Can Stretch Marks Be Prevented?
There are many physical changes that occur with pregnancy. One very common occurrence is the appearance of stretch marks. Many women are proud of their stretch marks and consider them a badge of honor. There are other women who do not like the sight of them, who fall prey to all the lotions and creams that claim to erase these marks.
Studies have shown that there is a genetic and hormonal link to why some women get these marks and others don't.
These marks will fade as time goes on, and go from red to pink, then pale silver or white.
Let's look at some ways you can try to prevent stretch marks. First of all, anybody who rapidly gains weight can get stretch marks. This happened to me my freshman year in college. I gained twenty pounds, then went on some crazy diet and lost it in one month. Voila!! Stretch marks on my hips. Ironically, I didn't get any with either of my pregnancies.
In pregnancy, weight gain is a given. Yet, a sudden sharp increase is not a given. The best prevention is a slow and steady weight gain. Staying hydrated is key. About 50% of pregnant women will develop stretch marks. Some studies say that younger women are more prone, while others indicate that geography matters.
There is some promising research on using hyaluronic acid on the skin and daily massages to help prevent stretch marks.
What Can You do Once You Have Stretch Marks?
There isn't any conclusive evidence about products that can help alleviate or minimize these marks. Though, you have probably seen lots of products that claim to do that.
This article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, is for the research geeks like me. It does go through some of the different products, and claims.
This quote from the above mentioned article is a great summary, in case you don't have time to read the whole thing.
"In order to improve the appearance and reduce the symptoms associated with SD (striae distensae), the following processes should occur; increased collagen production and fibroblastic activity, increase in elasticity and blood perfusion, improvement in cell proliferation, increased skin hydration and anti‐inflammatory properties."
Please do your homework. Find out what is true about the product you are considering purchasing. Marketing these products to women who are vulnerable, who may have body image issues, is a great way to get sales.
If the product has no toxins in it, and it doesn't require a huge sum of money, then you might want to test it. You don't have anything to lose, except for faith in the company selling it to you. And, perhaps it will work for you!!
Sharing my knowledge and wisdom about all things birth