– Your body changes rapidly in size and shape during pregnancy. With your new proportions can come a number of other changes, including symptoms involving your skin. Stretch marks are one of the most common minor skin issues associated with pregnancy, and drugstore.com can help you deal with this dermatological concern. We have a number of topical stretch mark products available for expectant and new mothers alike. read more about stretch marks »
Stretch marks are areas of abnormal skin texture and tone. During pregnancy, you are most likely to develop stretch marks on your abdomen and breasts; however, they can also develop on the thighs and buttocks. Typically, symptoms of stretch marks first appear during the second trimester of pregnancy. Also called striae, stretch marks can vary in appearance from woman to woman. Sometimes, the marks appear as indentations or bumpy lines on the skin. They may be pink, red or purple in color when they first appear. Over time, the marks often fade and appear white or gray in color. In some cases, stretch marks disappear completely on their own in the months and years following pregnancy, but signs of them may persist throughout life as well.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
A woman can develop stretch marks any time that her body changes in size at a rapid pace. They are very common in pregnancy due to the rapid weight gain and swelling of the breasts that occur as babies grow inside of the womb. You can also develop stretch marks due to growth spurts during puberty, as a result of obesity, from using certain medications or because of certain medical conditions. The discoloration and unevenness of the skin is caused by a combination of hormonal changes in the body and physical damage to the tissue.
How Can I Prevent Stretch Marks?
It may not be possible to completely prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, but taking the best possible care of your skin during all three trimesters can give you the best chance of maintaining good skin health. One of the most important things to do for your body skin during pregnancy is to moisturize it daily. Applying a moisturizer will help to keep the skin tissue properly hydrated. Dry tissue loses some of its elasticity and is more likely to develop an uneven skin tone, but moisturizers can help to reduce the risk of these problems. Massage the moisturizer into your body skin after you bathe and throughout the day as needed.
Should I Use Stretch Mark Cream?
Moisturizers and other topical products for stretch marks are applied to the skin, but they don't just affect your skin tissue. Some of the ingredients contained in moisturizers and other products are able to be absorbed by the body and passed through both your and your baby's bloodstreams. Even ingredients that are generally safe for use by most people could pose risks for developing babies, so you must be cautious about using skin care formulas during pregnancy. The products in the stretch marks department intended for pregnant women are generally free of ingredients that are known to be risky for babies; however, you should ask your obstetrician or midwife before using any new skin care or treatment product.