Stretch marks during pregnancy are every pregnant woman's anxiety and although they are common, they are certainly not very attractive. The inevitable expansion of the body to accommodate the baby often leaves pink, red or purple streaks on the skin of the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, buttocks and thighs. The condition is further exacerbated by dryness, a lack of vitamin A/C/E/zinc/protein and not ingesting sufficient fluids.
As women struggle to lose weight and regain their feeling of inner sexiness, the stretch marks can become an annoyance. Unfortunately, there is no miraculous cure for this condition and insurance does not cover cosmetic treatments to get rid of them. It is therefore important that women try to maintain a balanced diet, a light exercise routine and skin hydration to try to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Cause of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
The general cause of stretch marks is the stretching of the skin, an increase in cortisone production that weakens the skin's elasticity and the disruption of collagen production.
Most commonly, pregnancy or other weight gain causes the appearance of stretch marks. However, other folks may get these scars as well including body builders, growing teens, those taking Corticosteroids or those with a hereditary disorder, such as Cushing's syndrome, Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Folks may be inclined to these unsightly marks if they have dry skin, have poor water intake, eat excess fatty foods, exercise too little or too much or take steroids, smoke or drink.
Stretch Marks During Pregnancy Treatment
There is much debate about the best stretch mark treatment, since most are only partly effective. The least invasive treatment is the use of stretch mark creams such as Tretinoin cream (Retin-A, Renova) that can help for new stretching during pregnancy. These creams rebuild collagen to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Also available for new marks is Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy or Fractional Photothermolysis, both of which use wavelengths of light to stimulate collagen and elastin growth.
For older marks, Microdermabrasion uses a hand-held device to polish the skin's surface with crystals, thus removing skin cells from the top layer of skin to encourage newer, more elastic skin growth. In addition, for older white marks, the Excimer laser tries to stimulate melanin production to reduce the appearance of the scars.
Since ninety percent of women encounter some kind of stretch marks during pregnancy, there is no need to worry about your new body. Your husband will always see you as the mother of his children, which carries a very special significance, no matter how your body has changed over these last nine months.
Sometimes a few sessions of self-esteem counseling can do much more than some miraculous cream for stretch marks that may do little more than cost you money. Unless the scars stretch over large sections of your entire body, you need not worry about these harmless marks. The best thing you can do is focus on losing weight, feeling rejuvenated and taking care of that warm, snugly new baby.