Just like swollen ankles and feet, women suffer from stretch marks after pregnancy. You might have heard about stretch marks and worried about them. Well, some moms wear them proudly as they indicate motherhood. Whether you are worried or happy to have these striae, we will mention how to mask their appearance.
A common issue of having stretch marks is that they affect your confidence. Moreover, it appears in both men and women due to sudden weight gain.
Some common places of their appearance include:
- Lower back
Typically, the bands and stretches of stretch marks after pregnancy differ in color and texture of your normal skin. Pregnant ladies can notice their appearance at the end of the second trimester. However, sometimes they can appear sooner.
What are Stretch Marks?
Striae distensae or striae gravidarum are some common name for stretch marks. In general, they appear as scratched skin. These scars appear when your body grows rapidly and look like intended streaks on your skin.
Stretch marks after pregnancy might be:
The color of these striae depends on their:
- Area of appearance on the body
- And how old they are
Initially, stretch marks appear as raised skin but eventually feel like slight depression in your skin. Also, they can cause irritation and itchiness.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
The name indicates that stretch marks appear due to skin stretching. Stretching during pregnancy or rapid weight gain tears the supportive structure in the dermis of your skin. This tearing becomes visible on the surface of your skin. Generally, these marks are not harmful to your health but are slightly annoying.
These marks are not limited to pregnant ladies men with rapid weight gain can also lead to stretch marks. Also, some teenagers get these marks due to a potent growth spurt.
However, up to 90% of pregnant ladies get these marks at the end of the 2nd trimester or the start of 3rd trimester. Not every woman gets these motherhood marks at the same level of severity.
Some research studies indicate that some women are more prone to stretch marks after pregnancy than others. Therefore, if your mom your grandmother got them, there is a good chance that you will, too.
Some common causes of stretch marks include:
Most women develop stretch marks during pregnancy as the fibers in the skin become soft and stretch, making room for the developing baby. As the baby grows, stretch marks appear on the tummy, thighs, and breasts due to the continual tugging and stretching.
Sometimes, youngsters experience sudden growth of their body parts, which leads them to stretch marks. Youngsters can experience these marks on hips, thighs, and breasts.
You might have noticed that sudden weight gain also results in stretch marks. Similarly, they also appear if you are on a diet due to the fluctuating weight. It is, therefore, advisable to lose weight gradually so that the skin is not strained.
As stated earlier that there are good chances of getting stretch marks if your mother or grandmother has them during pregnancy.
Bodybuilders very commonly face this problem of stretch marks. Rapid growth in muscle mass and sometimes misuse of anabolic steroids to accelerate muscle growth lead to the appearance of stretch marks.
Some common health conditions that causes stretch marks to include:
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Marfan’s syndrome
In Cushing’s syndrome body produces more cortisol hormone that can cause these stretch marks after pregnancy. And in Marfan’s syndrome body’s skin and connective tissues become weak, which results in stretch marks.
Have you ever used corticosteroids containing creams, lotions, or other products? These skincare products bring down the collagen level in your skin. This rapid decrease in collagen level causes stretch marks on the skin.
Types of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
Here are some common stretch marks that a person can experience before, during, or after pregnancy.
Red stretch marks, also known as striae rubra, appear in the initial stages. It seems red as the dermis of the skin stretches and lets the blood vessels show. At this stage, women experience more itching and irritation. However, it is easy to get rid of these stretch marks at the initial stage.
White stretch marks or striae alba looks white or silverish. It appears when the blood vessels reduce in size and fat becomes visible. Generally, these white marks are mature and take time for treatment.
Though stretch marks after pregnancy never disappear, you can mask their appearance by using tretinoin creams.
Some Ways to Mask the Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
Typically, the stretch marks after pregnancy are not harmful. Also, they don’t indicate a health problem. But people search for ways to get rid of these marks as they affect their appearance.
There are several treatments available to minimize their appearance. Not every treatment will work the same for everyone. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk with your dermatologist or doctor. They can discuss the different options with you and help you figure out what might work best for you and your skin.
A few treatment options you might like are:
- Chemical peels
- Laser therapy
- Topical gels
- Tretinoin creams
- Cocoa butter & oil
- Vitamin E
- Olive oil & almond oil
- Aloe vera
- Stay hydrated
- Keep your skin moisturized
- Honey scrub & lemon juice
Hey Mom! Don’t feel embarrassed, getting pregnant or having a baby is a big deal. Always remember that you pass through many changes to bring your little ones into this world. These stretch marks will fade away with time.
However, if you are wondering about how to get rid of these stretch marks after pregnancy, this article is for you.