Home > Pregnancy & Birth > Preventing & Minimising Stretch Marks

Preventing & Minimising Stretch Marks

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 23 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Stretch Marks; Skin; Weight Gain; Weight

Some doctors believe that stretch marks are inevitable in some women, this may be due to their genetics or the type of skin they have, but most agree there are measures that can be taken to minimise their effect.

Why Do Stretch Marks Happen?

The skin is made up of layers, it is not just the surface that is on the outside that we can see; it is also a living organ that is constantly shedding and renewing cells every day.

The lower layer of skin contains substances called elastin and collagen which are responsible for providing skin its elasticity and suppleness.

When the skin is subjected to changes that occur very quickly, these substances do not have adequate time to deal with these changes so the skin becomes damaged resulting in the area becoming thin and the fibres of these substances can break. This causes the area to become red which fades to a silvery appearance and the skin can look more transparent.

Who Is at Risk of Stretch Marks?

The people most at risk of stretch marks are pregnant women, those who yo-yo diet or lose or gain a lot of weight very quickly and body builders who develop muscle mass very quickly.

How To Prevent Stretch Marks.

The best way of preventing stretch marks is to avoid gaining weight rapidly. This can be achieved by maintaining a healthy weight for your frame or by building muscle mass slowly. Many body builders find that they develop stretch marks when they train very quickly very hard. Although it can be extremely beneficial to health in many ways to build muscle mass, it should be done gradually increasing the weights slowly and doing resistance exercises regularly.

The same principle applies to weight loss. Rapid weight loss can cause the skin to have to shrink quickly to fit your decreasing frame. While there is no argument about the benefits most of us could gain from losing a bit of weight, it should also be done slowly to allow the skin time to shape nicely to your smaller body.

Losing a few pounds a week will stay off longer and cause less side-effects that aiming for high results very quickly.

Minimising Stretch Marks.

If stretch marks are in your family and therefore your genetic make-up, there may be no way of minimising them to much effect, but for others the regular use of moisturisers, particularly those containing vitamin E may help the skin to stay more supply and manage any changes in size better.

For those who have got stretch marks the use of lasers may help to minimise them but this is not so effective on stretch marks that are well established.

Some surgical procedures such as tummy tucks can help to remove the stretch marks, but this is fairly major surgery and will not prevent further stretch marks in the future.This type of surgery is used more frequently on those who have lost an extreme amount of weight and the skin appears to hang from the body.

For most people stretch can occur despite your best efforts to minimise them. They are especially common in women as pregnancy is the leading cause of stretch marks occurring.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Mummy
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    Sir/ Madam Rcently i went for Anti Mullenrian Hormone Test and the report says metaplastic squamous cells seen . what is this…
    1 October 2019
  • Folami
    Re: Benefits Of Evening Primrose Oil
    Please I have been trying to conceive for a while, but to no avail I was told to work on my hormonal imbalance, that is why I…
    5 June 2019
  • abhinavayu
    Re: All About Varicose Veins
    What a great article! I can tell you really care about what you are writing about, which is a rare thing these days. Thank you for…
    31 July 2018
  • FemaleHealthIssues
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    Happy - Your Question:My smear show squamous metaplasia and reactive cellular change with inflammation.what it means??
    7 March 2018
  • Happy
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    My smear show squamous metaplasia and reactive cellular change with inflammation....what it means??
    6 March 2018
  • FemaleHealthIssues
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    Genie - Your Question:I undergone D&c last Jan. 6 and my histopath result was Chronic Cervicitis with squamous metaplasia. I had…
    13 February 2018
  • Genie
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    I undergone D&c last Jan. 6 and my histopath result was Chronic Cervicitis with squamous metaplasia. I had on and off very light…
    12 February 2018
  • Ani
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    My biopsy report says squamous metaplasia...what is the meaning?
    2 February 2018
  • Rose
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    I just recently had my biopsy result from a liquid-based pap smear test & the result is: acute & chronic cervicitis with squamous…
    19 January 2018