Many women suffer from stretch marks. Skin and connective tissue are greatly stretched during pregnancy, particularly affected are abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hips and breasts. In the heavily loaded areas, blood vessels appear through the stretched tissue, which looks like colored stripes – the spectrum ranges from pale pink to intense blue or dark red. The stretch marks are known in medicine as “striae gravidarum” are not the same in every woman, different factors favor the development.
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This is how stretch marks develop
The texture of the connective tissue influences the elasticity of the skin. It consists of collagenous fibers and an extracellular space filled with proteoglycans, a protein-carbohydrate fluid. These are entwined with each other in such a way that they form a loadable, rather tensile structure.
Connective tissue includes bones, tendons, cartilages, intervertebral discs, and subcutaneous tissue. The number of collagen fibers determines the strength of the fabric and is responsible for dimensional stability. If the connective tissue is overstretched during pregnancy, small cracks may develop, which externally shows as a colored, shimmering through the skin stripes.
Beneficial factors: how to avoid
Various factors can promote the formation of stretch marks. First, the elasticity of the connective tissue varies from woman to woman – a weak connective tissue, which may well be genetically determined, tears more. Furthermore, a rapid weight gain, as occurs especially in multiple pregnancies, leads to greater damage to the connective tissue.
With a high cortisol level, more water accumulates in the skin and the ability to stretch worsens, resulting in tissue ruptures. Statistics show that younger women giving birth are more affected by stretch marks than older ones, which is due to a different hormone balance. Even medicines can promote the development of stretch marks.
Are there preventive measures?
Measures to prevent the development of stretch marks are controversial. Maintaining the elasticity of the skin is important. This is primarily sports, changing showers, then massaging and plucking massages, possibly peels and other methods that promote blood circulation.
Some nutritionists recommend foods with collagen-forming amino acids such as meat, gelatin, eggs, milk and legumes to strengthen the connective tissue; others tend to vitamin E to stimulate the skin’s repair mechanism. During pregnancy, drink plenty of water to maintain the moisture balance – an important prerequisite for the elasticity of the connective tissue.
Sporting activities like swimming are also positive factors. There is no guarantee of 100% reliability of such measures, but you may be able to reduce the severity of the stretch marks.
Remove Pregnancy Stiffeners: Superficial Treatment
If fibers in the connective tissue are torn, scars remain, but the stripes fade over time. Creams that are only applied to the epidermis provide these with moisture and nutrients, but they do not penetrate to the affected subcutis and thus have only a superficial effect. Depending on the ingredients can be achieved with creams, an optical effect, the stripes are less noticeable.
According to dermatologists, what is more, successful is the so-called Rio method, in which vitamin A acid-containing cream is combined with a laser treatment after pregnancy. This method is intended to promote scarring; the success depends on the severity of the stretch marks.
Studies on aids
Conducive also can massage oils to be, as a study showed: The University of Witten-Herdecke tested, for example, the use of “free oil” on 30 persons and found after six months of use to improve the texture of the skin firm, the scars deeper were less visible,
Stretch marks are unavoidable, but you can take various measures to help the elasticity of the connective tissue and promote scarring.
- weak connective tissue
- high cortisol levels
- strong weight gain
- circulation-enhancing massages
- Foods with collagen-forming amino acids
- Drink plenty of water
- Vitamin E
- Cream with vitamin A acid
- laser treatment
- Moisture-regulating oils