Saturday, May 2, 2009

How to Prevent and Treat Stretch Marks during Pregnancy

Stretch marks are actually little tears in the tissue beneath the skin surface caused during pregnancy, due to the body's inability to deal with the natural weight gain. This weight gain causes the skin to stretch. Specifically the stretch marks are caused because the body can't produce enough collagen to repair the skin.

Some skins have a better capacity to stretch than others, so pregnancy does not necessarily mean you will get stretch marks. Also by using aromatherapy oils you can minimize the scarring and speed up the skin’s healing process.

With a little care stretch marks can be very mild or completely prevented. The best way to prevent pregnancy stretch marks is using a stretch mark cream. Getting regular massages on your arms, legs, breasts and abdomen with a special stretch mark cream is by far the best way to keep stretch marks away.

Aromatherapy stretch mark oil

Add three drops of frankincense and three drops of tangerine oil to a carrier blend of 2 fl oz (50 ml) of avocado oil and 2 fl oz (50 ml) of wheatgerm oil. Frankincense has a rejuvenating effect on your skin and tangerine oil is rich in vitamin C helps to maintain your skin’s elasticity.

Start using this blend from the beginning of your pregnancy, paying special attention to your breasts, tummy, hips and thighs. Massage it gently into all those areas at least once a day. A good time to do this is at night, after your bath, when your skin is soft.

Apart from this, follow these simple tips to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy –

1. A quick weight gain will increase the chance of stretch marks. You need to eat correctly during your pregnancy.

2. Keep well hydrated during the pregnancy. As this will keep your skin hydrated and gives it more elasticity.

3. Exercise during pregnancy, this keeps the muscles toned and keeps the skin flexible.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.
By: Nick Mutt

Stretch Mark Information and Solutions

Stretch marks (or striae as they are referred to in dermatological terms) are caused when an individual's skin is stretched too quickly: More accurately, the skin is torn rather than stretched. They are most common around the stomach area, breasts, thighs and hips. Both men and woman can suffer from them and they affect the majority of the adult population. Fortunately, for all of us, they pose no health risks and are simply a cosmetic concern. Of course, these concerns grow in the warmer seasons as the amount of our bodies we show, increases.

This stretching occurs when the body grows at a rate that the skin cannot keep up with. They are most commonly associated with pregnancy but are also a normal part of puberty: Body building or quick weight gain can also result in stretch marks.

Although the skin is usually fairly elastic, when it is overstretched, the normal production of collagen is disrupted. It is this collagen which keeps skin tight and supple. There are several external factors which affect the skins natural ability to produce and maintain collagen levels such as a persons diet and smoking.

These collagen levels also affect the appearance of wrinkles and lines in the face. They also largely dictate how other blemishes, such as acne scars, heal.

When they first form, stretch marks appear as reddish purple lines. They appear indented and maintain a different texture to the surrounding skin. Over time, the discoloration does subside, turning lighter and less noticeable. The ability to heal however does vary considerably from individual to individual.

There are several methods of tackling problem stretch marks. These vary widely in both cost and effectiveness. They range from simple solutions such as creams and lotions, up to more extreme and expensive methods such as laser surgery.

What all these solutions have in common are that they assist, in one manner or another, the body’s own natural ability to heal itself. The skin is the largest organ in our body and anyone who has ever cut or scraped themselves, would have seen how it heals itself. Our natural defensive mechanisms are indeed one of the most wonderful things in nature.

Where our bodies do fall short, is that these natural defences do not account for our ongoing desire for aesthetics and looking good. It is here that nature needs a little helping hand. Fundamentally, to overcome this problem, we need to promote what happens in our bodies naturally, but stops once the body deems itself healed. By effectively extending the healing process, we can “trick” the body into healing itself too much - This way it may look and feels as though no physical trauma ever occurred.
By: Christopher Evans