Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae are often seen in varying degrees during pregnancy. They may only appear later on in your pregnancy, usually around your abdomen, breasts, hips and buttocks. After your pregnancy they may fade to be the same color as your skin, but in most cases they will not go way.
If you wish to reduce the effects of stretch marks ensure that your weight gain throughout your pregnancy is steady, as any sudden large increase of weight will cause stretch marks to appear more readily.
Some people may recommend that you use a steroid cream such as hydrocortisone or topicort to treat stretch marks. However, there is also a chance that your body will absorb the steroid and it may be passed onto your baby. Before using any steroid creams discuss your options with your healthcare provider!
What you can do for stretch marks?
Although the chances of getting stretch marks during the course of your pregnancy may be high, there are a few steps which you can take to try and help reduce the degree to which they appear, or how well they will heal post pregnancy:
1. Drink lots of water and eat healthy foods. In particular foods which are high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables which are bright red, orange or yellow, these provide the essential nutrients for tissue repair and healing.
2. Maintain your skins elasticity by eating adequate amounts of protein and smaller amounts of fat. Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, fish and fish oils are all good sources, but be careful with your fish consumption. Our article on eating fish during pregnancy will give you all the information you need.
3. Stay out of the sun!
4. Follow a regular exercise program. The regular exercise will help keep your skin and body in good condition throughout your pregnancy. It will also help ensure your weight gain is steady and help to improve your weight loss post pregnancy.
Treating stretch marks post pregnancy
After your pregnancy you will have a few options as well to help treat the effects of stretch marks. The use of Retin-A or Renova in conjunction with glycolic acid has been shown as a fairly effective treatment method. However, you will need a prescription for Retin-A and Renova, although you can get glycolic acid from your dermatologist.
An over the counter method of fighting the effects is a cream called StriVectin-SD, which is available from www.strivectin.com
However the most successful method of treating stretch marks is laser therapy. The down side to laser therapy is it may be costly and so is often done in conjunction with medical methods described above.