Pregnancy is a major change in any woman’s life and as wonderful as it is, it does come with one side effect that many would rather avoid: stretch marks. A common skin concern that affects both men and women, stretch marks can develop particularly drastically during pregnancy.
So, what exactly are stretch marks?
Technically, stretch marks are a type of scar tissue, occurring when the skin is stretched beyond its limits, causing the collagen and elastin fibres to tear. Whether they occur during pregnancy, or from some other cause, they most commonly manifest on the abdomen, hips, breasts, buttocks and lower back.
Treating Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Because many products and in-clinic treatments aren’t suitable for pregnant women, people often think that there’s nothing they can do to minimise the formation of stretch marks when they are expecting.
While you can’t entirely prevent stretch marks from occurring, you can minimise how many you get and their size by taking certain precautions. The most important factor in the number of stretch marks you will develop during pregnancy and the size of those marks is weight gain. Although there is no way to avoid this, try gaining weight steadily over the months of your pregnancy as sudden weight gain is far more likely to overstretch your skin, causing tearing in the collagen fibres which creates stretch marks.
Another thing you can do while you are still pregnant to minimise stretch marks is properly caring for your skin. It’s easy to dismiss this as an old wives’ tale and while it will do little to prevent the formation of stretch marks, keeping your skin moisturised can help with skin elasticity and the itching that often accompanies fresh stretch marks.
Dealing with Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
The key to treating stretch marks is getting to them while they are still fresh. Once they have healed and taken on their instantly recognisable silvery appearance, they are far more difficult to treat than they are when they are still red or purple in colour.
Once you are cleared to do so by your doctor, you should begin looking at treatment options sooner rather than later. At our Harley Street clinic, we have been successfully treating stretch marks for over 20 years and offer several treatments for this common skin concern. These include our exclusive Collagen Induction Therapy Treatment, Marine Peel Treatment and Intense Pulsed Light which gently but effectively does away with the outer layer of dull skin to reveal a smoother complexion and diminish redness, stimulates collagen and elastin to rejuvenate and rebuild the skin. Our skin experts will usually recommend this in conjunction with our other treatments and products in your bespoke treatment plan.