Around 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks through the course of their pregnancies, so it’s more likely that you’ll have them than not. They occur as reddish streaks around the abdomen and breasts, and sometimes on the thighs, hips and upper arms. Wherever there is weight gain on your body, there is a likelihood of stretch marks. Over time they’ll fade, but unfortunately, stretch marks are permanent, and will leave a faint and silvery mark on the skin long after birth. The skin however, is a dynamic, living breathing organ that when supported and nourished, is capable of healing quickly from the strains of pregnancy. The best approach is a preventive one, however if you are already experiencing stretch marks, there’s still plenty you can do to improve your skin-healing.
The causes of stretch marks 분당스웨디시
Stretch marks occur because the rapid weight gain of pregnancy increases the stress on the middle layer of the skin (the dermis), causing it to tear. Another cause of stretch marks is the hormonal changes of pregnancy that stimulate the breakdown of proteins in the skin, thus reducing skin elasticity. Some women may experience drier skin during pregnancy, and this further reduces skin elasticity and makes it more prone to tearing. It’s also thought that younger skin, being tauter, is more likely to tear than older weaker skin, and women under 30 years of age are most at risk of developing stretch marks.
Topical applications will come in handy to strengthen skin integrity; however you will need to use something that penetrates beyond the superficial layers of the skin for deeper effects. Consider the herb Arnica, which has a long established reputation throughout Europe as a safe and natural medicine that can speed up tissue healing and recovery. This herb can be helpful in healing skin tissues damaged by pregnancy. It is also useful to soothe aching muscles and pain. Apply arnica oil diluted in an oil base, with light, repetitive circular strokes. Ensure any product you use is suitable for use in pregnancy and does not contain parabens, synthetic fragrances or preservatives or any other potentially harmful chemicals. Natural and biodynamic products are best, and these will contain certification labels such as NaTrue and BDIH.
Other topical oils that help to nourish and soften the skin include Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Wheatgerm oil, and Carrot oil. These oils are rich in Essential Fatty Acids and the vitamins A, C, E, B, and are able to hydrate and strengthen skin cell membranes. This makes the cells less prone to damage and improves skin elasticity. Sweet Almond oil is especially useful for pregnancy as it does not have a distinct scent. Like the redness-reducing Jojoba oil, it is very useful in topical applications for mothers-to-be. Wheatgerm oil is recognizable by its bright yellow-orange colour and is so healing to the skin it’s known as the ‘scar healing oil’, and is recommended by aromatherapists around the world. It is especially suited to skin that is recovering from rapid stretching, such as skin during pregnancy and after birth. A dedicated Pregnancy Body Oil containing all of these oils can be safely applied weeks before and all the way throughout your pregnancy. It is generally recommended to continue applying such oils for up to 3 months after birth to optimise the effects.
What to put in your body
To improve your skin health in general, eat lots of carrot, pumpkin, raw nuts and seeds, olive oil, eggs, meat and sardines. These are high in the fat-soluble vitamins A and E, essential for maintaining skin elasticity. To strengthen skin collagen, eat citrus fruits, blackcurrants, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, watercress, papaya, broccoli, snow peas and a little dark chocolate on the side! These are all high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids and also have an anti-aging effect on the skin. The deeply nutritious Blackthorn plant has a reputation for maintaining a strong vital force throughout rapid growth spurts and makes an excellent strengthening tonic for women during pregnancy.
Massage for stretch marks
Daily massage is a wonderful way to reduce the risk or intensity of stretch marks during pregnancy. Massage provides stimulation of the tissues underlying the superficial layers of the skin, even when applied in light strokes, which means it is both effective and safe in pregnancy. To prevent or treat stretch marks, softly draw small repetitive circles over the skin using a dedicated pregnancy body oil regularly, concentrating on any areas of your body where there has been or may be weight gain.