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Friday, May 8, 2015

Here's What To Do About Stretch Marks After Childbirth

Image result for stretch marks pregnancy

Stretch marks are the bane of every woman who has delivered a child. They are long, wide and shiny or silvery marks that happen on the stomach, breasts, buttocks and thighs. They happen because of the stretching that occurs during pregnancy as the baby continues to grow. Under the skin the collagen separates and the results are stretch marks. Because they happen as the skin stretches they often occur in the later stages of pregnancy as the baby is growing at a fast rate.
Although every woman is at risk to develop stretch marks, there are some who have a slightly higher risk because of other factors. For instance women who are delivering multiple births will grow larger than a woman who is going to deliver a single child. Family history is also another indicator. If your mother or grandmother had stretch marks during their pregnancy then you have a greater chance of experiencing stretch marks during your pregnancy.
But the biggest factor for developing stretch marks is the additional weight gain that you carry during pregnancy. This means that if, instead of gaining the standard 25 pounds during pregnancy, you gain of 40 or 50 pounds you are at greater risk for developing stretch marks.
Interestingly hydration also plays a part in the severity of stretch marks you may experience. If you remain hydrated during your pregnancy your skin has a better ability to bounce back easily which decreases the appearance of the stretch marks. Another factor is skin color. African American women will experience less scarring and less frequently than Caucasian women.
As with most other medical conditions it is easier to prevent the condition then it is to correct it. Statistically, between 75 and 90 percent of women who become pregnant will develop some degree of stretch marks. At this time there are several products on the market which claim they are able to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Most of these include a moisturizer or lotion that helps to improve the skin elasticity. In other cases practitioners recommend rubbing on broken capsules of vitamin E over the abdomen, hips, buttocks and breasts in order to prevent the development of stretch marks.
The next option is to treat the scars which have already occurred. Although they cannot be made to fully disappear there are steps which will help to treat the area and reduce the visibility of the scars. Be aware that these stretch marks are at their most visible in the weeks immediately after delivery and over the coming months and years will gradually fade.
There are several creams and formulas which are sold commercially that are formulated to reduce the appearance or soften the scar. This helps to decrease their discoloration and therefore the ability to see the stretch marks. Others find that using vitamin E, as described for prevention, and taken internally will help to speed the healing process.
Treatment using commercial creams and lotions should be done at least twice a day for a period of several weeks before you will begin to see the results. This method can be long and painstaking but there is an option which is quicker albeit more expensive.
Dermatologists are able to assist women with removal or reduction of stretch marks through the use of laser surgery. This treatment makes them fade and is most effective in the early stages when the color is at its darkest. Laser surgery will require a series of treatments but will work much more quickly than using creams and lotions.
Retin-A, a derivative of vitamin A used frequently by dermatologists for the removal of acting scars and treatment of acne, has been found to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. However this treatment is absorbed into the bloodstream and will be passed along to a developing baby or to your newborn through breast-feeding. This medication should never be used when you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Alpha hydroxy acids are plant derived extracts which are fairly common in over-the-counter facial creams to help decrease the appearance of age. They reportedly increased cell regeneration by removing the top layer of skin cells and allowing newer, healthier cells to come to the surface. These chemicals also supposedly increase skin flexibility which will help stretch marks could see her more quickly.
While stretch marks may be almost unavoidable during a pregnancy there are options for treatment once the baby has been born. Prevention and during pregnancy by staying hydrated, keeping the skin moisturized and watching your weight gain will go a long way towards enabling the treatment modalities to work all the better once the baby has been born.
Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. The site encompasses a wide variety of health and fitness activities including general health matters, pilates, yoga, CrossFit, treadmill training, running, kettlebell, swimming, baseball, camping, hunting, HIIT, triathlons, extreme sports, equestrian and more. Should this subject matter be of interest you can visit the HF & S Club home site where you'll find over 1,300 quality posts with new posts being published daily. To quickly access those that are of interest you can select any of 20 Categories broken down by over 260 Sub-Categories for easy access. You can also visit visit any of the HF & S Club's four Stores all of which feature 1,000s of sports and health products at the very best prices. Access this website by going to

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