Pregnancy stretch marks appear when skin stretches. They appear indented lines or streaks on the skin’s surface and are common on breasts, arms, buttocks, hips, thighs, and stomach. Stretch marks during pregnancy can be avoided by avoiding rapid weight gains, moisturizing the skin with a good care routine and observe good nutrition.
Appearance of Stretch Marks
The word stretch mark is a very common but dreaded word among women, especially women.
Stretch marks are a scar type that appears on the skin when it is quickly stretches or shrinks. They are also known as striae.
You will notice them as raised or indented lines or streaks on the skin’s surface. The color and texture of the stretch marks depend on your skin type and color.
Often, they appear as pink, red, or purple. At the same time, stretch marks can also be white or silver but in rare cases. I develop few stretchmarks on my thighs during puberty and they were purple in color.
Mostly stretch marks appear during pregnancy. Most moms will have stretch marks on their bodies because of the weight gain and loss involved in pregnancy. My sister develop huge stretchmarks on her belly when got pregnant.
Reasons Stretch Marks Appear During Pregnancy
Stretch can appear when you gain and lose weight quickly, even if you are not pregnant. However, pregnancy is known as the main phase for women that they experience stretch marks.
They appear when you are pregnant because of the rapid weight gain and loss thereafter.
What causes stretch marks is the stretching or damaging of the skin’s connective tissues. As you gain weight, collagen and elastin fibers stretch too much. The marks are made more visible when you lose weight.
However, not all pregnant women experience stretch marks on their skin. Genetics, skin elasticity, skincare routine, nutrition, and hormones during pregnancy vary from woman to woman.
These differences explain why some women do not develop stretch marks on their skin during pregnancy. I did not develop stretchmarks on my belly while my sister did.
Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body. They can develop anywhere the skin undergoes significant stretching or experiences changes in size or shape during pregnancy.
However, stretch marks often appear on the breasts, arms, buttocks, hips, thighs, and stomach. These parts are most prone to stretch marks during pregnancy because they are the areas of the body where the skin experiences the stretch more significantly as you gain weight.
Stretch marks during pregnancy are not necessarily a bad thing. They are normal and happen due to the rapid changes that happen to the body.
The stretch marks do not pose any health risks. The only major concern among pregnant women is the cosmetic appearance.
However, they may be slightly inflamed or itchy. Resist the urge to scratch on your stretch marks. When itchy, apply adequate moisturizer on your skin. Scratching causes further damage to your skin.
Appearance of Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can develop at any point in your pregnancy. They develop during the period in which you have gained the most weight rapidly. Stretch marks, hence, appear mostly during the second and third trimesters.
As such, the timing and severity of stretch marks for each pregnant woman varies from individual to individual. Some will have stretch marks earlier or later in their pregnancy, while others won’t have them at all.
Some women will notice the first signs of stretch marks during the second semester, around 13 to 21 weeks. This is the time the abdomen is beginning to expand due to the growth of the baby. Any time in the second semester, the skin may start stretching and form stretch marks.
A majority of pregnant moms have reported seeing stretch marks during the third semester. It is the time that pregnancy stretch marks become more visible. Just like for my sister, most will appear from week 28 through the end of the pregnancy.
Disappearance of Stretch Marks after Pregnancy
With time, stretch marks from pregnancy may fade away. It may take about six months for the appearance of stretch marks to improve. However, this also depends on the skin type and skincare routine being implemented.
Some stretch marks may persist as permanent marks on the skin. It took my sister about an year for the appearance of her skin to improve, even though the marks did not disappear completely.
Gaining weight back after pregnancy does not guarantee that the stretch marks will disappear. The skin is already stretched, and marks are formed.
Guaranteed Tips to Naturally Avoid Stretch-Marks during Pregnancy
When i first learnt about stretch marks, i knew it as something that happened to most pregnant women. Therefore during my pregnancy i was very keen on how i could avoid developing stretchmarks.
