Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks Distinctive?
Stretch marks, the lines that grow on the stomach area, and additionally on different parts of the body, are a common skin concern in pregnancy. While they pose no danger at all to mother or baby, the discomfort created if they lead to itching, not to mention the cosmetic effects of their appearance, can cause pregnant women much distress.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Interestingly, the reason for pregnancy stretch marks (or striae gravidarum) boils down to two factors, one of which is special to pregnancy. Firstly, there is the physical stretch of the skin that happens in pregnancy (and in different times of quick weight increase, for example, during adolescence).
While the skin adjusts to nonstop development by growing and contracting, amid these periods the skin has insufficient time to adjust. As the body expands quicker than the skin covering it, the skin tears. The subsequent scar that forms from this tear is what we know as a stretch mark.
The second factor, which is still a subject of much discussion among experts, includes the preparing of the skin by increased levels of hormones in pregnancy. Together, these hormones pull in more water into the skin, which relaxes the bonds between collagen fibres. This makes it less demanding for the skin to tear when it is extended and for stretch marks to form.
When and where do they form?
While stretch marks for the most part get to be noticeable during the later trimesters of pregnancy (around the sixth or seventh month), a few women will begin to see them shaping when their bellies begin developing. Most lighter-skinned women tend to develop pinkish stretch marks, while darker-skinned ladies have a tendency to have stretch marks that are lighter than the surrounding skin. Their pattern of development follows three stages.
Stages of stretch marks during pregnancy
Stage 1: Early stretch marks will look pink in colour, and may also be itchy and bothersome. The skin around the stretch marks may also look “flattened” and ‘thin’.
Stage 2: Slowly, the stretch marks will broaden in length and width and turn into a reddish or purple shading.
Stage 3: Once the stretch marks have developed, they lose their reddish/pink hue. In the months after pregnancy, they will begin to fade and get to be pale white or silver. They may also appear slightly depressed and irregular in shape or length.
Most women develop stretch marks on their abdomen during pregnancy, however it is also common to get them on the breasts, thighs, hips, lower back and buttocks. While they can show up any place on the body, they are most likely to show up in spots where large amounts of fat are stored.
While it’s essential to know why, how and where stretch marks form in pregnancy, even more important is to know how to help keep them from shaping in the first place.