A large number of women get stretch marks during and after pregnancy, and also after losing weight. This HerHaleness article discusses some simple measures that can help prevent the development of stretch marks and reduce their appearance.
Stretch marks usually develop when the skin gets stretched to such an extent that it breaks apart. This ultimately leads to scarring and the consequent development of those unsightly marks. Stretch marks are generally associated with sudden and excessive weight gain. But, they become more pronounced when people lose weight. Women are more prone to develop these marks during and after pregnancy.
The chances of getting stretch marks depend on a number of factors including, skin elasticity, skin tone, hormonal fluctuations, as well as the amount of weight gained. Many people on the other hand, can be genetically predisposed to develop stretch marks. Though stretch marks can fade over time, they rarely disappear completely. However, the development of these unsightly marks can be prevented with the help of some simple measures, that can increase the elasticity of the skin.
Stretch Marks Due to Weight Loss
When people gain weight all of a sudden, the skin gets stretched to such an extent that the middle layer of the skin (dermis), and the underlying collagen tissues responsible for maintaining skin elasticity, break apart. As a result, tearing and minor bleeding take place, due to which the reddish or purplish marks appear on the skin.
Over a period of time, the affected areas are healed, but in the process scarring take place. As a result, the stretch marks appear as silvery-white streaks on the skin. When the skin is stretched too tightly against the body, these marks may not be so visible. But they become more prominent when we lose weight.
It is important to lose weight slowly and gradually, in order to prevent the development of stretch marks. Also important is to drink plenty of water (at least 8 to 10 glasses a day), in order to keep your skin well-hydrated. Hydration is very important to maintain skin elasticity and avoid stretch marks. The more elastic the skin is, the lesser is the chances of getting stretch marks.
Regular exercising can also help improve the elasticity of your skin. In addition to these, follow a balanced diet, and use a good moisturizer and vitamin E oil to nourish your skin and improve its elasticity.
Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
According to some estimates, about 70 to 90% women develop stretch marks during and after pregnancy, the reason being excessive weight gain, and the consequent stretching of the skin beyond its capacity. To avoid this problem, keep a close watch over the kind of food you eat during this period. Though weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy, you can prevent unnecessary weight gain by avoiding the food high in saturated or harmful fats. A balanced diet can help you control rapid weight gain during pregnancy.
At the same time, drink plenty of water, as this helps increase the elasticity of your skin, and thus reduces the likelihood of developing those ugly stretch marks. Keep the skin well-moisturized by using natural oils, like olive oil, wheat germs oil, almond oil, and emu oil. Even cocoa butter and aloe vera gel, which are known for their moisturizing properties, can prove beneficial.
Apart from these, be sure to exfoliate the skin at regular intervals to increase blood circulation and remove the dead skin cells. These few simple steps would help ensure that your skin stretches without tearing, which in turn can prove effective in preventing the development of stretch marks during and after pregnancy.
So, by drinking lots of water, and keeping your skin well-moisturized and supple, you can reduce the chances of developing stretch marks dramatically. In addition to these, it is also important to exercise regularly and follow a balanced diet. As far as exercises are concerned, you can talk to your physician regarding what type of exercises are safe during pregnancy.