I believe with the following guide that you can prevent this too is you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
Removing pregnancy stretchmarks after they have appearance may be hard. The best natural approach to stretch marks is avoiding them.
Stretch marks can be prevented. If you are pregnant, there are many natural things you can do to prevent stretch marks from appearing on your skin.
1. Avoid Rapid Weight Gains
The root cause of stretch marks when you are pregnant is rapid weight gain. A gradual weight gain does not cause pressure on your skin, leading to stretching or damaging the collagen. It is a natural way of containing the rapid stretch of the skin.
Ensure that you have a gradual weight gain during pregnancy. Only gain weight slowly. Do not gain too much over a short period of time.
I only gained 25 pounds and all was gradually distributed during the entire period of pregnancy. As such at no point was my skin overstretched from sudden weight gain.
While you eat, ensure you eat balanced, healthy food and adequate portions. Also, exercise to keep the ideal weight. Doing so will naturally prevent you from gaining too much weight rapidly.
I was already active before pregnancy and so i just continue with my exercise routine, which quite helped in keeping my weight in check.
Without the fast weight gain, you are unlikely to develop stretch marks on the common areas such as breasts, arms, buttocks, hips, thighs, and stomach.
2. Adopt a Moisturizing Skin Care Routine
Having dry skin is known to make the appearance of stretch marks worse. When your skin is dry, it becomes more prone to stretching during pregnancy, hence the stretch marks.
To avoid this in your pregnancy, ensure your skin is moisturized. There are so many oils available that you can use on your skin when pregnant to keep your skin moist.
I was already using coconut oil for my hair and hence is started massage my belly, thighs, breasts and arms with the oil.
When you are buying these oils, ensure that the oil you are buying is unrefined. This means that they have retained most of their their ingredients characteristics
The quality will vary from brand to brand but generally the cheapest ones are lowest in quality. I used…. from my entire pregnancy both for my hair and skin. I loved how it smells and…..
The most effective oils for keeping the skin moisturized include coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, olive oil, Grape seed oil, and argan oil. All these oils will keep your skin moisturized and less prone to stretching during pregnancy weight gain. Others are Shea butter and cocoa butter.
All these are safe to use during pregnancy. They are natural oils and good and effective remedies for managing stretch marks.
There’s no magic cream that automatically prevents stretch marks, but keeping your skin supple is adequate to prevent them from forming.
3. Adjust your Nutrition
Keeping yourself hydrated is very important whether pregnant or not. However, during pregnancy, hydrating helps keep your skin soft and less vulnerable to skin stretching. It is an effective natural remedy for keeping stretch marks at bay during pregnancy.
Drinking adequate water throughout the day improves the elasticity. With more elasticity, the skin is unlikely to stretch when you gain weight during pregnancy. It is one of the best home remedies for preventing stretch marks from forming on your skin.
To ensure that i was drinking enough water during my pregnancy, i used timers for water refill. I kept a one liter on my work desk and would refill it after 2 hours. I work an 8 hour shift hence needed water on my desk.
My phone would alert me after every 2 hours and i knew it was time to refill my water bottle. This habit helped me to drinking adequate water through the day and kept me hydrated.
In addition, certain foods are known to help prevent the formation of stretch marks during pregnancy. Papayas, blueberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, spinach, peppers, kale, and sweet potatoes are good foods that have been recommended by experts in helping prevent the formation of stretch marks for pregnant women.
All these foods are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which contributes to skin elasticity. Hence, incorporating these foods into your diet will help prevent stretch marks.
I never like oranges or lemon but they are your favorite go ahead and eat them. I loved eating berries though which incorporated in my diet with other veggies during my pregnancy.
In addition, foods with Vitamin E are good for skin health. Incorporate foods such as spinach, sunflower seeds, or almonds into your diet. These foods contain Vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties and may support skin health to prevent marks from stretching the skin.
All these are safe to consume during pregnancy.
While these tips may not entire prevent the stretchmarks because of your genetics, these tips will generally reduce the appearance or visibility of the stretch marks.