Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Things You Need to Know About Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Pregnancy stretch marks probably rate as one of the most hated side effects of pregnancy. Most of pregnancy’s effects, like morning sickness or hot flashes, pass even before the pregnancy itself is finished. Stretch marks, on the other hand, linger afterward and plague many women who are fervently wishing to return to their pre-pregnancy physical states. Even after she has lost her pregnancy pounds, however, a woman can find her abdomen visually wrecked by the remaining web of stretch marks caused by pregnancy. It is therefore not surprising that the question of how to get rid of stretch marks ranks with high importance among many mothers.

Why You Get Pregnancy Stretch Marks

The physiological mechanism behind stretch marks is fairly simple and straightforward to understand. Picture a rubber balloon, for example. If you inflate the balloon to its fullest size and then let the air out, the rubber of the balloon is not the same as that same rubber’s consistency and texture before it was inflated. The balloon can stretch, of course, but that stretching changes it. The same is true in many ways of your skin when you get pregnant.

A pregnant belly is very like an inflated balloon, and the skin of the abdomen has to stretch incredibly far and incredibly quickly in order to accommodate the growth underneath it. The same is often true of the breasts, and sometimes even thighs and buttocks, depending on the areas where a pregnant woman gains weight. The fact that your skin can stretch so far is truly remarkable in its own right, but it doesn’t happen without some amount of trauma to that same skin. That, of course, is where pregnancy stretch marks come in.

When your skin stretches over your growing belly, your body is very busy creating new skin cells to help with the extra coverage. It doesn’t always keep up, however, and the existing skin is often stretched tight. Microscopic tears occur at points of stress, and small amounts of bleeding under the skin—not unlike bruising—occurs along with this tearing. The site of the tear becomes a stretch mark, and the sub-surface bleeding gives it the characteristic reddish coloration of new pregnancy stretch marks. The coloring usually fades with time, but the textured striations of the stretched area may remain. You can help along the healing process, however, and minimize the visual damage.

Preventing Pregnancy Stretch Marks

You can help your skin in its time of stress by providing it with all the ingredients it needs to create new skin cells, as well as the moisture it needs to keep it pliable and stretchy. Both of these elements can help prevent the occurrence of stretch marks. If the skin is stretchy and also able to produce the needed new tissue to facilitate sufficient coverage, there is a far smaller likelihood of the tearing that will result in pregnancy stretch marks.

To this end, you should consider using a good stretch mark cream during your pregnancy. Your doctor can probably suggest a good over the counter cream that contains natural ingredients entirely safe for use during pregnancy. Such a cream will keep your skin moisturized, hydrated, pliant, and stretchy. It can also deliver some of the basics that are needed for creating new skin and repairing any areas of damage. Regular use of a moisturizing cream can greatly minimize the ultimate appearance of stretch marks.

In some cases, this procedure might lessen but not entirely prevent stretch marks. Genetics play a definite role in a person’s susceptibility, and some people are simply more likely to show these marks than others. If you maintain a good balanced diet and apply a moisturizing cream, you have done what you could to minimize pregnancy stretch marks. If you still end up with some, you don’t have to leave things at that. You can turn to the available remedies.

Getting Rid of Existing Stretch Marks

Even with precautions, you may have ended up with some stretch marks as souvenirs of your pregnancy. You can help your own body to be rid of stretch marks, though. The main elements of stretch mark repair are exactly the same as the elements of stretch mark prevention. You may feel that your stretch mark cream failed you if you still ended up with some marks, but remember that your skin could have ended up considerably worse if you had not been using it.

Do not give up on its use after your pregnancy is finished. A typical scar will continue its healing work for at least two years, and the same is true of damaged tissues in a pregnancy stretch mark. You can help this natural process to maximize its efficiency by ensuring that the affected skin remains moisturized and well supplied with nutrients.

Helping the Healing Process

Assuming that the instantaneous remedies for stretch marks (like surgical or laser treatment) are not within your reach, you can still rely on your body’s natural healing, and you can continue to help it along. Massage the area regularly to ensure it is getting the maximum amount of blood flow. Your blood stream delivers agents of the immune system to help with healing, as well as the needed oxygen and nutrients for building new tissue and repairing old.

You should also avoid direct sunlight and tanning booths while you are working on minimizing your stretch marks. Damage by the ultraviolet rays of the sun (or sun-lamps, as the case may be) can further damage your tissues and make the repair job all the harder for your body. Additionally, tanning yourself will only make the stretch marks stand out more starkly.

A recommended part of any skin moisturizing regime is to moisturize with an oil after showering or bathing. Using an essential oil with healing properties can help you in your quest to remove pregnancy stretch marks.