What Causes Stretch Marks & 5 Tips For Skin Care

by Khadija MAWHOUB

Whether due to pregnancy, rapid growth during puberty or weight gain: there are many reasons why women, in particular, have to struggle with stretch marks in the course of their lives.

However, the number of available products and treatments for stretch marks also makes it clear that many women find them quite annoying. No matter how you feel about stretch marks, the fact is: according to a 2015 study, more than half of the moms are affected by them. This is a good start to finding out how and why they come about, how you can treat them, and what options are available for not even having them appear.

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are stretch marks of the skin that arise due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy. They can also occur outside of pregnancy. Stretch marks, as the name implies, are the result of an overstretching of the skin because of weight changes or strong growth in puberty.

Stretch marks are white, blue, red or brown lines in the skin tissue, which occur particularly in the following places:

  • Belly
  • Thigh
  • Chest
  • Upper arms

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched heavily and thus easily tears on the surface. This is due in pregnancy to a strong and rapid weight gain. The changed hormone balance also contributes to the formation of the streaks: the cortisol level in the blood is increased during pregnancy – and since the adrenal hormone reduces the elasticity of the skin, it is more likely that it tears and stretch marks develop.

Some mommies see them early in pregnancy, but they are especially prone to stretch marks from about the sixth month, as your baby grows more and more and with it your belly. At the same time, your body stores from now on more and more fat reserves on thighs, buttocks, hips and upper arms and the milk in your breasts makes them grow.

How Can You Treat Stretch Marks?

First, the good news: Even if they rarely disappear completely, stretch marks fade over time. It does not matter if you do something about it or not. Some mommies swear by home remedies like lemon juice, which has a slightly bleaching effect, but Since most larger areas of skin are affected, this is not the best solution in the long run. Dermatologists recommend creams because they have a whitening and nourishing effect and are also safe to use during pregnancy and lactation.

Probably the most effective (and expensive) option is laser treatment of stretch marks. Using a microscopic laser, cells are deeply dissolved in the layers of the skin and stimulate the formation of new collagen, resulting in new, undamaged skin. 

How Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?

While there is no sure way to prevent stretch marks, a conscious lifestyle and regular checkups can help to support your skin’s health and proper weight gain:

  • Full nutrition
  • Drink a lot
  • Enough sleep
  • Enough exercise
  • Regular check-ups
  • High-quality moisturizer
  • Cold showering

When To See a Skin Specialist Doctor?

With stretch marks, you don’t need to see a doctor. The streak-shaped, painless skin changes are solely a cosmetic and not a health problem. However, some suffer greatly from the stretch marks and feel restricted in their everyday life, for example, because they no longer dare to show themselves in a bikini. In such cases, you should consult a dermatologist (aesthetic medicine) and seek advice on the treatment options.

5 Tips To Take Care Of Your Skin

1. The Moisturizer Has a Preventative Effect

Due to its hormonal properties, the skin is often very dry during pregnancy, making it less elastic and more susceptible to tears. Experts agree that proper hydration is the best way to prevent stretch marks.  A good body lotion moisturizes from the outside and contains oils that hold them, but make sure it does not contain any parabens or chemical fragrances.

2. Almond Oil Keeps Moisture

After pregnancy almond oil was on the advice of several midwives and mommies for a long time. High-quality almond oil keeps the skin supple and its high content of Linoleic acid helps to maintain the moisture at the same time. 

3. Stimulate Blood Circulation in a Gentle Way

Light alternating showers and gentle brush massages (rather avoid belly during pregnancy) stimulate the blood circulation of the skin and promote its elasticity. In the best case, they prevent or mitigate stretch marks so that existing stretch marks are less noticeable.

4. Pregnancy Oil As a Ritual

A daily light massage with pregnancy oil is a nice ritual for you and your baby bump. In addition to the nourishing effect, the oil is very rich and contains caring almond oil as well as harmless essential oils such as lavender, which relax and stimulate blood circulation. 

5. Rosehip Oil For a Uniform Skin Appearance

Rosehip Oil has long been known in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, and it is also making its way into skincare in Germany. Rich in antioxidants, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids, it also helps fight scars and pigment spots in addition to its anti-aging effects and damaged skin cells during regeneration. I myself have been using rosehip oil for many years and am convinced of the effect on scars and stretch marks, in a study from 2013, it was also scientifically proven. It does not have to be applied pure, but can be added to a body lotion. 

Stretch marks are part of motherhood for most of us. Like all short-term and lasting physical changes in pregnancy, it takes a while for them to feel like part of you. In the meantime, it is a great idea to lovingly focus on you and your body and in the long run, watch the small lines fade.

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