Face it, you’ve dreaded those stretch marks that are sometimes a part of the pregnancy experience. The thought of the changes that your body will go through may have given you countless nightmares.
Well, if it has happened to you, know that you are not alone. Almost all first-time mommies are scared of the ‘S’ word.
Image source: iStock
Pregnancy, though one of the major factors contributing to stretch marks, is definitely not the only one. It’s a popular belief that only women get stretch marks, however, the truth is that men get stretch marks as well. Stretch marks can occur when the skin changes shape suddenly and unexpectedly.
During pregnancy, the skin stretches a lot to give room to your growing womb and in this process, there is a lot of wear and tear involved. The skin, when growing, may damage its collagen which is the main component that gives it the elasticity. During the wear and tear of the skin, if the collagen gets damaged, stretch marks may begin to form.
As the shape of the body changes through the progression of pregnancy, the skin loses more and more collagen and the stretch marks seem to increase.
In the beginning, these marks are deep red or purple in colour and have a bruise-like appearance. You may see them appearing on your belly, thighs, breasts and buttocks. With time, the dark red or purple colour of the stretch marks gives way to silver coloured marks on your skin. Stretch marks are mostly not harmful. However, they do mar the appearance of your skin.
Here’s how to help minimise stretch marks when you’re pregnant:
1. Detect them early
Image source: iStock
The first step to removing or minimizing these stretch marks is to detect them early. When fresh, it is easier to deal with them. However, as they grow older and begin to fade, they may begin to settle in your skin and it will be harder for you to then get rid of them.
Take your favourite moisturiser (any mild one will do) and use it to massage the areas where stretch marks have begun to appear. Massage the area several times a day.
Exfoliate your skin regularly with a gentle exfoliate. There are many ready-made exfoliates in the market. NTUC has tons and you can pick one that suits your skin type the next time you go shopping for groceries. You can also make your own exfoliate using dried and powdered orange peel and yoghurt.
4. Use stretch mark prevention products
Find a good, paraben-free stretch mark cream and rub it across your belly, hips, thighs, and bust every morning and night. Massage in a circular motion for safety.
One such option is the Stretch Mark Treatment Series from Mama’s Choice which comes with their best-selling Stretch Mark Cream and the innovative Stretch Mark Serum. When used together, this duo is 2x more optimal in helping reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
5. Take your supplements
Taking additional supplements can help increase the quality of eggs.
Vitamin E helps repair and replenish collagen. A daily dose of Vitamin E or a massage with Vitamin E oils can help you reduce the appearance of these stretch marks. Wheat germ oil, cosmetic products that contain peptides, and retinoids are some of the other products that may work on your skin. However, their efficacy is not known.
6. Drink lots of water
This way, you will keep your skin hydrated and it will remain relatively free from scars and stretch marks.
7. Exercise regularly when you are pregnant
A lot of women avoid any kind of exercise and take long periods of rest. This could be detrimental to your overall health as well as the health of your skin. Take a stroll for a few minutes every day. If you want, you can even enrol yourself in a special yoga class for pregnant women.
Also Read: Top Stretch Mark Creams in Singapore to Improve Skin During Pregnancy