What are stretch marks and why am I getting them?

Stretch marks are narrow pink/purple streaks or lines that develop on the surface of the skin. Anyone can develop stretch marks – teenagers, overweight people of any age, women, and men. Unfortunately, more than half of all pregnant women experience them and this is what I want to focus on today – pregnancy stretch marks.

When we get pregnant, our skin stretches every week, with the real stress and strain on the skin during the third trimester. During pregnancy, we also experience hormonal changes, and we never know how our skin is going to react. Some women will experience oily skin, some can have very dry skin. Unfortunately, dry skin is harder to take care of, as dryness can cause itchiness and also lead to stretch marks.

The common places to get stretch marks are on the stomach, upper thighs, bottom, and/or breasts as your pregnancy progresses. The first sign of stretch marks can be itchiness in an area where the skin is becoming thin and this can be the first sign that your skin needs extra care and attention.

Specialists say you are more likely to get stretch marks if your weight gain is above average during your pregnancy. Most women gain between 11-16kg during pregnancy, but what about small women with naturally smaller stomachs? They can put on a weight of only 11 kg and still end up with a big belly as they have a smaller than average abdomen. Larger women can put on16 kg or more but not have such a round a belly as they have a larger abdominal area. So, it’s very hard to predict who might get stretch marks and who won’t. It’s important to remember all pregnancies are different – just as all people are different.

Here are a few tips on how you can look after your skin during pregnancy and keep stretch marks at bay:

  1. One of the most important things you can do is really moisturize your skin to help it stretch easier. There are lots of oils and body lotions on the market, so it’s really hard to choose what is best for you. Generally, oils are better than body lotions as they are stronger and lock in more moisture. The question then is – what oils work better? This is where you should really focus on the packaging and the ingredients listed. Oils in opaque bottles are much better than oils in clear bottles, as direct sunlight can damage the vitamins and limit the shelf life. Avoid oils which include alcohol, water or chemicals as this will dry your skin out. Also, be careful with essential oils as they are strong and not recommended for daily use during pregnancy. ANAR Pregnancy Oil meets all these conditions.
  2. Once you choose your oil, it is important to use it every morning and every evening, massaging it into your skin for at least one minute. Your skin will be softer, smoother and ultra-hydrated. It’s important to be consistent and use it from the beginning of your pregnancy, for the best possible result.
  3. There are additional ways to protect your skin other than using oil. Water reduces the skins natural moisture, so after having a shower, we lose our natural protection and this can lead to dry skin. Using soap can dry out skin even more, so choose a gentle, moisturized body wash and apply Pregnancy Oil on your wet skin after a shower, leave it for few seconds then dry with a towel. This will give you extra protection from dry skin – especially during the third trimester. The second option is to apply ANAR Moisturizer after a bath or shower.
  4. Cotton clothes help retain the oils in your skin, so avoid synthetic fabrics.
  5. Avoid any strong body scrubs as this is not helpful for stretching skin.
  6. If you do experience itchy skin, try not to scratch it, as that can enhance stretch marks. Instead, put oil on the affected area and gently massage the skin.

If you are looking for solutions to keep stretch marks at bay, get in touch with ANAR Australia.

 

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