They occur between the sixth and eighth months and are due to hormonal factors and the increase in volume of the abdomen, hips and breasts. Stretch marks, however, can be prevented
Stretch marks in pregnancy: prevention
They are probably the number one enemy of pregnant women and new mothers: the stretch marks that appear frequently in the sixth-eighth month, are due to hormonal and mechanical causes, such as the rapid increase in volume of the abdomen, hips and breasts. And, once they appear, in most cases the damage is done, and they can only be mitigated and not eliminated.
“This is why prevention is very important: the use of creams based on elasticizing substances, a balanced diet rich in water, proteins and antioxidant vitamins, no smoking, are all elements that help the skin to remain elastic,“explains a dossier from the Ministry of Health.
What are stretch marks and how do they arise
The stretch marks, which appear as single or multiple strips parallel to each other (or radially on the mammary areola), separated by sections of healthy skin, technically they are scars due to the fracture of collagen fibers in the dermis, the deepest layer of the skin.
Frequency and distribution
According to the ministry “more than 50% of pregnant women experience stretch marks: their onset is more frequent around the 6th-8th month of pregnancy, when glucose tolerance decreases and the blood concentration of steroid hormones increases (including cortisol, a hormone that weakens elastic fibers, collagen and mucopolysaccharides which form the scaffolding that supports the dermis).
In general, young women and primiparas are most affected, but they can also occur in women with genetic predisposition, in particular in those who have a variation in the genes that act on the degradation of collagen “.
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How to prevent stretch marks
Prevention, however, is possible: the ministry’s advice is that of use cosmetic products based on elasticizing substances such as:
- boswelic acid,
- Vitamin E,
- hyaluronic acid
- and oils (olive, sweet almond, and wheat germ).
“The use of such products, to be applied consistently every day, it is important – underlines the dossier – because it favors the elasticity of the tissues and limits the onset of this imperfection “. But lifestyle also plays its part:” It is important to follow a balanced diet rich in water, proteins, vitamins and antioxidants, all elements that promote skin elasticity.
Surely they also affect the weight changes: both important increases and sudden weight loss. Smoking affects the onset of stretch marks as it makes the skin less elastic. Exercise is useful, but without putting too much effort into it. In addition, some sports such as body building, weight lifting and tennis, especially if practiced excessively, represent an important mechanical stretching factor for the skin and therefore favor the appearance of stretch marks “.
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What if they have already appeared? The remedies
What if, despite everything, stretch marks still show up? After childbirth and breastfeeding, explains the ministry, “to improve the appearance of stretch marks can be done treatments such as chemical peels based on different types of acids that favor the synthesis of collagen. They can also be carried out radiofrequency treatments which through heat stimulate the skin to produce collagen and elastin.
Lasers can also help, especially fractional lasers and the Dye laser, indicated in red stretch marks to even out the color. “
And finally “they can also be used methods of transdermal delivery to favor the penetration of elasticising substances “.
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Internationally, there are several projects underway against the obsession with perfect beauty. For example on Instagram #loveyourlines is the Instagram profile that praises the beauty of real women