Stretch mark or striae is a fact of pregnancy for
more than 80% of pregnant women. Pregnancy stretch
marks appear mostly on the tummy, bum, thighs and
breasts (the fleshier parts of the anatomy) and the
color depends on the skin tone. Stretch marks are
thin pinkish, reddish or purplish streaks on light
skins and brownish lines on darker skins. Usually
pregnancy stretch marks appear in the second half
of pregnancy when your expansion becomes more obvious.
What Causes Pregnancy Stretch
The hormone relaxin causes collagen levels in skin
fibers to drop and this makes skin more prone to developing
these lines. The development of pregnancy stretch
marks cannot be stalled. This is because skin stretches
a lot and rapidly during pregnancy and second because
of the excess weight gain. Why some skins don't get
these marks or don't get as many lines is largely
to do with the skin and body type. If the weight you
gain is excess and rapid and your body doesn't have
enough elastin and collagen to combat these changes,
then you become a sure target for stretch marks.
So can stretch marks go away? No. At first they are
reddish or brownish in color from the growth of tiny
blood vessels (color depends on skin tone). Gradually
these lines become shiny and pearl white and narrower
after delivery but they do not entirely vanish. Pregnancy
stretch marks cannot be stopped and they cannot be
made to disappear through special lotions and diet.
A more intensive approach will be required to reduce
its appearance (discussed below).
Who gets it..
• If you gain weight rapidly
• If your skin is not elastic enough
• If you are carrying a big baby
• If you carrying multiples
• If you have excess amniotic fluid
• If you are fair skinned; it appears less frequently
in darker skinned women
• Usually makes its appearance in the second
half of pregnancy when your expansion becomes more
You cannot prevent it but
you can minimize it..
• Drastic weight gain is one culprit you can
control; try and gain weight gradually since healthy
weight gain is a natural part of pregnancy. You will
still get them but with gradual weight gain, the skin
will stretch without tearing so the number and severity
of this problem is lessened
• A diet rich in protein and vitamin C helps
to promote and maintain healthy skin
• While many people swear that vitamin E creams,
expensive oils, salves and emollients does wonders,
many women who use such products still get these pregnancy
marks. So it is really a question of you being predisposed
to this problem or not. Genetics and weight gain have
a heavier role to play in whether you acquire pregnancy
stretch marks or not.
• These creams at best moisten your skin, keeps
it well conditioned and this in turn will keep itchiness
at bay. (Stretched skin feels itchy rather easily)
Can Stretch Marks go Away..
Pregnancy stretch marks appear prominent while you
are pregnant but with time, after you have delivered,
these marks tend to lighten and fade into silvery
lines that are lighter than the surrounding skin.
If you are not happy or comfortable with the sight,
make an appointment with a dermatologist who will
diminish the scars through microdermabrasion or laser
treatment. Alternatively, you can resort to treatment
with Isotretinoin gel (Retin-A), which you should
only try after pregnancy and if you are not breastfeeding.
this treatment is most effective
when the streaks still have their dark pigments.