Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
In this article:
- What are stretch marks?
- What do they look like? And where do they generally appear?
- What causes stretch marks?
- How can you prevent stretch marks?
- Is there any way to get rid of them or reduce their appearance?
- Do stretch marks change in appearance over time?
Research shows that approximately 90% of women will get stretch marks during or after pregnancy, but luckily there are some techniques to prevent them and minimize their appearance. If you’re a new mom (or a not so new mom!) you may have questions about these little battle wounds. Wonder no more; today’s post will tell you everything you need to know about stretch marks.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks occur as the skin rapidly grows to accommodate the fetus (and extra fat stores) during pregnancy. Essentially, they’re tiny tears in the skin. And these tiny tears end up forming scars.
What do they look like? And where do they generally appear?
Stretch marks can present themselves in a wide variety of ways. They can be anywhere from deep purple in color to white and they can feel rigid or smooth to the touch. However, they're usually consistent in terms of location. They’re most often found on the tummy, breasts, hips, and thighs.
What causes stretch marks?
The number one cause of stretch marks is genetics. Generally, if your mother had stretch marks, you have a higher likelihood of also getting them. But there are other factors that contribute such as hormone levels and skin care routine.
How can you prevent stretch marks?
- Stay hydrated.
- Keep your skin moisturized. Some good options include: pure organic aloe or lotions with high water content to hydrate skin followed by oils to lock in that moisture.
- Consume probiotics. This will contribute to a thriving eco-system on your skin and it’s also beneficial to your baby when you have skin-to-skin time.
Is there any way to get rid of them or reduce their appearance?
After pregnancy, the majority of stretch marks will go away within 6 to 12 months. You should remember that they’re tiny tears, so the same kinds of things that you do for scar treatment, you can do for stretch marks. One idea is self-massage to bring blood flow to the area. Just give your skin some love! There are more intense products that accelerate skin turn over (such as vitamin A), but they can’t be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Laser surgery is a more extreme option, but it’s the same basic idea: get rid of old skin cells and cause new ones to grow. However, laser surgery generally requires multiple treatments and the cost can be hundreds or thousands of dollars, so it may not be realistic for many women.
Do stretch marks change in appearance over time?
Yes, the appearance of stretch marks can change pretty dramatically within short periods of time. You can go from having deep purple stretch marks to faded white stretch marks in just a few months. It all depends on your body’s ability to recover.