Advice on the various treatments and preventative measures that can be taken to minimise the appearence of stretch marks. during pregnancy with information on the effectiveness of removal creams.
There are many treatments that claim to help with, or prevent stretch marks and although there is no official scientific research that supports these claims, many women do find that they help.
The most widely available treatments for stretch marks are the moisturisers and creams available in high street stores and pharmacies. The majority of these moisturisers contain some form of elastin or collagen to try and help maintain the skins natural elasticity and may also contain vitamins E and A, or cocoa extracts which help keep the skin supple. The motion of massaging moisturisers into the skin daily, will not only help to relieve the dryness that often accompanies stretch marks, but will also help to encourage better circulation to the affected areas and thereby help ease the tension placed on the skin.
Within 6 months of giving birth, stretch marks will usually have faded and become much less visible. However, in severe cases, or if the stretch marks are causing particular distress, there are other options available. Creams containing Retin A, may be prescribed by a doctor. These may help the appearance of stretch marks by penetrating the outer layer of skin and helping to replenish skin cells and collagen production. These creams should not be used when pregnant or nursing, used alongside vitamin A supplements or in any other way than that recommended by a doctor as they may produce side effects.
Cosmetic treatments such as microdermabrasion are also an option for severe stretch marks that remain over time. This involves the outer most layer of skin being partially removed by light abrasion helping to tighten and smooth the overall appearance of skin in affected areas. Treatments such as these are not painful, do not require anaesthetic and are often performed by a qualified beautician. Laser treatments which stimulate collagen production can also be used to treat stretch marks; however this is an extreme, expensive and often unnecessary procedure which shouldnât be considered without advice from a GP.
Although it is impossible to predict who will be susceptible to stretch marks there are a number of precautions that can be made to not only reduce the appearance of stretch marks but also improve the health of both mother and baby. Hydrated skin stretches more easily, so it is important to drink lots of water and try and avoid too many fizzy and caffeinated drinks. A balanced diet rich in vitamins E and C, zinc and silica will also help keep the skin healthy, as will maintaining a healthy weight throughout the pregnancy. Avoiding over exposure to sunlight and taking regular exercise will also enhance the health of the body and supplement other preventative measures taken to avoid stretch marks.
By taking these measures, stretch marks should become less of a problem and should begin to fade naturally after the birth.
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