The appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy is a recurring situation that worries many pregnant women. Skin distensions should be prevented and, if they occur, treated as soon as possible to facilitate their repair.
Therefore, we have prepared content that explains what causes these lesions, what their types are, propensity factors, and how it is possible to avoid them and take care of the skin. So read on and find out.
Why do stretch marks appear during pregnancy?
Stretch marks are caused by the stretching of the skin in a short period, so their appearance during pregnancy is widespread since one of the main changes in the body during pregnancy is the increase of its dimensions.
In addition to the abdominal and periumbilical regions, which are usually the most affected by skin furrows, the bands can also appear on the buttocks, flanks, thighs, and breasts.
Although stretch marks on the belly during pregnancy are the most common, lesions can also appear on other parts of the body, such as the thighs.
Another critical factor in the appearance of stretch marks is the hormonal changes triggered by pregnancy. This is because increased levels of hormones such as estrogen can make the skin fiber more susceptible to stretching.
Although they do not cause damage to health, stretch marks can damage self-esteem, affecting the quality of life of pregnant women.
Types of stretch marks
Stretch marks are classified into two types. Early stretch marks are linear and have a pink or skin color. Late stretch marks are those that have been present for a more extended period, are more challenging to treat, and are characterized by their white color and greater thickness.
Factors of greater predisposition to stretch marks in pregnancy
Some aspects can make you more prone to stretch marks in pregnancy. See what they are below.
- Genetics: the hereditary tendency to increase the chances of developing stretch marks;
- Increased weight gain: the greater the weight gain during pregnancy, the greater the likelihood of stretch marks;
- Age: younger women are more prone to stretch marks, as their skin tends to be less lax;
- Lack of skin care: not taking the necessary precautions to protect the skin increases the likelihood of lesions.
Some factors give more propensity to the development of stretch marks in pregnancy.
Tips for preventing and treating stretch marks
Preventing stretch marks can be simultaneous; always focus on protecting and caring for the skin.
Check out some recommendations on preventing stretch marks in pregnancy and repairing these lesions!
Moisturizing the skin is essential at all stages of life and even more so during pregnancy. The use of creams all over the body, especially in the regions where stretch marks may appear, at least twice a day, is essential to reduce the chances of their appearance.
Pregnant women should pay attention to their skin type and formulas when choosing products. This is because some substances, such as retinoic and salicylic acids, cannot be part of the compositions used on the skin during pregnancy.
The phase that most needs hydration reinforcements is the last trimester of pregnancy, a period in which the baby gains more weight, causing the abdomen to expand, which can lead to stretch marks.
Low humidity in the air can also leave skin drier, so if this is the prevailing condition in your city, it’s another reason to abuse creams!
- Use of oils
In addition to creams, oils are also essential in keeping skin hydrated and can be used in abundance in areas where stretch marks tend to appear. Some good options are based on almond, grape seed, and rosehip.
The use of oil for stretch marks in pregnancy helps reduce the possibility of their appearance.
Massage is also a great option to prevent stretch marks. They can be performed by the pregnant woman herself during the body’s hydration, with light circular movements from bottom to top in the most affected areas or, then, by professionals who perform lymphatic drainage.
- Do not wear tight clothing.
Very tight clothing can disturb blood circulation and cause stretch marks, so the ideal is always to opt for more comfortable clothes that do not hold the body.
- Do not take hot baths.
Hot baths may be great for relaxation, but they cause the skin to dry out, leaving it more fragile and vulnerable to stretch marks. For this reason, they are not recommended, especially during pregnancy.
Another factor reiterating the warning regarding hot baths during pregnancy is that they can cause blood pressure drops, impairing blood flow to the baby.
- Visit a dermatologist
For the follow-up of stretch marks and more specific guidance on their treatment, it is recommended to visit a dermatologist. In this way, professionals can assess the condition of the stretch marks and the best method of repairing them.
In addition, dermatologists can indicate which cosmetic procedures can be performed during pregnancy. Many treatments are restricted during pregnancy, but the doctor may recommend, in some cases, actions such as light peelings without acid and coagulation, always under his supervision.
After pregnancy, professionals may indicate other resources, such as radiofrequency, laser treatments, and carboxytherapy.
Dermatologists can indicate the best methods to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Be careful with your diet.
This advice should be followed for stretch marks and for the healthy development of the pregnancy. In addition, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet rich in vegetables and foods that are a source of vitamins such as C and E is essential to maintain vitality during pregnancy.
Dried fruits, nuts, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, and egg whites can also be great to add to meals during pregnancy, as they stimulate collagen.
At the same time, some foods, such as ultra-processed, very fatty, those with excess salt and sugar, and fried foods, should be avoided during this period. This helps to reduce the chances of exaggerated weight gain, which can cause stretch marks and other problems during pregnancy.
Another important measure is to pay attention to water intake, which is essential for the proper functioning of the body as a whole and the protection of the skin.
The appearance of stretch marks is a situation that can occur during pregnancy, but it is possible to try to avoid them. To do this, it is essential to introduce some care into your routine during pregnancy.