When do stretch marks appear in pregnancy?

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When skin expands or shrinks rapidly, proteins present in the skin layers, specifically elastin and collagen, rupture, so stretch marks are formed due to healing in the form of long, red /pink /brown scars. 

Stretch marks are very common in pregnancy. They generally become visible during later trimesters, around the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. That being said, they might appear sooner as well.

Causes stretch marks during pregnancy.

Some of the reasons that cause stretch marks during pregnancy might include:

Genetics

Stretch marks are partly hereditary. If your mom or sister has developed stretch marks during pregnancy, you are more likely to have them too.

Physical stretching

During the second trimester of pregnancy, there is a sudden increase in weight. So skin expands rapidly. This causes rupturing of the skin’s elastin and collagen and results in the formation of stretch marks.

Hormones

The increase and decrease of certain hormone levels also play a key role in forming stretch marks during pregnancy.

Young skin

If you are too young, you can get more stretch marks. Young skin is a lot more firm than matured skin. So if your skin is firm, it has to stretch more to account for your growing baby. This causes stretch marks.

reduce stretch marks during pregnancy

How to reduce stretch marks during pregnancy

Here are some tips to help you to reduce stretch marks during pregnancy:

Moisturizing and Massaging

As soon as you see stretch marks that appear on your skin, apply pressure and massage at least one time a day. 

Massaging stretch marks with creams containing Hyaluronic acid or Tretinoin helps reduce them. 

Stay hydrated

Take a good amount of fluids as it keeps your skin hydrated, soft, and elastic. Dehydrated skin is more prone to develop stretch marks.

Have a balanced diet

If you eat a balanced diet, you will get your pounds at a slower and steadier rate during pregnancy. As the weight gain is steady, the chances of developing stretch marks are also slow.

Increasing Vitamin C intake

Foods rich in Vitamin C contain antioxidants that help to repair skin and tissue damage. Eat oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and green leafy vegetables regularly.

Exercising

Exercising helps to maintain proper body weight during pregnancy. Moreover, regular exercise boosts blood circulation, keeping your skin less vulnerable to damage.

Most of the stretch marks formed during pregnancy fade away naturally with time. But if you are still concerned about them, you may consult a dermatologist and take proper treatment. 

None of these treatments can guarantee you to eliminate them but they can make them less noticeable. Some of the treatments are:

  • Laser therapy
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Ultrasound
  • Radiofrequency
  • Microneedling

These treatments should not be taken during pregnancy as they are not safe—moreover, your skin changes over these nine months.

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