Stretch marks occur when the tissue between the layers of skin in the epidermis (middle) layer tear. As the tear occurs, the blood vessels leak which cause the faint lines called stretch marks. This happens when the skin is pulled out of shape rapidly and the collagen which supports the skin, and the elastin which gives the skin it elasticity, fail to meet the demands of the stretching skin and the tissue tears. Knowing this, there is little wonder to how 50% of women who are pregnant suffer from stretch marks as it is one of the most common reasons for rapid weight gain amongst women.
Where do they occur?
Because stretch marks occur within the middle layer of skin, they can appear anywhere on the body which is covered by skin. For pregnant women, the most common places to see stretch marks are the fleshier parts of the body that gain weight rapidly, the most obvious being the abdomen which of course grows much larger than it normally is in a short space of time. Other hot spots for the marks are:
To avoid stretch marks during pregnancy it is important to try to address all the factors in play.
- Watch your weight – Obviously there is no chance that a woman will not gain weight during pregnancy and it would be dangerous to try and achieve this for mother and baby. However, doctors recommend an overall weight gain of around 25 pounds. Keeping this in mind and being careful not to over indulge or become inactive just because they are pregnant is really the best prevention technique for any woman. Taking walks and performing gentle exercise is a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst keeping the rapid weight gain to a minimum, helping the collagen to do its job.
- Eat the right foods – Eating well is essential to the baby’s development and giving the mother energy. Most people will say that a pregnant woman is eating for two, but this is not always helpful. The mother needs to be taking in a lot more nutrients than normal in order for the baby to take what it needs, but doubling up on chocolate and crisps will not do the baby or mother any favours and will only pile on the weight even more. Certain foods like fruit and vegetable rich in vitamin C, along with high protein foods are a much healthier alternative and they can help aid the production of collagen.
- Creams and oils – Using creams and oils to prevent stretch marks is an age old remedy for pregnant women. Whilst there is little evidence to suggest that many of the oils are able to penetrate the skin deep enough to affect the epidermis, massaging the skin, keeping it soft and supple is undoubtedly beneficial in helping to prevent stretch marks.
Many women are predisposed to gaining stretch marks. Those whose mothers suffered with bad marks during pregnancy or who suffered with stretch marks previously through weight gain or puberty will most likely have stretch marks during pregnancy. Prevention techniques may or may not work, but many women are proud of their stretch marks, wearing them as a badge of honor for motherhood.
About the author
NAME is an expert in healthcare and regularly provides informative content for the StretchMark24 website. If you are interested in finding out how they are caused as well as how to get rid of stretch marks, go along to the website where you can find a plethora of information.
Daniel Crieg is an expert in healthcare and regularly provides informative content for the StretchMark24 website. If you are interested in finding out how they are caused as well as which stretch mark removal methods are the most effective, go along to the website where you can find a plethora of information.