One of the most common fears among pregnant women is the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy. Pregnancy suggests a series of physical and biological changes that affect the entire female body, including the skin, an organ that can stretch up to 10 centimeters during the nine months. Against this background, women must keep the epidermis hydrated to prevent its elastic fibers from breaking and giving rise to furrows.
Although stretch marks, once they appear, are tough to erase, we can prevent their formation. In this FastlyHealarticle, you can learn tips to avoid stretch marks in pregnancy and receive your baby free of defects.
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Why do stretch marks appear in pregnancy?
Stretch marks are a consequence of the breaking of fibers lacking in elasticity during the stretching of the skin. The appearance of these furrows can be caused by development during adolescence, weight gain, pregnancy, and any other physiological change that tests the skin’s flexibility. People who have a family history of stretch marks are at higher risk of developing these scars, as are those who suffer from hormonal disorders, have dry skin, use steroid creams, or have short muscle mass gain.
Stretch marks are a widespread consequence of pregnancy because the gestation process implies that the woman gains at least 10 kilos in total, not counting the abdominal growth that will depend not only on being overweight but on the weight and size of the baby and the amount of amniotic fluid. In conclusion, all these changes force the skin to stretch to the maximum to continue to protect the body adequately. If it is not elastic enough, it will break the fibers of its superficial layers during stretching.
When the fibers break, the injury that we know as stretch marks occurs in the most superficial layers of the skin. The abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks, and arms are the body areas where these marks most often appear. When the groove is new, the pattern looks like a thin red line; as time goes by and the layers of the skin heals, the scar turns white. Therefore, if you want to eliminate stretch marks, it is advisable to do it during its initial phase.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is impossible to make a stretch mark disappear completely once it appears; however, we can prevent its formation by using actions that allow us to keep the skin as hydrated and elastic as possible. Here are some tips to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy.
Control your weight during pregnancy
Pregnancy and being overweight are two of the main factors that trigger the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. During pregnancy, it is normal for women to gain weight; however, doing so excessively (more than 15 kilos) will make the skin suffer much more and break its fibers.
There is a belief that when a woman is pregnant, she should eat for two: nothing could be wrong. Your diet should be healthier during pregnancy since everything you eat will also feed your baby. For this reason, excessive weight gain during pregnancy is also considered a risk factor for the health of the mother and the fetus. If you wonder how you can take care of your weight during pregnancy, we invite you to read the following article by FastlyHeal: how to eat during pregnancy to avoid gaining weight.
Keep your skin hydrated
Hydration is essential to preserve the skin’s elasticity and prevent the fibers from quickly sagging during stretching. Many women begin to hydrate their skin after the first trimester, the stage where stretch marks start to appear; however, it is necessary to prepare the skin much earlier to ensure that by three months, it is hydrated enough to withstand the most drastic changes that are to come.
Therefore, once you hear the fantastic news that you are pregnant, we advise you to go to the nearest pharmacy and buy an anti-stretch mark cream that, thanks to its emollients and vitamins, will help you enrich your skin and make it a lot more elastic and robust. If you don’t know which cream to choose, we recommend that you prefer one that contains Gotu kola, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and rosehip oil. Ideally, you should apply the cream three times a day.
Ointments are not the only way to avoid stretch marks in pregnancy; it is also essential to offer hydration to the skin by drinking 2 liters of water a day and consuming a lot of broths and vegetables rich in nutrients.
Avoid sun exposure
Ultraviolet rays are the main enemies of the skin, as they have the power to age its cells at a much faster rate than any other damaging agent. Therefore, it is essential that if you go to the beach pregnant, apply waterproof sunscreen with maximum protection all over your body and touch up every two hours.
Exposure to the sun not only causes premature aging and skin cancer but dries the epidermis to the point that it withers and loses its hydration and elasticity. After going to the beach, apply an aftersun lotion to your body that allows you to refresh your skin and regenerate sensitive tissues.
Massage the skin with essential oils
Natural oils are excellent for deeply hydrating the skin because they offer many nutrients and emollients such as vitamin E, which can regenerate skin tissues and increase the production of collagen and elastin, substances responsible for the skin retaining its tone. Among the best oils that you can use to avoid stretch marks in pregnancy, we recommend almond oil, rich in vitamin E and fatty acids that nourish the skin much more than other substances.
To take advantage of the benefits of almond oil, apply a few drops of it directly to your body and massage your skin, making circular movements with your hand. The massages will allow the oil to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin; they will also make this organ increase its elasticity. In addition, we advise you to consult the article Almond oil to remove stretch marks.
Wear the correct bra
Many women often overlook an essential aspect of pregnancy: choosing a special bra that provides sufficient support to the breasts during the nine months of pregnancy. One of the body parts that undergoes the most changes during pregnancy is the breasts, which increase considerably in weight due to the production of breast milk. Said increase in measurements can also favor the appearance of stretch marks in this delicate and aesthetically significant area.
In addition to hydrating your breasts with anti-stretch mark creams, you must get a bra that collects them correctly and keeps them in place; in this way, the skin of the breasts will stay in place and combat sagging.
Don’t stop exercising.
Exercise is a fundamental ally for pregnant women to avoid stretch marks in pregnancy since preserving your muscle mass will help you prevent the skin from becoming flaccid and losing the elasticity that allows it to maintain its tone. Many exercises are recommended for pregnant women to help them stay in shape and prevent overweight: yoga, swimming, and walking are some of them.
Abrupt weight loss after pregnancy can also cause stretch marks on the skin, so it is recommended that you carry out these actions for at least six months after delivery or until you have regained your ideal weight.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.