collagen fibers are weakened, so when the body begins to expand during pregnancy, these fibers break easily and stretch marks are formed. However, there is still disagreement among experts about this cause.

Apart from this, stretch marks are more likely to appear on pregnant women whose families are common, who are carrying twins, or who have polyhydramnios during pregnancy. In the case of polyhydramnios, excess fluid or amniotic fluid accumulates around the baby in the womb.

Ways of prevention

Stretch marks are not completely preventable. However, by following some simple rules, the chances of getting extra stretch marks or stretch marks on the skin during pregnancy can be reduced. For example,

In this case, the best way is to maintain the flexibility of the skin. The presence of collagen fibres must be ensured to maintain flexibility and strengthen the skin. For this, you should eat more foods rich in collagen. For example: meat, fish, green vegetables, mango, guava, and orange. Fruits rich in vitamin C play a role in the production of collagen in our body.

Dry skin is more prone to cracking. So there is no alternative to using regular moisturisers or lotions to retain the skin’s moisture. Olive oil can be used instead of cream. You can regularly massage lotion or oil on the parts of the body where stretch marks occur due to skin stretching.

Practice drinking enough water. Drinking enough water keeps the skin fresh. A healthy pregnant woman needs to drink an average of 2–3 litres of water per day. In terms of cups or glasses, you should drink a total of 8–12 glasses of water throughout the day. But if the doctor has given any special advice in this regard, then follow it.

Regular exercise improves blood supply to the body, which ensures healthy skin. So make it a habit to exercise regularly during pregnancy.

Another way to prevent stretch marks is to keep your weight under control. But in this case, you can’t try to lose weight by eating less. Instead, follow a healthy diet. Consult a doctor or nutritionist if necessary.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for this problem. You can keep the skin moist by using a good-quality moisturizer on the skin to relieve itching and discomfort. There are many creams and lotions available on the market that claim to cure stretch marks. However, no clinical evidence has been found.

Scars can be lightened with laser therapy, but they are usually not completely normalised.

The spots usually lighten on their own after having a baby but may never go away completely.

If stretch marks do not lighten after having a baby, consult a dermatologist.

Frequently Asked Question

Stretch marks are usually pink or purplish-red streaks. However, those with darker skin may have spots that are lighter in colour than the surrounding skin. Later, the colour changes to pale white or silvery.

Stretch marks usually appear more on the abdomen or breasts. But in addition to this, stretch marks can also appear on the thighs, waist, or hips.

Stretch marks are quite common during pregnancy. At this time, about 90% of pregnant women may experience such changes.

Stretch marks usually appear in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. However, in some cases, stretch marks may begin to appear as soon as the belly increases in size.

Stretch marks do not harm the mother or the baby. Stretch marks are not a sign of illness or disease but a part of the body’s normal changes during pregnancy. So there is nothing to worry about.

Written By Dr. Tanjim Afia
Medical review done by Dr. Samia Afrin

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