Stretch marks in pregnancy: why do they appear? Is it possible to do anything to prevent them? And once they appear?
Stretch marks in pregnancy: why they appear
Why do stretch marks appear
After blemishes, stretch marks are the other ‘ugly beast’ of pregnancy blemishes. Also because, as for chloasma, there are the ‘predestined’, which in this case are those who genetically have the least elastic tissues.
Yes, because stretch marks are precisely an inflammation of the elastic tissue present in the dermis, which then heals with a scar that initially appears as a red streak, then becomes white, leaving stable and irreversible damage.
When do stretch marks appear in pregnancy?
In moments of greater traction of the elastic fabric, and that is when you gain weight quickly, when you grow quickly (there are even children with stretch marks!) and of course in pregnancy.
“During the wait, the tensions of the skin are added to the hormonal variations, which have a direct effect on the formation of stretch marks, as well as inducing an excessive release of substances, such as relaxin, which alter the tone of the skin’s elastic tissue” notes Angelo Marzano, Medical Director at the Dermatological Clinic of the University of Milan.
“Having seen stretch marks appear during puberty is an important ‘wake-up call’, which suggests that pregnancy is more at risk”.
How to prevent stretch marks
In addition to hoping to have had ‘good’ genes in the lot, it is advisable to avoid accumulating more kilos than necessary, to follow a good diet (even if there are no ‘anti-stretch mark foods’), to banish a sedentary lifestyle.
And then there are the creams. They do not do miracles, mind you, but keeping the skin elastic and hydrated certainly gives a little help. It is not the case to go into debt to buy very expensive cosmetics, the important thing is a good anti-stretch mark cream, with moisturizing active ingredients, such as vitamin E, and elasticizing, such as boswelic acid. Even better, you can apply a moisturizing fluid in the morning, which absorbs immediately and does not leave the skin greasy, and in the evening the anti-stretch mark specialty, which generally has a thicker texture.
For the cream to be effective, you must not wait for the damage to be done: as soon as you discover that you are pregnant, you must begin to hydrate and nourish the skin constantly, so that it is more resistant when there will be an increase in the volume of certain areas of the body.
Sweet almond oil? Better not
Instead, let’s dispel the ‘myth’ of sweet almond oil: “In addition to being able to cause allergic contact reactions in predisposed subjects, like any herbal product, the oil clogs the skin pores and can cause inflammation at the outlet of the glands pilo-sebaceous, causing folliculitis, ”says Marzano.
Remedies for stretch marks
If the damage is already done, stretch marks they can be mitigated with some aesthetic medicine treatments. Certain treatments can be effective if you intervene on newly formed striae, still red-purple in color, while it is much more difficult to hide the pearly-white stretch marks, which indicate a damaged tissue.
“In any case it is good to know that the results are not 100% sure and there is a risk of incurring considerable costs in the face of scarce benefits” concludes the dermatologist.
Here are the main treatments, which can be performed by the aesthetic doctor or dermatologist.
It is the treatment of choice for post-acne scars and is also used for stretch mark scars, even if the results are not as evident, especially if you act on old-fashioned stretch marks, it is also a method that is not free from risks which, when used badly, it can cause the appearance of lighter or darker patches or scarring even greater than the imperfection to be corrected.
They produce an abrasion on the skin surface, which reactivates the cellular metabolism of the areas where there are stretch marks. Various acids can be used, which the doctor chooses according to the type of skin and stretch mark.
It consists of injecting medical carbon dioxide under the skin, which improves tissue oxygenation and increases cell turnover.