Pregnancy is a wonderful adventure but it also comes with its share of bodily changes, including stretch marks.
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
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Dr. Loise Kahoro, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, recommends that women should start their self-care regime early in the pregnancy. “Apply moisturiser to prevent the formation of stretchmarks from the time the tummy feels like it is stretching,” she advises.
Not everyone develops these narrow bands on their skin. Fluctuating hormone levels seem to play a role. You may also have a higher risk if people in your family get stretch marks.
Stretch marks occur in around 90 per cent of pregnancies. They start at around 13 weeks. Research shows that one in three women feel self-conscious, embarrassed, worried or even ashamed about their stretch marks which can have a low body confidence and negative effect on what they choose to wear.
According to Parents, a senior midwifery lecturer from the University of Greenwich explains that the skin has a natural elasticity tolerance, which, when surpassed, creates tiny fissures commonly known as stretch marks. She advises that one can protect their skin by moisturising, eating healthy and exercising.
Dr. Adan Abdullahi, Plastic and Reconstruction Aesthetic Surgeon, reveals that there are preventable measures against stretchmarks such as using a moisturiser with PurCellin Oil™ from the second trimester. Abdullahi also says this is a safe procedure as it isn’t penetrative and doesn’t affect the baby. However, it is important to note that no treatment can totally eradicate scars.
One popular formulation is Bio-Oil which is said to maximise skin’s elasticity and is made from vitamins A and E, calendula, lavender, rosemary and chamomile oils and the breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil™. It is light and non-greasy, ensuring that the goodness contained in the vitamins and plant extracts is easily absorbed. Bio-Oil stimulates cell renewal and skin hydration on face and body and supplements the skin’s natural oils.