What are Early Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
Early pregnancy stretch marks are those fine lines or streaks – often called striae gravidarum – that appear on the abdomen, buttocks and breasts during pregnancy. They are most common during the second and third trimesters.
Early pregnancy stretch marks are caused by the rapid stretching of the skin. As your abdomen grows to accommodate your growing baby, the dermal layer (the lower layer of your skin) stretches quickly, causing the fibers just below to tear. This causes the long and narrow marks that are often seen in early pregnancy.
Fortunately, early pregnancy stretch marks usually fade over time and can usually be treated with time and patience. Some recommended treatments include:
- Moisturizing: Keeping the affected area moisturized can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- Using Retinoids: Retinoids, such as Retin-A, may help improve the appearance of stretch marks.
- Laser Resurfacing: Laser resurfacing can help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- Massaging: Massaging the affected area can help to improve circulation and elasticity of the skin.
- Using Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter: Cocoa butter and Shea butter have been used for centuries to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
It is important to keep in mind that stretch marks during pregnancy are a part of the natural process and therefore not necessarily something to worry about. However, they can be unsightly, and at times, uncomfortable. It is best to consult a health professional if you have any concerns or questions about early pregnancy stretch marks.
What are the causes of early pregnancy stretch marks?
1. Rapid expansion of the stomach: When the growing fetus causes the stomach to stretch quickly, stretch marks can appear.
2. Increases in hormone production: During pregnancy, hormone levels rise dramatically and they can contribute to the appearance of stretch marks.
3. Weight gain: During pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of hormonal, physical and emotional changes. All these factors can contribute to weight gain which in turn, can lead to stretch marks.
4. Heredity: If a person’s parents, grandparents or other family members have stretch marks that are related to pregnancy or weight gain then there is a higher chance of them developing stretch marks during pregnancy as well.
What are the signs and symptoms of pregnancy stretch marks?
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy stretch marks include:
• Bright or dark red or purple streaks in the skin, usually in the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, hips, or thighs
• Itching, burning or stinging sensation at the affected area
• Tight, tender skin as the skin expands to accommodate the growing baby
• Slight discoloration of the affected area
• Appearance of raised lines or ridges along the length of the streaks
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