Causes and Prevention of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Avoid Pregnancy Stretch MarksDue to the drastic changes in the body, some pregnant women experience skin darkening. Usually the normally darker areas of the skin get even darker and sometimes a dark line is seen on the abdomen. Roughly 50-90 percent of the pregnant women get these marks, generally in the last three months.

Stretch marks are caused when the skin is stretched extremely and then does not return to its normal condition. They are deep scars that look like stripes on the skin. There are many factors that lead to stretch marks, with some of the most common being family history, if you had them in a previous pregnancy, too quick or too much weight gain, more than one baby, and Ethnicity (fewer African American women get them).

Although you do not have the power to totally prevent stretch marks, you do have some control over them. First of all, don’t be fooled by expensive creams promising to stop the formation of the marks – it is not possible. What you can do is eat a healthy diet so your weight gain stays within the ideal range of 25 to 35 pounds. A steady weight gain allows the skin to stretch at a steady rate also which minimizes marks.

With a cloth, massage the area where you don’t want the marks to appear, this will increase circulation to that area which may help. Stay hydrated as this is essential to healthy skin. Make sure you take your vitamins; this ensures proper nutrition to you and your baby. Keep your skin moisturized. Here you may consider using a cream marketed for stretch mark prevention, as they contain various vitamins and oils that enhance collagen production and keep the skin from breaking.

Once formed, there is no remedy for eliminating these marks but you can try exfoliating with the products available for this purpose in the market or prepare one of your own at home using oatmeal or baking soda. Removing the dead skin and unveiling the fresh new skin will make the marks less noticeable. Don’t forget of moisturize after exfoliating to keep the skin hydrated.