Although harmless, the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy often makes pregnant women feel less confident or even disturbed. However, pregnant women need not worry, because there are several ways that can be done to disguise the stretch marks that appear.
When pregnant, the body will enlarge so that the skin will stretch to adjust to the changes that occur. This condition makes the elastic fibres beneath the surface of the skin break and forms a fine stroke called stretch marks.
How to Overcome Stretch Marks While Pregnant
Vulnerable parts of the body with the appearance of stretch marks are the breasts, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, hips, and upper arms. The appearance of stretch marks is characterized by purplish-red stripes or strokes on the surface of the skin and in some pregnant women can be accompanied by itching.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are caused by stretching that occurs in the skin. The severity of stretch marks in each pregnant woman varies. This can be influenced by several factors, namely:
- Fetuses of considerable size or twins
- Pregnancy with excess amniotic fluid
- History of stretch marks while pregnant in a biological family, such as mother, sister, or grandmother
- Getting pregnant at a young age makes the skin stretch more
Preventing Stretch Marks in Pregnancy
Here are some steps Bumil can take to prevent stretch marks from featuring during pregnancy:
- Eat nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and avoid foods high in fat, sugar, and salt
- Adequate fluid needs by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day
- Do regular exercise, including pregnant gymnastics, to keep skin elastic
- Using lotions on the body to keep the skin moist, elastic, supple, and reduce itching
- Take vitamin E supplements or apply vitamin E cream on the surface of the skin, but consult a doctor before using it
Overcoming Stretch Marks After Childbirth
In general, stretch marks will fade by themselves within 6–12 months after childbirth. The originally reddish strokes will fade to lighter than the surrounding skin, but the texture remains the same.
If stretch marks never go away and you feel uncomfortable, consult a dermatologist to treat them.
To treat stretch marks, your doctor may provide the following treatment:
1. Hyaluronic acid gel with shallot extract
Research shows that the use of gels containing a mixture of hyaluronic acid and shallot extract can fade stretch marks after 12 weeks of regular use.
2. Retinoids (vitamin A)
Retinoids (vitamin A) are able to stimulate the formation of new cells and accelerate the growth of new collagen. As a result, the skin will become healthier. However, the use of retinoids should be as prescribed by a doctor, especially for pregnant and nursing mothers.
Laser beams are proven to fade stretch marks on the surface of the skin. The effects of laser heat rays can increase collagen growth, thereby shrinking dilated blood vessels.
Stretch marks may not disappear completely, but can be disguised over time. If you are disturbed by stretch marks that appear during pregnancy or if the strokes do not fade after you give birth, try to consult a doctor for treatment.