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What are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
Generally, stretch marks are caused when the body growth rate is faster than that of the skin. This is not only limited to pregnancy but obesity and a few other health problems as well. During Pregnancy, you tend to gain 13 to 15 Kilograms of weight which results in the fast growth of the abdominal area.
Around the world 90% of women experience stretch marks in their seventh month of pregnancy, therefore it is not an uncommon condition.
What are the Causes of Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
The primary cause of stretch marks is the rapid breakage of elastin fibres just under the skin, this results in the formation of pinkish or purple lines which fade away after childbirth.
Pregnancy stretch marks can occur mainly on the abdomen, but they also tend to occur on the arms, thighs, breasts, hips, buttocks and lower back.
Stretch marks are very common and are not painful physically. However, a stigma still exists around the appearance of individuals with stretch marks. Seeking out treatment to improve aesthetics is a personal decision an individual must take.
How can you treat Pregnancy Stretch marks?
To preface this, we always encourage prevention to be a better means to avoid a certain condition rather than seeking out active treatment. However, in times of pregnancy, there is no doubt that a majority of women will see stretch marks.
In which case you can seek treatment from an expert Dermatologist who will prescribe various lifestyle changes and perhaps even some topical medications or clinically performed treatment.
Preventive Measures include:
Excess weight gain during and after pregnancy is normal, but the furtherance of the stretch marks becoming a problem can be controlled by controlling weight gain.
Healthy eating not only assists in weight control but also helps in the maintenance of great skin health. A healthy vitamin rich diet is highly recommended.
This will have to be provided by a dermatologist since some topical applications may not be safe during pregnancy. However, it is advised that any and all treatment for stretch marks be performed post pregnancy.
Treatment methods include:
Retinol Creams and Lotions:
Retinol Creams cannot be applied during pregnancy, since it can possibly lead to birth defects. Therefore this is recommended only after a few weeks of childbirth.
Retinol is a collagen stimulating chemical compound that takes about 5 to 6 weeks to take effect in the case of stretch marks.
The most effective form of treatment for pregnancy related stretch marks is laser therapy. This is never performed during the 9 months of pregnancy, since the radiation from the laser can be extremely harmful for the unborn child. Although incredibly effective it is only advised to be performed once, so measures need to be considered with the advice of a dermatologist when you are contemplating undergoing this procedure.
Microneedling is another very effective technique which uses radio frequencies to reduce the unevenness of skin due to various conditions. One of the conditions that microneedling can treat is pregnancy related stretch marks. These are cheaper compared to the laser method of treatment and have a shorter recovery time.
However, it is done after childbirth to avoid any harm to the baby.
If you wish to get rid of pregnancy based stretch marks, do look into our services at Dr. Divya’s Skin and Hair Solutions in Whitefield, Bangalore.
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