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Out of several bodily level changes that occur during the pregnancy phase of a woman, stretch marks are one of them that about 50 to 90 percent of all pregnant women develop in this particular stage of their life. The cruel thing about these stubborn marks on the skin is that even after decades these spots remain visible which really looks like a black spot on your flawless skin beauty. However, the good news is that with the help of some active measures you can prevent pregnancy stretch marks from growing.
Stretch marks are also known as striae gravidarum or striae distensae which look like dark streaks in the skin which can be red, silver or purple in color. These marks most commonly appear in the chest, thighs, stomach, hips, and bottom. Though anyone can develop these marks at any stage of life but it is more common during the pregnancy as at this point women gain lots of weight especially in areas of the body which are prone to this mark.
The excessive stretching burden on skin ends up with these marks that are usually permanent in nature. With time it lightens but still remains visible very easily. So if you are an expecting mother or planning for a conception then follow the below-mentioned tips and tricks that will help you in preventing your risk of developing stretch marks during pregnancy.
At What Stage of Pregnancy Stretch Marks Start Developing?
A woman usually starts developing stretch marks while they are in 13 weeks to 21 weeks of their pregnancy journey. These marks are very common in pregnant women. Around 90 percent of cases of pregnant women develop this mark which must not be considered as an ugly spot. You get red, pink, yellow, tan, purplish, or brown streaks in the chest and lower abdominals area mostly. However, it may also occur across butt, thighs, and hips.
What Causes Stretch Marks to Grow During Pregnancy?
Stretch marks appear as a result of very tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissues under the affected skin area as it is pulled to its highest limit during the pregnancy period.
Some experts say that it is the excessive hormonal changes in the body that causes stretch marks growth in a woman's body especially in the lower abdominal area which is the highest stretch marks affected zone during the pregnancy phase of women around the world.
Genetics also play an important role in causing stretch marks growth during pregnancy. That means if the mother or grandmother of a pregnant woman has had developed stretch marks during their pregnancy time chances, remain quite high that the expecting mother will too develop these marks.
On the other hand, women whose mother does not have a history of any such marks and her skin remains flawless even after giving birth to babies then her possibility of having flawless skin will be quite high because of this genetic effect.
Sudden weight gain during pregnancy is another prominent reason that puts excessive and rapid pressure on skin layers leading to stretch marks appearing in the most affected areas of the body.
Again women with lighter skin tone are more likely to develop stretch marks with comparison to women with darker skin tone. Also, stretch marks look more visible in women with fair skin tone and look lighter or invisible in the women with darker-skinned.
Tips to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
An expecting mother should follow the below-mentioned tips in order to prevent her risk of stretch marks during pregnancy.
Treat Immediately Your Fresh Stretch Marks before It Gets Older
What’s the need of waiting too long when you can even treat your stretch when it freshly appears only? Though you may face difficulty to prevent stretch marks completely but at least you can minimize it to the very low level that it wouldn’t get noticeable with the passage of time.
Consult with your regular doctor or a dermatologist who can guide you better about the best possible available option that can make your freshly appeared stretch marks disappear. The healthcare specialist can better determine what is actually causing your stretch marks and accordingly can suggest treatment options to cure these newly appeared stretch marks so that it won’t get visible in the long run.
Drink Plenty Amount of Water Stay Hydrated
This is the most common beauty tip that you have often heard about in order to enhance and maintain your skin beauty at any age. However, this trick works in the case of stretch marks as well if you want to prevent its growth during your pregnancy which is the most likely stage of a woman's life when she develops these marks.
Drink plenty of water in order to keep your skin supple, hydrated, and naturally moisturized from inside so that from your end there will be no space left to grow these stubborn streaks marks. Skin that is soft in nature does not get a victim of stretch marks as much as a person with dry skin can. The Institute of Medicine recommends at least 104 ounces of water intake for men and 72 ounces for women.
In this regard you not only need to increase your water intake but also need to avoid the intake of those drinks that have the ability to dehydrate your skin such as caffeinated beverages like coffee etc. However those who are addicted to coffee and cannot stop it completely should maintain a healthy balance by drinking enough water, coconut water, lemon water, herbal tea, and any other caffeine-free drink.
