By Dr. Anil P. Trimbake, Dermatology
Pregnancy stretch marks are characterized by appearance of purplish or pinkish streak lines on the skin. They usually appear on the stomach area, but may also appear on the breasts and the upper thighs. The condition tends to vary from person to person. The initial sign is the itch you experience around the affected area on the skin.
These marks occur when the size of the body grows faster during pregnancy and the skin fails to catch up with the rate of body’s growth. The elastic fibers below the skin’s surface tend to break, leading to stretch marks. Stretch marks may also be caused by the hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy.
These stretch marks cannot be prevented; certain creams which claim to treat stretch marks do not reach the affected portion of the skin.
- There are certain lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and restricting alcohol intake which you should incorporate.
- Start with strength training as it will prevent damage to the elastic fibers and improve your overall shape.
- Add cardiovascular exercises such as aerobics to prevent weight gain.
- Restrict consumption of processed foods such as pizzas and burgers as they contain various preservatives and salt; these ingredients cause the body to retain water, thus making you look more bloated.
- You should also drink at least 2-3 liters of water on a daily basis.
- You may try out certain complementary therapies such as hot oil massage therapy. This therapy involves massaging your body with oils which add Vitamin E to your skin; the absolute necessity for a healthy and supple skin.
- The stretch marks can be lighten with the help of advance treatments up to 80-90%. The treatments include Chemical peels, MDA and fractional laser.