”Stretch marks during pregnancy, usually occurs because of the breakdown of the elastic tissues of the dermis.”

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Stretch Marks

Stretch marks (striae) are indented streaks that often appear on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs. Stretch marks are small, depressed streaks in the skin that appear most often on the abdomen in the later stages of pregnancy when the belly is rapidly expanding to accommodate a growing baby. Some women also get them on their buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. Stretch marks are particularly common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. Stretch marks are not painful or harmful, but some people feel distressed about the way they make their skin.

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Stretch marks during pregnancy, usually occurs because of the breakdown of the elastic tissues of the dermis. This happens when the skin starts to become stretched to accommodate the growing baby. This also occurs when there is sudden weight gain, even if one is not pregnant. Studies moreover show that darker-skinned women are more prone to develop stretch marks, even if they have kept their weight gains to within the normal range.

Symptoms

Stretch marks vary depending on how long it has been with you, what caused them, where they are on your body, and the type of skin you have. Common variations however include:
Indented streaks or lines in the skin
Pink, red, black, blue or purple streaks
Bright streaks that fade to a lighter color
Streaks on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks or thighs
Streaks covering large areas of the body.

Causes

Stretching of the skin, their severity is affected by several factors, including your genetic tendency, degree of stress on the skin and cortisone level.
Cortisone, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands weakens elastic fibers in the skin.

Risk factors

Anyone can develop stretch marks, but some factors increase your likelihood of getting them, including:

  • Being female

  • Having a personal or family history of stretch marks

  • Being pregnant, especially for younger women

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Rapidly gaining or losing weight

  • Using corticosteroid medication

  • Undergoing breast enlargement surgery

Prevention

The best prevention is to eat right during pregnancies. Avoid too much and sudden weight gain (the normal weight gain in pregnancy is from 25 to 30 pounds in the nine-month period). Drink lots of liquids to keep yourself hydrated. Eat fresh foods and vegetables. Contrary to popular myth, stretch marks do not come about because of scratching.
In a few cases, some women can opt to have laser surgery to repair the elastic layer of the dermis, and hopefully regain the original smoothness of the skin. Cosmetic surgeons can also do “tummy tuck” procedures and remove the skin that has these stretch marks. Certainly these are done for women who are very sure that no pregnancy will occur again; otherwise, the costly operation will all be for naught.
There is no proof that any of the creams, salves, and oils that claim to prevent stretch marks actually work. The good news is that stretch marks usually become considerably less noticeable about six to 12 months after childbirth. The pigmentation fades and they generally become lighter than the surrounding skin (the color will vary depending on your skin color), but their texture will remain the same.



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