When you drink plenty of water on a regular basis your skin cells naturally remain in a strong position to ward off stretch marks by stimulating the natural repairing process that helps in recovery even if a light mark develops.
Manage Your Body Weight
One of the main reasons behind stretch marks growth during pregnancy is excessive and rapid weight gain in women. So if you want to reduce or prevent your risk of developing stretch marks in this period then you have to take care of your body weight.
By maintaining a healthy weight with the help of different healthy and effective measures you can save yourself from these marks from growing on different parts of your body and even after delivery your skin will remain flawless like before.
During the pregnancy period, the skin pulls apart quickly due to sudden weight gain that leads to growth in the stretch marks appearance. Lots of internal changes happen in the body during the pregnancy phase. So by controlling them on time you can work positively in your favor.
Follow a healthy diet and exercise routine in order to manage your weight to a healthy level. Keep a target to gain weight during your pregnancy slowly and steadily. For this keep a constant watch on your weight graph and put your pounds in a gradual manner at a slow pace so that your inner skin layer will not face sudden pressure causing stretch marks growth.
Though at this time it is usual to increase your doses as now you are two in one body but this doesn’t mean that at one meal you start eating a portion size for two. Instead of that, spread your meal plan in small-small meals throughout the day. You should follow a general recommendation for caloric intake in order to manage your body weight to a healthy level throughout the pregnancy period.
Eat More Nutrient-Dense Diet
Stretch marks also occur if your body lacks essential nutrients. So including a nutrient-dense diet is the key to stimulate your skin health and to prevent the growth of stretch marks in different areas of the body during the pregnancy phase.
Nutrients that you must include in your everyday food include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, protein, and zinc. To ensure this you can choose rainbow-colored unprocessed foods in your meals as each color contains a special nutrient essence that together fulfills your body’s necessity for multiple essential nutrients. Some healthy nutrients and dense foods that are beneficial for your skin health include whole-wheat toast, eggs, mixed berries, and other seasonal fruits.
Eating plenty of vitamins and other nutrients dense foods nourishes your skin from the inside out which is the best possible treatment and care that you can give your skin in order to minimize your risk of stretch marks during pregnancy.
Hydrate Your Skin Twice in a Day
You can prevent your risk of stretch marks during pregnancy by keeping your skin well hydrated all the time. To ensure that all areas of your skin are well hydrated not only the face and neck you must apply a soothing moisturizing balm for face and body at least twice in a day persistently.
Moisturizing is the key to minimize and prevent your risk of stretch marks during pregnancy. For this use natural and dense or thick textured products such as cocoa butter, aloe vera gel, etc. The best thing about a daily moisturizing habit is that it won’t let your skin dry and itchy even for some time which is the common skin issue associated with pregnancy and that further leads to stretch marks growth.
Apart from this rubbing your skin especially tummy the highly suspected zone gets a good soothing and relaxing effect. Apply the moisturizing lotion or cream liberally to your stomach, chest, hips, and thighs as during pregnancy these are the areas that are highly stretch marks prone in the body. Make sure that you choose only natural products as natural ingredients. Rich products are always safe and provide a good soothing effect.
A hydrating cream or balm protects your skin against stretch marks risk by increasing its elasticity. Hence your skin easily expands and grows with the progression of your pregnancy without tearing that can form the stretch marks. While selecting a hydrating balm for you choose the only product which is safe to be used by pregnant women and which is research-proven for both mother and baby.
To get the best possible benefit of applying the moisturizing balm immediately after taking a shower so that it can lock remaining water content on your skin ensuring maximum possible deep level hydration.
Get Enough Vitamin D
As per one study report, there is a connection between low levels of Vitamin D in the body and stretch marks growth incidence. So during pregnancy which is the risky phase for a woman's life as she is highly susceptible to develop stretch marks in this period, she must soak up some Vitamin D for preventing her risk of pregnancy stretch marks.
Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins necessary for human health. However, the importance of this vitamin is also for your skin health as well which you can easily grab through the biggest natural source of vitamin D that is the sun. Through direct sun exposure, you can grab this vitamin which is essential to keep skin in a healthy position.
