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Pregnancy And Stretch Marks: What You Need To Know

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If you're pregnant for the first time, you might be concerned about developing stretch marks. These are common in pregnancy as your skin is stretched to accommodate your growing belly. Some women hope to avoid stretch marks, and others are mainly worried about how they will look after the baby comes.

Here is what you need to know about stretch marks.

Stretch marks are normal.

Stretch marks are caused when the body is growing faster than the skin can cover. The top layer of your skin "splits" at it were, allowing for the elastic layer of your skin to make up the difference. Stretch marks are permanent without special treatment. They might first appear as starkly white, bright red, or deep purple lines, but their size and color does fade over time.

You can't always prevent them.

Nine out of ten pregnant women get stretch marks. Many try to prevent them by staying hydrated and by using lotion on the skin to try and help it retain elasticity. But, stretch marks are usually unavoidable, especially if you have a family history of getting stretch marks during periods of growth, weight gain, or pregnancy. 

However, one way you can reduce the risk of developing stretch marks is to stay active and eat well during your pregnancy. These help to maintain your weight. Rapid weight gain during pregnancy can make stretching worse.

Treating stretch marks after they occur should be your focus. 

Many pregnant women spend a lot of time and money on special creams to prevent stretch marks, but the best way to minimize their appearance is treating them as they appear, or as soon as you can after delivery.

You can help your skin heal by using prescription creams from a dermatologist to boost the collagen in your skin. You can also get laser treatment that will boost collagen and reduce the size of blood vessels in the skin, helping to reduce or even eliminate the appearance of stretch marks on your skin. Sometimes it takes several laser treatment sessions to see lasting change.

If you don't have access to these treatments, don't be discouraged. In the months following the delivery of your baby, the stretch marks will fade. As you lose weight and improve muscle tone, they will not be as noticeable. Also, if you ever become pregnant again, it's unlikely new stretch marks will develop, and if they do, they will be much smaller and fewer. 

For more information about this, contact the office of Larson, Robert.