Stretch marks and how to avoid them

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are marks which appear on skin which is being ‘stretched’.  Stretch marks occur when your body changes quickly, such as during pregnancy or if you quickly gain weight. Stretch marks occur in the dermis- the middle layer of your skin, and start out as small tears which can appear red or pinkish, and then become silvery and scar like as the skin is stretched.

Stretch marks are natural and anyone can get them, at any age. Although most common during pregnancy, they can appear at any time when your skin is stretched beyond its elastic limit.

 

Will I get stretch marks during pregnancy?

It is believed that 75 – 90% of pregnant women will end up with stretch marks on a part of their body during pregnancy. It is thought that this is largely genetic – so if your mother had stretch marks then chances are you will too.

During pregnancy, the changing hormones will affect your appetite and cravings for fatty or unhealthy foods could see you gaining weight more quickly, leading to an increased likelihood of stretch marks appearing.

What can I do to prevent stretch marks?

Eating healthily and drinking plenty of water will keep your body in the best possible condition for having a baby, and will ensure that your skin has all the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep it nourished. While this may not stop stretch marks – it should keep you at a healthy weight so your skin has a chance to keep up with the growing bump.

There are a range of creams and lotions which claim to help these fade after pregnancy, but many of these contain chemicals such as Retin-A , which are not suitable for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Natural moisturising creams can help keep your skin soft and supple, and care for it from the outside in.

Creams containing natural ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Lotions like the Katharine Botanicals Stretch Mark Lotion help keep your skin moisturised and relieves any itching or discomfort that stretch marks may cause.

How long will stretch marks last?

Stretch marks will usually fade after about a year, but the texture of the stretch mark might remain different to the surrounding skin. 

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