Stretch marks are the consequence of suddenly stretched skin. Nobody likes them, especially pregnant women who are mostly exposed to these undesirable blemishes. Why so? Because collagen fibers weaken due to a large amount of cortisol (a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex) circulating in the body. Moreover, an increased secretion of this hormone makes new collagen fibers (the ones produced after a woman gets pregnant) less resistant to stretching. When a bump gets bigger, collagen fibers break so skin gets stretchy and intensively-red rings occur. These stretch marks are usually small – an inch long and around five-millimeter wide. Mostly yet not always – the mark stretches throughout the belly and is half inch wide. They are really difficult to do away with, therefore, the prevention is the best choice. Does every pregnant woman have or will have stretch marks? At what point do they start occurring? When can you start applying an anti stretch mark cream? Are all such creams safe while pregnant? How to apply anti stretch marks treatments? Can you use them and anti cellulite creams at the same time? Let me answer these questions.
Does or will every woman expecting a child have stretch marks?
Stretch marks occur in 60-90% of moms-to-be. Their occurrence depends on the following factors:
If, similarly to your moms and grandmas, you are prone to stretch marks, they may appear during pregnancy.
- Gaining too much weight
Extra pounds in your hips or thighs make collagen and elastin fibers – responsible for skin firmness – even weaker.
- The age of a mom-to-be
Very young women are more likely to have stretch marks because their skin is more prone to breakage.
When stretch marks start appearing during pregnancy?
It usually happens at the end of the second or during the third trimester when the belly grows noticeably. If you’re pregnant with twins or you’ve put lots of weight at the very beginning of the pregnancy, this may happen earlier.
When can I start applying an anti stretch mark cream while pregnant?
Check the labels of particular products for the answers. Most brands recommend the first application after the third month. This doesn’t mean you cannot use them earlier; the problem is that there are no tests carried out on women using products from the very beginning of pregnancy. This is thought provoking, considering dermatologists’ recommendations: most of them advise to apply anti stretch mark products at the beginning of pregnancy. Therefore, look for products that can be used already in the first trimester.
Are all stretch mark creams safe to use while pregnant?
None of ingredients in stretch mark creams penetrates the blood stream, which makes such products safe. Nevertheless, you must remember that not all products will be right for you while pregnant.. I mean both the scent making you feel sick or substances causing allergic reactions. You have never experienced such situations? It doesn’t matter; reactions of your body to various factors change when you’re a future mom. The best solution is asking for a sample or trying a tester on the skin. This will help you check the aroma of a given product and rule out possible skin irritations.
How to apply stretch mark creams?
Massage the cream into the belly skin gently; use more pressure for the buttocks and hips area. If your skin gets slightly red and warmed up, the conditioning ingredients penetrate easily. Moreover, remember about a gentle scrub once or twice a week to remove dead cells and enhance the absorption of products.
Can you use stretch mark and anti cellulite creams at the same time?
There’s nothing wrong about doing that but you need to take a break between the applications. What does it mean? Apply a stretch mark cream, wait for 15 minutes and let it absorb, massage an anti cellulite cream in. You may as well try 2in1 anti stretch mark and cellulite lotion.
Pregnancy stretch marks – what are other ways to prevent them?
First of all, control your weight – 20-30 pounds is the maximum you should gain during pregnancy (of course, it depends on your before-pregnancy weight). Obviously, I don’t mean you must starve yourself or the baby. You should eat more veggies and fruit, not unhealthy snacks, sweet beverages or pasta with thick sauces.
Also, massage your skin. Do it yourself at home e.g. using circular motions with a rough sponge in a shower (gently – belly and breasts, more pressure – buttocks, thighs and hips). Try applying a bit of baby’s care oil to moisturise and firm the skin. Finally, rinse body out with warm and cool water by turns.
Did you get stretch marks while being pregnant or did you manage to avoid them? If so, what’s your remedy? Share your experiences!