Stretch marks are almost inevitable in life, especially in pregnancy. Your body is undergoing so many huge changes and stretching beyond your imagination.
Stretch marks happen, and they are very common.
Almost every woman has stretch marks. Whether on her belly, hips, thighs, or arms. The fact is, they are normal and okay, and shouldn’t be seen as “ugly” or “unattractive”.
However, we all have questions, and we are here to answer those commonly asked questions for you!
-Are they common?
-Why do we get stretch marks?
-Will I get stretch marks during my pregnancy?
-Where do they appear?
-How can I prevent them?
-Why are they red?
-Why are they itchy?
-Are stretch marks permanent?
-Will they fade?
-How can I treat existing stretch marks?
So let’s dive right into it all the juicy details:
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Common Questions and Answers about Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Are They Common?
Stretch marks are very common. During teen years due to fluctuating hormones and weight, many teenagers experience their first stretch marks.
However, pregnancy increases your chances of stretch marks. More than half of pregnant women will develop stretch marks on either their stomach, hips, thighs and/or breasts. While another source says stretch marks appear in 8 out of 10 pregnancies, with severity varying from woman to woman.
So, you aren’t alone. And they are very common. So, don’t be anxious to show your stretch marks to your ultrasound technician, they see them more often than not.
But what about all those perfect pregnant bellies without a single stretch mark in sight? Yea… Have you heard of photoshop?
Either all those people are very genetically blessed to have no stretch marks, or they are edited out, which is more often the case.
So, embrace them, and be proud of this reminder of what your body has done!
Why do we get Stretch Marks?
As our skin stretches or shrinks drastically, this abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin which usually hold the skin together to rupture. Thus… stretch marks.
However, stretch marks appear when the skin has healed, when they may appear red and itchy. Red and itchy stretch marks indicate your skin starting to heal itself from the strain.
Will I get Stretch Marks During my Pregnancy?
Stretch marks are genetic.
Meaning, if your grandmother or mother has stretch marks, your chances of getting them are high. If nobody in your family has any stretch marks, your chances of getting them are reduced.
So, ask around and find out your chances of getting stretch marks during your pregnancy!
Where do they Appear During Pregnancy?
The most common places are the abdomen area, hips, thighs, and breasts.
However, with weight gain or loss, stretch marks can be found basically anywhere on your body. On your calves, arms, shoulders, butt, or back.
Really depends on you and your body, as every single body is unique and different from others.
How can I Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
While there’s no one cure to prevent stretch marks, there are ways to prevent getting them.
Stretch marks are the easiest to treat when they are new (red and puffy). Once they turn white, they are very hard to get rid of.
As soon as you get that positive pregnancy test, take special care to moisturize parts of your body that are likely to grow during pregnancy. Which would be your stomach, hips, thighs, and breasts.
Moisturizing helps add moisture to the skin, improving the skin’s elasticity and reducing your chances of the skin breaking.
Why are they Red?
Red stretch marks indicate new and fresh stretch marks. Your skin has ruptured and now you can see the blood vessels more easily.
Keep in mind, now is the time to start treating them as your chances of minimizing scarring are the best at this point in time.
Why are they Itchy?
Most often, red stretch marks are itchy. And they can get really itchy, and annoying.
Stretch marks itch because the skin on the stretch marks is now thinner and trying to heal. And healing skin has unsupported nerve effectors which cause you to itch more.
However, a soothing cream is usually able to calm your itchiness, and the itchiness itself will disappear in a few days.
How to Soothe Itchy Stretch Marks
The first method is the hardest. Don’t scratch. Your skin is trying to heal, and you risk breaking it further through constant scratching.
Keeping the skin moisturized with a cocoa butter or oil will help keep the itching down and minimize stretch marks in the process. Wahoo! Double win!
Taking a warm oatmeal bath is also very soothing to the skin and can help speed up the healing process.
Are Stretch Marks Permanent?
Stretch marks are scars. And scars are permanent.
So, the likely hood of you making all your stretch marks disappear is very highly unlikely. However, with time and treatment stretch marks will fade and become almost unnoticeable, like most scars.
Laser therapy can also help minimize the look of stretch marks, although it should be approached with caution.
Will they Fade?
Yes, all stretch marks will fade. Although they are permanent, stretch marks will fade over time from red to pink, silver, to white or your natural skin color.
The paler your skin, the more noticeable the stretch marks are due to the shininess of the skin.
How can you Treat Stretch Marks?
Once you start seeing those red stretch marks, don’t despair. Now is the best time to treat them.
Using a stretch mark therapy cream like this one will help soothe your skin and minimize scarring. However, this must be applied religiously and may take a month or two before you start seeing results.
So, don’t give up and keep going!
Already have white stretch marks you are wanting to firm up? Try treating them as soon as you have delivered your baby and your stomach is starting to shrink. There are still somewhat new and fresh, and your skin will react better to treatments.
Doctors can prescribe you a Retin-A or Renova cream to help minimize the look of stretch marks. Other methods include laser treatments or simply embracing them!
PS: If you are very self-conscious about your stretch marks, try applying a self-tanner. Stretch marks are most noticeable on pale skin!
My Imperfections…. Revealed
I struggled with stretch marks all my life, but especially during my first pregnancy. So I was surprised when I got them at 4 weeks pregnant, having not even gained any weight! I was mad, angry, and disappointed that I didn’t even have the chance to prevent them in the first place.
The first pregnancy I was rough on my body image and all of the changes that were occurring. However, with time and another blessed pregnancy, I learned to love and appreciate them.
They are here to stay, so why not embrace them and thank them for the daily reminder of how strong my body is and what it has done?
I was mainly inspired to start loving my stretch marks by @sarahtherese. She posted a video of her coloring in her stretch marks, and it was so beautiful and empowering! I was so impressed and empowered that I too set out to accept my stretch marks and succeeded.
Make sure to check out her video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpTCugBwvrY for some amazing stretch mark positivity!
Have we answered all your questions? If not, leave a comment below and we will be sure to get to it.
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Until next time,