Very few women who have ever been pregnant haven’t seen a stretch mark or two. Gaining pregnancy weight suddenly stretches the skin and causes scarring. Although they’re not entirely avoidable, stretch marks don’t have to be prominent as there are ways to lighten them and mask their appearance on the skin.
Real Moms Show Their Stretch Marks
When to Expect Stretch Marks to Appear
Stretch marks appear during weeks thirteen to twenty-one. You’ll start to notice the reddish or purple marks forming on your breasts, hips, thighs, and stomach at this time. You may be lucky and not notice any real stretch marks on your body.
The Causes of Pregnancy Stretch Marks
If you’ve ever wondered what causes stretch marks to appear while pregnant, you’re not alone. Many women want to know this information, so they can do their part to reduce the severe appearance of stretched, reddened skin. Knowing why stretch marks occur in the first place can help women determine the best way to deal with them.
Things to consider about stretch marks include:
Genetics. If your mother had them, you’ll probably have them, too.
Stretch marks are actually tiny tears in the skin as it stretches. As you gain weight, your skin stretches to accommodate the changes in your body. It actually tears which marks up your skin.
Rapid weight gain is often the culprit for big stretch marks. If you gain weight too fast, you’ll see big stretch marks as your skin tries to accommodate the changes in your body.
Light skin is more prone to more prominent stretch marks. Darker skin doesn’t show stretch marks as clearly as lighter skin.
Tips for Minimizing the Appearance of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a normal part of pregnancy. You can, however, minimize their appearance by doing the following things:
Fall in love with cocoa butter. Let it be your moisturizing agent of choice. It combats dryness and itchiness while soothing your stretched skin.
Get enough Vitamin C in your diet. It helps tone your body and maintain your skin’s elasticity, so it doesn’t stretch as much.
Try not to gain too much weight. Don’t let the excuse that “you’re eating for two” become a problem. Watch your weight and note any significant fluctuations you see. Talk to your doctor about how many extra pounds you’ll gain with your pregnancy and report the differences to the physician as they occur. There could be an underlying health issue that hasn’t been detected.
Get a skin treatment from your dermatologist after the baby has been born. It’s not safe to undergo such a procedure or treatment now but it will be once you’ve delivered your child. Besides, your skin won’t stop stretching until after then, anyway.
There are things you can do to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Keep in mind that the skin will continue to stretch until after you delivered the baby. If you choose to undergo any type of treatment for the marks, do so after you’ve given birth for best results.