However during the sun exposure make sure that you make this session safe one as excessive sun exposure can even damage your skin health causing issues like suntan, wrinkles, and skin cancer which is difficult to treat.
As per the Skin Cancer Foundation by eating more fortified foods and vitamin D supplements when needed one can safely get enough level of Vitamin D for their body which is necessary for healthy skin. In this way, you do not have direct unsafe sun exposure to get this Vitamin. Still, it is undeniable that sun rays are the purest and ideal source of Vitamin D.
So to get this vitamin from safe exposure to the sun you can sit very early in the morning under the sun as that time the intensity of the sun rays remain modest and at the healthy limit which does not contain the risk of skin damage. However, do not sit for a prolonged period under the sun. By maintaining a healthy level of Vitamin D in your body you can reduce your risk of stretch marks to a very great extent.
Eat More Vitamin C Rich Diet
In order to boost the collagen protein level of your skin which is the highest essential protein that helps in keeping your skin firm and tight you must include enough amount of Vitamin C rich foods in your everyday diet plan. When your body will remain enriched with this vitamin also known as beauty vitamin your risk of developing pregnancy stretch marks will reduce to a very great extent.
By boosting the level of collagen protein in your skin Vitamin C helps in maintaining your skin elasticity and keeps it strong. Hence when your skin will be well elastic there will be less chance to develop stretch marks as it can easily expand along with the progression of your pregnancy.
You can easily get vitamin C in different fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, etc are the best sources of this vitamin hence good for your skin health as well. Include these healthy sources of vitamin C in your everyday meal plan to prevent your risk of pregnancy stretch marks.
Include Zinc Rich Foods in Your Diet
Zinc is one of the most essential minerals vital for your skin health and beauty. The daily intake of foods rich in zinc can help a lot in preventing your risk of stretch marks during pregnancy. It reduces inflammation and stimulates the natural wound healing ability of your skin. Hence when any tearing occurs as a result of stretch marks appearance it can easily be healed by consuming more and more amount of zinc-rich foods.
Though there is little evidence to support a correlation between zinc and stretch marks growth however the zinc-rich foods in your everyday meals such as fish, nuts, may help in keeping your skin strong and in a healthy position so that there will be minimal risk of stretch marks growth.
Massage Your Skin
If you want to get the best possible benefit of any moisturizer or creams over stretch marks prone areas during the pregnancy phase of your life then instead of applying it for a few seconds or minute simply massage your skin with these products at least for 10 minutes.
With this kind of thorough massage you can stimulate your skin’s strength so that it can fight against stretch marks growth immediately at the moment it starts to appear on the surface. A simple every day skin massaging can provide you with benefits like –
- It increases skin elasticity
- Keeps your skin soft and supple
- The massaging products can easily enter into the deep layer of skin where from it can give its best possible effect
- It stimulates blood circulation levels which speeds up the natural healing potential of your skin.
- It breaks up any stretch marks as and when it starts to form
The massaging is very easy and it also offers a calming effect by distressing your skin. Apply gentle pressure with your fingertips with a massaging cream in small circular motions. For the best result give massaging to your pregnancy stretch marks prone areas every day.
Exfoliate Your Skin Once in a Week
For ensuring that products (cream or oil) applied over your pregnancy stretch marks prone areas enter deep inside your skin, you must exfoliate your skin at least once in a week. Exfoliate all suspected areas of the body like stomach, chest, hips, and thighs per week at least once.
The exfoliating work removes all the dry and dead skin cells from your skin cells that otherwise can prevent the massaging products from penetrating deep inside. Also, exfoliation work helps in promoting the growth of fresh and healthy skin cells by rejuvenating it. Hence whenever any stretch marks are about to appear exfoliation will remove it and stop it from developing further.
Apart from the above-mentioned tips and measures to prevent pregnancy stretch marks you can also take care of some other things like give protection to your skin against UV rays, quit smoking, practice a light form of exercises every day to stimulate blood circulation level, etc. With these safe and effective measures, you will surely manage to reduce your risk of stretch marks during your pregnancy phase to a very great extent.View Article Sources